• Preparing Your Kids for School

    The first week of kindergarten or preschool is very exciting. But if your child is unprepared, it can also be stressful. Here are a few things you and your child can do to prepare for school.

    ATTEND ORIENTATION DAY

    Orientation day is a great opportunity for you and your child to become familiar with his or her new school. At orientation, you talk to the new teacher and headmaster or director, see the classroom, and have a look around the school. It’s also a great chance to ask questions.

    READ BOOKS TOGETHER

    One central aspect of kindergarten or preschool is learning to read. This can be a great joy for a child or a great hurdle. One great thing you can do for your child is to have a good variety of books on hand — books you read to them and books they can enjoy on their own. This will help instill a love of reading in them, and ease the process into a more formal education setting that is largely centered on reading and writing.

    HELP DEVELOP FINE MOTOR SKILLS

    Writing and drawing are crucial activities in any preschool or kindergarten. To help this go smoothly, you want your child to have developed some fine motor skills. Have plenty of paper available, as well as crayons and pencils, so your child can work on this ability. Help your child draw basic shapes and figures. Teach her to spell her name. Continue with some basic words such as Mom, Dad, cat and dog. Encourage your child to draw.

    ARRANGE PLAYDATES

    If your child hasn’t been attending a preschool, it may be overwhelming for him or her to be surrounded by so many other children. This is especially true if your child is an only child or just has a sibling or two. To help home or her develop social skills to successfully interact with other children, it can be helpful to arrange playdates with other children around the same age.

    PART-TIME PRESCHOOL

    It’s easier for a new kindergartener to ease into full-time school if she’s spent some time at a preschool. Preschools allow students to attend as regular full-time students or as part-time students. This familiarizes them with the school environment and how to properly interact with teachers and other students.

    POTTY TRAINING

    Attending kindergarten or preschool will be so much easier for your child and his teacher if your child is fully potty-trained. And of course, this makes life easier for parents as well. Potty-training can be quite a challenging activity but it’s always worth the trouble. Fortunately there are many resources online to help you train your child to successfully use the toilet.

    Do you have a child about to begin school, or do you dream of having one? Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become parents. For more information about the vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-210-6649 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • How to Emotionally Prepare for a New Baby

    Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. You’re not only preparing your home and adjusting your life’s schedule for a needy new family member. You’re also, if you know it or not, anticipating the emotions that this life change will bring. Don’t keep this emotional aspect of your life below the surface and unexamined. If you want to fully prepare for your new baby, take stock of your own emotions, and take a look at ways that you can manage them.

    THERE ARE NO PERFECT PARENTS

    There may be a creeping feeling that you won’t have your house, your life and your self in perfect order for your new baby. Fear not! No one achieves perfection before or after a child arrives. Every parent makes mistakes. Take deep breaths and focus on what is achievable.

    TALK TO YOUR PARTNER

    Your partner is going through the same stress you are. Ask him or her how they’re doing, and share your own emotions. This is a grand adventure you’re embarking upon together, and communication is crucial.

    ASK A PARENT FOR WISDOM

    You surely know a lot of other parents, including your own mom and dad. Ask them about the emotions of bringing home a new baby. They won’t remember everything, but they’ll remember what really mattered to them. It couldn’t hurt to take some notes from these chats. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so it’s easy to forget things.

    NO SHAME IN THERAPY

    If your stress is significant, and talking to your partner or other parents hasn’t allayed it, consider seeing a therapist. They’re professionally trained to discuss these stresses with you in ways that should help you along a healthy path.

    GET SOME R&R

    Getting some rest and relaxation is always important, but especially in times of stress. Set apart some time to do the things make you happy and relaxed. Make sure your partner does the same. And spend some time together in ways that strengthen your bond. You’ll have less time for this with a new baby in the house. Make the best of it.

    CONQUER YOUR LISTS

    A bunch of to-do lists can add stress to your life, but crossing things off of them always feels nice, doesn’t it? Online live lists in programs such as Google Keep are helpful in that you can share them in real time with your partner through your devices, and see the changes that you both make. You can also drag items up or down on the list according to their priority. The best thing is: you can’t misplace these lists.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. That’s why we pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides optimal surgical results and uncompromising, concierge-level patient care.  To learn more, call 941-313-7749 or contact us through our website.

