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.
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.
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.
If you’re a new dad, you’ve just started a great adventure that will keep you on your toes for years to come. The first step? Bonding. Bonding creates an intense attachment between a parent and child, and while common wisdom used to be that immediate bonding was crucial, it’s actually a very individual experience, and for some parents it can take a lot longer. Relax, you’ve got this! Here are some suggestions for speeding the process.
- Indulge in some serious snuggle time. Cuddling your baby feels good for both of you and can give your little one a sense of security. Try skin-to-skin contact, holding your baby on your bare chest. This helps your newborn get used to your smell and learn the sound of your heartbeat. It’s good for them: babies who get skin-to-skin contact have more consistent temperature, heart and breathing rates, and more stable blood sugar.
- Take the late shift. Or the early shift! Get involved with the care of your baby. Even if your partner is breastfeeding, you can get up with the baby in the night and give your little one a bottle. You can also change diapers, give baths, and wear your baby in a sling or carrier while you go about your morning routine. Your partner will get some sleep and you’ll get some good quality time with your infant.
- Have a conversation. It may seem strange to talk to this little person who doesn’t talk back. Hearing language is what helps babies learn to speak, though, so keeping up a steady stream of words benefits your little one. Narrate your day, read stories, and describe the world around you to help build your child’s vocabulary and strengthen the bond between you.
- Get comfortable with silly. There’s nothing more delicious than baby giggles, and dads are often the best at eliciting them! Sing a silly song, make a funny face, or play a game of peekaboo. Anything that’s animated and lively will hold your baby’s attention.
- Keep moving. Babies are used to the constant movement of being in the womb, so they like to be rocked, swayed, jiggled, bounced, and danced around the room.
- Learn how to comfort. Don’t just interact with your baby during happy times. Learning what helps sooth your little one is a big part of parenting and will help you to bond.
- Find your groove. Your partner probably has her own way of doing things, and that’s great, but you’ll develop your own parenting style, too. Be confident in your abilities as a dad and learn how to take charge.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families! We pride ourselves on providing optimal surgical results and 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, call 941-894-6428 or contact us through our website.
A baby’s skin and hair are extra-sensitive, so it’s important to care for them properly. Follow these tips to avoid irritation, rashes, and allergies.
Choose Gentle Products
Scan baby skincare product labels and find those with as few ingredients as possible. Keep in mind that many of the best products may not be marketed toward babies. Here are some recommendations:
- Tearless shampoo
- Soap-free cleansers
- Petroleum jelly or zinc oxide cream in place of commercial diaper cream
- Alcohol-free wipes, or water and a washcloth
- Creams or ointments instead of baby lotion
- Fragrance-free liquid laundry detergent
Bathe Only When Necessary
To avoid irritating and drying out your baby’s skin, bathe no more than three times per week. Of course, “spot clean” as needed to remove soil and messes. In the first few weeks, sponge-bathe your newborn, focusing on creases and folds where moisture and bacteria can hide. Use cleansers in the private areas and underarms every time you bathe your child, and cleanse the whole body once a week.
If your baby has hair, apply shampoo at each bath. If you notice crusty scales known as cradle cap, shampoo daily with a pediatrician-recommended shampoo.
Change Diapers Often
Diaper rash is often the result of leaving a dirty diaper on too long, so keep an eye out, especially after feedings. Only use wipes when your baby goes number two. Then, to prevent chafing, apply diaper cream at every change. If your baby is prone to rashes, stick with disposable diapers because they keep the skin drier than cloth alternatives.
Dress with Care
Avoid wool baby clothes, which can be irritating. Soft cotton or linen is the way to go. Also, launder any new clothing before dressing your baby in it.
Shield Your Baby from the Sun
UV rays are particularly damaging to infant skin because it has less pigment to protect it from the sun. If your baby gets sunburned, this could raise the risk of skin cancer later in life. For the first six months, avoid spending long hours outside between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm when the sun is at its brightest. When you do head outside, follow these tips:
- Block the sun with a stroller shade or umbrella.