  • What the Fourth Trimester Really Looks Like

    Have you heard of the 4th trimester? This is a term that pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp is believed to have coined, meaning that the first three months of a baby’s life after birth. It goes with a theory that babies are born after nine months because their brains are so big that if they stayed in the womb much longer, they wouldn’t fit through the birth canal. They are still not quite ready, though, for life on the outside. In fact, according to this theory, it takes them about three more months to adjust.

    Those first 12 weeks are a time of major changes, as you become a parent and your sleepy, often fussy newborn becomes a calmer, happier, more alert baby. During the 4th trimester, babies experience significant physical, mental, and emotional development. It can help to think of your baby as still being a fetus for these first few months because your baby may be overwhelmed by the outside world and just want cuddles from you.

    It’s important to understand what life was like for your baby inside the womb. Inside your body, it was warm, but not especially dark, because a fetus can see the rays of the sun pass through your skin and muscle. Your baby is used to the sound of your voice, the whooshing of the blood in the uterine arteries, and plenty of soft, jiggly motion.

    During this 4th trimester, you can expect your baby to cry and be fussy. Babies will scream a lot, sleep a little, and essentially wear you out. To comfort a baby in this stage of life, keep your little one snugly wrapped or swaddled, and try swaying and shushing with the baby in the side/stomach position. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to suck, too. In fact, you can look at snug, shushing, swaging, side/stomach, and suck as the five S’s of the 4th trimester. They’re calming because they make the baby feel back at home.

    Those first three months may seem like a blur, but by the time your newborn hits the 3-month mark, everything will have changed. Suddenly your baby will be a little person with a curious mind, the beginnings of a personality, and some motor skills. Interacting with your newborn during the first few months can help foster all of this development. By holding, rocking, and talking to your baby, you’ll actually be nurturing a growing brain. Be prepared to feel worn out, but know that it’s all worth it, as you grow into a parent and form a deep connection with your new little one.

    If you’re ready to start a family, you can trust Center for Vasectomy Reversal to help. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Keep the Romance Alive After Having Children

    In the early days of a relationship, it often seems like the two of you are the only people in the world. Once you have a baby, though, things can change. Sharing your home with a new little person while navigating learning to parent together can take a toll on your relationship. Your lives are forever changed, but we’ve got tips for keeping things romantic.

    • Keep dating. Put it on the calendar: quality time together. Maybe you’ll hire a sitter and head out for dinner or a coffee date. Maybe you’ll schedule a special dinner for two after the baby is asleep. The type of date doesn’t matter, the important part is spending time alone together.
    • Find little moments to steal for each other. Have coffee together in the morning or enjoy a stroll while the baby naps in the stroller. Cuddle in front of a tv show you both enjoy. Don’t wait for date night to find ways to connect. Shift out of parenting mode and remember why you’re together.
    • Be affectionate. Bring back the PDA to help keep your marriage fresh. Kiss goodbye every morning and goodnight before bed. Hug frequently. Hold hands, snuggle, and find little ways to stay close.
    • Spoil each other. Sometimes the best things are the little things. Bring your partner flowers, or a favorite snack. Make a cup of tea for him or her in the evening or offer coffee in bed in the morning.
    • Don’t compete. Parenting is not a competition, it’s a cooperative process. Being a new parent is hard, whether you’re the mom or the dad, so work together to ease each other’s burdens. Be generous with compliments and hold back on criticism if you want a strong and healthy marriage.
    • Ditch the screens. Make a commitment to each other to spend some screen-free time together every day. Stop scrolling and put the focus on your partner for at least a little while.
    • Schedule sex. This may seem counterproductive to romance, but veteran parents will tell you, it’s necessary. You put everything else important on your calendars, so why not pencil in some time to remember the passion of the pre-baby days?
    • Keep the communication flowing. Talk about the things that matter and the things that don’t. Call each other when you’re apart, write love notes on the bathroom mirror, and send little texts during the day. The mode of communication doesn’t matter ask long as you continue the conversation.
    • Never give up. To keep your marriage romantic, choose each other every day. Commit to learning and growing together, and don’t accept failure as an option.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to create families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • What Are Mental Leaps

    Having a baby is a fascinating experience, because watching your new little person learn and develop is intriguing. Do you ever wonder what’s going on in your little one’s brain? There’s something called “mental leaps” that can help you understand how your baby is growing and changing.