- Dress your baby in long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Put your baby in a wide-brimmed hat that covers the face and neck.
- Apply broad-spectrum, SPF-30-or-higher sunscreen. Look for a product with zinc oxide, which starts working right away. Then, remember to reapply every two hours or anytime your baby gets wet.
Are you and your partner ready to become parents? If you’ve had a vasectomy in the past, we recommend starting your journey by meeting with Dr. Joshua Green for a vasectomy reversal consultation. Our staff will provide concierge-level care and friendly interactions every step of the way. For more information, please contact the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota, FL at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.
Halloween is so much fun when you have small kids! While it’s great to get to take kids trick or treating and watch them enjoy the holiday, there’s also something to be said for picking out a costume for a child too little to care. You get the thrill of seeing your cute baby in a costume, and no one stands in the way of your vision with different ideas for how they’d like to dress. It’s an all-around win! Do you need inspiration? Check out these cute, fun, and easy Halloween costumes for your infant.
- Max from “Where the Wild Things Are”: In the book, Max wears a wolf suit, but if you don’t have a wolf suit, attaching a tail to some pajamas will suffice! Top it off with a paper crown, and you’re good to go. Bonus points if your little one totes a stuffed monster.
- Baby Chicken: A onesie, some leggings, a cap, and felt sheets are all that’s required to turn your baby into a charming fowl. Just cut feathers out of felt, affix them to the onesie with hot glue, cut out a “comb” to glue to the cap, and voila! Instant baby chicken.
- Bookworm: All you’ll need for a fun Halloween photo op is a stretchy green hat, a green swaddle blanket or sleep sack, pipe cleaners, pom poms, and a headband, glasses, and some books. Make the pipe cleaners into antennae, twisting two pieces together and gluing pom poms to the ends. Taking care to get rid of any sharp points, twist them around the headband. Wrap baby in the swaddler or sleep sack, put the hat on under the headband to protect a sensitive head, and put the baby near the books. Whether the glasses rest on the books or go on the baby is your call, but realistically, they may only last on baby’s face for one quick photo.
- Carrot Baby: A snuggly orange wrap and a matching orange cap are all you need to turn your newborn into the cutest carrot in the garden! Just attach some green felt to the cap to make the carrot top.
- Baby Bob Ross: A big curly wig, blue shirt and pants, and a nearby artist’s palette with brushes is all it will take to transform your baby into this beloved painter and have your friends giggling about happy trees every time they see the photo.
The Center for Vasectomy Reversal loves to celebrate holidays and milestones with healthy, happy families. 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 for a free consultation.
Whether you’re expecting your first baby or adding to your growing family, preparing for the new arrival is exciting. It can also be a little bit overwhelming, as you try to think about everything you might need and everything you need to do. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered, with this list of helpful tips.
- Deep clean before the baby comes. Now is the time to do this, before you’re busy with a newborn. Either deep clean on your own or hire someone else to do it. Consider steam cleaning your floors, to remove dirt and germs without chemicals. Don’t hesitate to hire help with cleaning after the baby arrives.
- Know your limits. Some tasks are not good for a pregnant woman to do. Avoid moving furniture or doing other extremely strenuous tasks, and delegate the cleaning of the cat box to someone else.
- Set yourself up for success post-baby. Create space beside your front door and insist that people remove their shoes when they enter your home. Get a separate hamper for the nursery. Stash cleaning wipes near hotspots like doorknobs and faucet handles, so it’s easy to keep them germ free. Establish cleaning routines that can be easily and quickly implemented by anyone helping you.
- Do a thorough safety check. Your baby will become mobile more quickly than you can possibly imagine. Now, before the baby arrives, remove possible hazards and secure dangerous items. Store medicine out of reach and out of sight, and securely lock your cabinets. Magnetic locks work well on nearly every type of cabinet, allowing you to keep little ones safe without pinching your fingers. IF you have firearms in your house, remove and lock ammunition and lock it away in a place separate from the gun. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or check to make sure yours are working properly.