    It’s also called the “wonder weeks,” meaning there are weeks in a baby’s life during which certain things are typical because of mental leaps. A book entitled The Wonder Weeks was written in 1992 by anthropologist Hetty van de Rijt and psychologist Frans Plooij. The ideas in that book have expanded into several other books. There’s even a Wonder Weeks app to help parents track these changes.

    It may be easier to understand mental leaps in terms of technology. Think of a mental leap like an update on one of your devices. All of a sudden something happens that’s beyond your control, but after it happens your phone or laptop can do many new things. Similarly, during these weeks your baby goes through an update, and afterward things change, and the brain and abilities are upgraded.

    An update to your baby can be more frustrating and overwhelming than updating your phone. The change in your little one may come with a fussy phase, and a crying, cranky baby can be difficult to manage. It’s important to remember, though, that these mental leaps are part of a larger developmental picture. The app and the books can help you understand your baby, but they’re not a definitive guide to every single child. Each child develops at his or her own pace, and sometimes a fussy week can be a sign of a potential illness or a new tooth.

    Even though every baby doesn’t follow the same schedule, it’s worth noting when these mental leaps occur. There are ten in the first two years of life, based on 40 weeks gestation. Remember that if your baby was early or late, you should adjust the weeks. The basic schedule is 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 30, 37, 46, 55, and 64 weeks.

    By keeping track of these weeks, you may be able to notice when your child is about to suddenly develop a new mental ability. If the week is approaching and your baby becomes grumpy and clingy, crying more, feeding more, and acting happy only when held. This is because the baby is changing and feels unsettled. Being close to you is comforting, and babies need more love and attention during a mental leap. These leaps can last a couple of days or a few weeks, but just remember, your baby is likely to be calmer and happier afterwards.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Baby Safety Month

    Did you know that September is Baby Safety Month? Started in 1983 by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), it’s an annual opportunity for parents and retailers to refresh their knowledge of baby-proof standards. Originally, it was just one day, but in 1986 it expanded to a week, and in 1991 it became an entire month to gather and pass along worthwhile information. Do you know all you need to know to keep your baby safe? Here are some quick reminders.

    • Be car seat smart. Install the car seat properly and know the laws for transporting babies and children. Your child should start out rear-facing, move to forward-facing according to manufacturer’s recommendations and local law, go from a car seat to a booster, and ride in the back seat until age 13.
    • Know the crib rules. Put your baby on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet and remove blankets and toys from the crib. When the nights turn cold, use a sleep sack. Keep the crib away from windows, keeping strings and cords out of reach. If you’re using a second-hand crib, make sure it’s safe, has all the parts, and has not been recalled.
    • Stay age-appropriate. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the right age and developmental stage of toys, swings, bouncers, and carriers. Get rid of items once your child has surpassed the appropriate age.
    • Make bath time fun and safe. Keep your water heater at or below 120° F so that the water can never reach a point of burning the baby. Never leave a child unattended in the bath, always test the water temperature, and empty the tub after each use.
    • Keep your alarms in good working order. There should be a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, as well as in all sleeping areas.
    • Be cautious when feeding your baby. Make sure the food is soft and easy to swallow and keep medicine out of reach.
    • Toss broken toys. Even the most appropriate toy can become dangerous if it breaks. Pay attention so that if any of your child’s toys are damaged or coming apart because the pieces need to be larger than your child’s mouth.
    • Protect against hazards obvious and not so obvious. Get down on your baby’s level and look for potential dangers. Use baby gates everywhere to keep your baby away from dangerous things. Babyproof things like outlets, cabinets, drawers, and dangling cords, but look at less obvious hazards as well, like tablecloths and curtains.

    Ready to share these tips? Use #BabySafetyMonth on social media. If you’re ready to start a family, call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Take Care of Yourself with a Newborn

    Having a baby can turn your life upside-down. If you’re struggling to handle the heightened stress and fatigue of being a new parent, you’re not alone. Up to 80 percent of mothers experience “baby blues” during the first week or two after giving birth, and 15 percent develop more serious postpartum depression. Here are some practical tips to help you find time for yourself while also taking care of your newborn.

    • Relax your standards: You’ve got more important things to worry about than deep cleaning and cooking gourmet meals. So let the dust collect. Fold the laundry tomorrow. Clean the bathroom with a quick swipe from a wet wipe. And serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cereal for dinner.
    • Get out of the house: If you’re going stir-crazy stuck at home, take the baby out for a walk. If possible, let someone you trust take the baby so you can run errands or get your hair done.
    • Accept help: There’s no need to go it alone. If family members or friends offer to help, take them up on it! Ask them to hold the baby, fold the laundry, bring dinner over—whatever will help you the most.
    • Adopt healthy habits: Resist the urge to count caffeine as a major food group. Instead, focus on eating healthy food, staying hydrated, and resting when you can. Nap when the baby naps, and work out a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows you both to maximize the amount of sleep you get.
    • Set a schedule: Loosely plan how you’ll spend the morning, afternoon, and evening, designating a window of time to check items off your list. Be flexible and realistic so you can stick to your schedule most days.
    • Develop a support network: Keep in touch with your parents, siblings, or friends who have also had babies recently. You might also join a support group where you can commiserate with other new parents.
    • Nurture friendships: Just because you’re a new parent doesn’t mean your relationships have to fizzle out. Ask your partner or someone else you trust to watch the baby so you can go out for lunch with a friend.
    • Maintain a sense of humor: Try to smile, even when things don’t go quite right. The spills, spit-up, and burst diapers are easier to handle if you can laugh it off.
    • Keep some perspective: The newborn days won’t last forever. When you’re surrounded by chaos and almost at your wit’s end, remember that this too shall pass.

    While parenting a newborn can be tough, it’s also the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. If you’re ready to experience this for yourself, contact Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal about having your past vasectomy reversed. We are leaders in helping men become fathers through safe, effective medical intervention. To learn more about vasectomy reversal, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • What You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression

    During pregnancy, you probably daydreamed about your baby’s arrival bringing happiness, pride, and love into your home. So if you’re feeling sad, hopeless, or depressed after giving birth, you may be confused, upset, or even guilty that your daydreams haven’t become a reality. It’s important to understand how common these feelings are and what treatments are available for postpartum depression (PPD).

    Postpartum depression is not the same as “baby blues.”

    Up to 80 percent of mothers experience “baby blues” during the first week or two after giving birth, which may cause mood swings, anxiety, crying, and difficulty sleeping. This is not the same as postpartum depression, which affects about 15 percent of mothers, whether they have other children or not. The intensity and long-lasting nature of postpartum depression can make it difficult to care for yourself and your baby.

    Some symptoms of PPD include:

    • Depression or severe mood swings
    • Anxiety or panic attacks
    • Excessive crying, irritability, or anger
    • Difficulty bonding with the baby
    • Fear of being a bad mother
    • Withdrawing from social activities
    • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
    • Low energy
    • Feeling guilty, shameful, or worthless
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Thoughts of self-harm or hurting the baby
    • Suicidal ideation

    There are many risk factors for PPD.

    Any mother can develop postpartum depression, but these factors may increase your risk:

    • History of depression or other mood disorders
    • Unwanted or difficult pregnancy
    • Premature birth
    • Having twins or triplets
    • Recent stress, such as divorce, relationship issues, or death/illness of a loved one
    • Serious health problems
    • Lack of an emotional support network
    • Drug or alcohol misuse
    • Sleep deprivation
    • Poor diet

    Men can get postpartum depression, too.

    Up to 25 percent of new dads experience depression after a baby is born, a condition known as paternal postpartum depression. Men with financial instability, relationship issues, a history of depression, or a partner with PPD are most at risk. If you’re a new father experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your doctor for help.

    Treatments are available for PPD.

    If you notice signs of postpartum depression, treat it with these tips:

    • Take antidepressants or other medication prescribed by your doctor.
    • Seek counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional.
    • Practice self-care, such as eating well, exercising, meditating, and getting massages.
    • Communicate with your partner about how they can help.
    • Join a support group where you can commiserate with other new parents.

    While postpartum depression and other pregnancy complications are always possible, you and your partner may have made up your minds about becoming parents. If you previously had a vasectomy, the first step is to have it reversed. Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become fathers. To learn more about vasectomy reversal, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • How to Wean Your Baby off Breastfeeding

    As your child grows older, the time will come to wean them off breastfeeding. Remember, weaning doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Even cutting back on the number of times you breastfeed each day is a step in the right direction. In fact, it’s usually best to wean your baby gradually, both for your own comfort and to help your baby adjust to the change. Use these tips to help ease the transition from breast to bottle.

    When to Wean Your Baby off Breastfeeding

    There is no set age when a child should stop breastfeeding. As long as both of you are still benefitting from it, you can breastfeed as long as you like. Many mothers choose to wean naturally, allowing the child to outgrow the need at their own pace. For many babies, this happens between nine and 12 months old, though some children continue to show interest well into their toddler years. Still, when and how you choose to wean is totally up to you.