- Clear some room in your fridge. You’ll need to make room to store bottles of formula or breastmilk. Also, people will probably bring casseroles and meals to help you out after your new little one arrives, and you should make sure there’s space for that. It’s also not a bad idea to throw out anything on the verge of going bad and give your refrigerator a good cleaning before you have the baby.
- Get ready for visitors. Will someone be coming to stay and help after the baby arrives? Take some time now to make sure you’ve got everything an overnight guest will need. Change the sheets in your guest room and buy extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. 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 for a free consultation.
When babies are born, it’s easy enough to feed them. Breast or bottle, on-demand or on a schedule, and that’s pretty much the extent of the decision-making process. Once babies can sit up and hold their heads up on their own, you can start introducing pureed foods one at a time. As they grow, though, it gets a little more complicated. How do you know when it’s time to wean your little one from pureed baby food and start solids? We’ve got some useful advice.
Six months is typically the age at which babies start pureed foods. Be sure to offer a variety of foods, one at a time, because there’s evidence that this can help reduce the risk of allergies. As your child eats more foods, he or she will take less milk or formula. From pureed foods, you’ll move to mashed foods, then chopped, then small bites and finger foods.
Moving away from jarred foods is important because, although pureed foods and solids may be nutritionally equal, whole foods are better for a child’s development. Children need to learn to adapt to new things, and as they grow and learn to self-feed, they’ll be better able to develop the natural sense of appetite that will be important throughout their lives. By about the age of two, most healthy, typically developing children can eat the same foods as the rest of the family.
Of course, care must be taken to keep your toddler from choking. Keeping the food soft and not circular is part of preventing choking hazards. Find ways to make your toddler’s food finger-friendly, cutting it into small bites the child can pick up and chew. Pizza can be cut into small squares, soft fruit, soft cooked vegetables, or fully cooked eggs can be placed on the child’s tray to offer practice for finger feeding, and bread can be sliced into strips.
Use good practices to help your child develop good eating habits. Make sure you’re eating the same healthy fruits and vegetables you’re stressing for your child. Don’t cater to picky eaters by making different meals for different family members, but don’t be too strict about finishing meals, either. The important thing is to frequently expose your child to a variety of healthy foods. Allow children to serve themselves as much as is reasonable, and don’t insist on large portions. Set clear expectations, gently guide your children into eating healthy foods, and help them learn to trust their own appetites.
There are few things more rewarding than building a family and watching your little ones grow. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. 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 for a free consultation.
If your little miracle is the result of a vasectomy reversal, then there’s a good chance you’ve been planning and preparing for your newborn for quite a few months. By now, you should already have plenty of supplies on hand, from diapers and rash cream to baby monitors and thermometers. If you do find yourself short on a few items, consider asking family or friends to make a run to the supermarket for you. You’ll want to spend your time getting to know your new baby.
When you watch this video, you’ll hear about how important it is for fathers to share in the baby care responsibilities. You should also have reasonable expectations for bringing your new baby home. For example, you shouldn’t expect to sleep through the night for a while. Instead, focus on bonding with your baby.
Here at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we’re proud of all of the little miracles we’ve helped to make possible. If you’ve been struggling with vasectomy-induced male infertility, call Dr. Joshua Green at (941) 894-6428 and request an appointment at our vasectomy reversal clinic in Sarasota.
After a successful vasectomy reversal and pregnancy, it’s time to start planning for a baby. One of the biggest purchases you will make during this time is a new crib. Here is how to choose the best one.
Start by making sure that the crib is clearly marked JPMA-approved. This means it has gone through safety testing and was found to be safe. Ideally, skip ornate designs that could actually pose safety risks in favor of simple cribs.
With help from the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, your past vasectomy doesn’t have to stand in your way of starting a family. Learn more about vasectomy reversal and make an appointment with Dr. Green in Sarasota by calling (941) 894-6428.
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