    Age-by-Age Guide to Weaning

    Following age-appropriate guidelines can make the weaning process easier. Here are some tips to help guide you:

    • How to wean at 0 to 3 months: Babies often wean more quickly at this age because they’re less aware of what’s going on around them. An easy method is to offer a bottle of breast milk at the start of each feeding and eventually replace nursing sessions with bottles.
    • How to wean at 4 to 6 months: Start substituting bottles at your baby’s least favorite feeding session. If your attempts don’t work, see if a support person can get your baby to take a bottle. Sometimes it helps if you’re not in the room during feeding time.
    • How to wean at 6 to 12 months: Solids are an option at this age, so begin offering baby food instead of nursing sessions. Experiment until you find something your baby really likes.
    • How to wean a toddler: If your older child hasn’t lost interest in breastfeeding yet, it may be helpful to explain that big kids don’t nurse, and it’s time to be done. Other tips include changing up your routine, offering snacks and drinks, and distracting your child with activities and games.

    Tips to Make Weaning Easier

    • Offer bottles of pumped breast milk rather than formula, if possible.
    • Pump milk as needed to prevent your breasts from becoming painfully engorged.
    • Shorten and gradually reduce daily nursing sessions.
    • Only nurse your child when they ask, a technique called “don’t offer, don’t refuse.”
    • Get rid of the “nursing chair.”

    If you and your partner are ready to have a baby, but you’ve had a vasectomy in the past, start your journey to parenthood by scheduling a vasectomy reversal consultation with Dr. Joshua Green. Our staff provides concierge-level care and friendly interactions to help our clients feel well cared for. To learn more, please contact the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota, FL at 941-894-6428.

  • How to Soothe a Teething Child

    Babies usually start teething between four and seven months old. If your baby has begun cutting those first few teeth, the experience may be unpleasant for both of you. Try these tips to soothe your baby’s aching gums safely and effectively.

    • Offer a cold teething ring: Keep teething toys in the fridge or freezer so they’re ready to go when your child needs them. For safety reasons, choose solid plastic over gel-filled teethers, and inspect them after each use to ensure no parts are breaking off.
    • Apply chilled items: Most babies love the feel of something cold on their sore gums, so keep a selection in your fridge or freezer at all times. Get creative with what you offer, from frozen washcloths to binkies to bottle nipples.
    • Rub your baby’s gums: If your usual solutions aren’t available, try simply rubbing your child’s gums with your fingers (be sure to wash your hands first). If you’re at a restaurant, soak a few metal spoons in ice water and rotate them out to help your fussy baby.
    • Offer frozen fruit: This option provides your child with a tasty, healthy treat. Try freezing bananas, mangos, or watermelon. Then, to prevent a choking hazard, place the frozen fruit in a mesh feeder before handing it over to your child.
    • Get creative with mesh feeders: Fresh fruit isn’t the only thing you can place in a mesh feeder. Other ideas include peach or pear fruit cups, fruit pouches, ice cream, and yogurt. Freeze these items in ice cube trays so they’re a manageable size to place in a mesh feeder.
    • Let your baby chew on everyday objects: Not every child likes having cold things in their mouth. If your baby refuses your frozen offerings, try giving them a toothbrush, wooden spoon, or clean cloth diaper or burp rag to suck on. Just be sure to monitor your child to prevent the risk of choking.
    • Cuddle with your baby: Sometimes, extra cuddle time with Mom or Dad is the biggest comfort for a teething baby. Sit in a comfortable chair, hold your baby close, and sing songs or read stories together to distract them from the pain.
    • Ask your pediatrician about medication: If you find your other soothing methods ineffective, medicine may be an option. Ask your child’s doctor for recommendations and to confirm the dosage. Also, be aware that some teething tablets contain belladonna, and numbing gels may contain benzocaine. The FDA has linked these substances with dangerous side effects in babies, so you should avoid them.

    Are you and your partner talking about having a baby? Even if you’ve had a vasectomy, parenthood may still be in the cards. Start your journey by scheduling a vasectomy reversal consultation with Dr. Joshua Green. Over the years, Dr. Green has helped hundreds of men become fathers who would have otherwise been unable to. For more information, please contact the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota, FL at 941-894-6428.