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Can I Give My Baby Chapstick?

Can I Give My Baby Chapstick?

No one likes having dry, chapped lips. Not only are they unsightly but also uncomfortable and annoying. But, for most adults, especially ladies, it’s really not a big problem –we simply reach into the purse, get some lip balm or Vaseline, and we are sorted! 

But, what are we to do when our little one has chapped lips? Should you worry? Can we use lip balm? Is it safe, or is there a better alternative? No doubt, these are some of the questions that every new mom or parent has to think about. After all, babies are super sensitive, and you have to be careful about every single thing they use.

This is the question we will be answering and also what you can do to prevent chapped lips from happening in the future. Interested? Read on.

What causes chapped lips?

Dry, splitting and sore lips are a common problem that affects kids from time to time.

One of the most common causes of dry lips is dehydration. If your baby has not been feeding well or they are exposed to the sun for long, they can become dehydrated, resulting in chapped lips. It can also happen if the child is breathing through the mouth, especially when they have a cold so that air is constantly passing over the lips and drying them out. 

The second reason is dry weather. During winter or under hot summer weather, lack of moisture in the air and the wind causes lips to dry out and start to crack.

Lastly, babies are always drooling and liking their lips-like when they are teething. Even toddlers and adults can get into a habit of licking their lips, causing them to dry out and become chapped.

If your baby has chapped lips, you don’t need to worry as it is a common problem. You need to treat them as fast as possible since chapped lips can become cracked and painful and will be uncomfortable when feeding or sleeping. The cracked skin can also become infected.

What if your baby has chronic chapped lips?

Chapped lips that don’t improve with home remedies or that last for prolonged durations might point to an underlying health issue.

It can result from deficiencies or overconsumption of certain vitamins. The best thing is to seek medical help to have the doctor assess your child.

What can you use to treat chapped lips?

It’s not recommended to use chapstick on babies under the age of two years. This is because adult lip balms usually have many additives that are not safe for babies.

The other reason is that lip balms are flavored and may encourage kids to keep licking their lips leading to even more dryness and ingesting more of the product.

One of the most common advice breastfeeding moms are given is to try leaving some milk on the surface of the baby’s lips after feeding (not rubbing it in). The milk is hydrating and has antibacterial properties that prevent infection and heal the cracked skin.

The second effective and safe method is using lanolin cream. This is the cream every breastfeeding mom uses to treat sore cracked nipples, so it’s safe for your tot.

You could also use other remedies like coconut oil or an organic lip balm- but you still have to check with your child’s pediatrician first.

Again, if you don’t see an improvement or your baby’s lips seem to get worse, seek medical attention.

How can I prevent chapped lips?

As the famous saying goes, prevention is better than cure. We have already seen how chapped lips happen, so here are some things you can try to prevent or lessen the severity.

Ensure your child is well hydrated-babies need a feed every 2 to 3 hours, whether breastfeeding or formula feeding. For bigger toddlers, ensure they are drinking enough water or fresh juices to prevent dehydration.

Limit exposure to hot sun, cold or winds-one way you can keep your baby’s lips from being dried by the weather is by keeping their face covered when going outside. A scarf or a light blanket will do. You could also keep them facing away from the wind.

Regulate your home temperature– you can use a humidifier to keep the air from being too dry. This also helps your child breathe better if they are having a cold and have a congested nose.

While chapstick is not good for the baby, using the strategies we have shared above, problems with your baby’s chapped lips will be a thing of the past.

Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact With Your Baby

Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact With Your Baby

What is skin to skin contact?

Most studies define skin-to-skin contact as the practice where after the baby has been delivered it is dried and placed on the mother`s bare chest for about an hour or more.

It can also take place later and it is advisable to keep practicing skin to skin contact even way after birth. Other studies have called it Kangaroo care as it is compared to how a kangaroo keeps its young ones in its pouch thus practicing skin-to-skin contact. UNICEF has embraced the practice and has called it The Baby-Friendly Initiative. The practice has also been incorporated in the Mexican Public Health Care System

Why is skin to skin contact important?

The practice has proved to be very essential to a baby’s growth both in neonatal and other stages. Some of the key reasons why it is important are;

  • It allows both the mother and child to rest after the long process of parturition 
  • It  creates homeostatic balance in the baby’s body through things like thermoregulation and regulation of heart rate and breathing
  • It promotes breastfeeding and stimulates digestion
  • It also offers a chance for the mother`s good bacteria to interact with the baby’s skin which is important in preparing it for life outside the womb
  • Maternal hormones are stimulated and released which leads to other activities like breastfeeding
  • It helps an infant to develop physiological stability
  • It also promotes metabolic balance and optimal neurological development

What happens during skin to skin contact?

 At first, both the mother and child enter a state of relaxation which in turn reduces postpartum stress for both of them. At the same time, the baby undergoes homeostatic development which helps it to adapt to the extra-uterine environment. The mother releases hormones that engage the child and might end up crying.

The cry as most studies show is characterized as brief and distinctive. The baby then relaxes with few movements. After a while, the baby wakes up and is seen to respond to the mother’s voice which is why communication is encouraged. The movements increase where the baby moves the hips, shoulders, and even the head.

The baby then finds the breasts and rests on the breasts. It is a common misconception that when the baby does this it is not hungry which is not true. The baby then attaches itself to the breast and starts feeding. At this point, they might need help in positioning them for feeding. Once feeding is complete the mother and the baby fall asleep.

Skin to skin contact in the Baby-Friendly standards

The Baby Friendly standards insist on making sure skin to skin contact is an essential concept in hospitals. They do this by setting guidelines for maternity and neonatal units.

Maternity units are supposed to ensure;

  • All mothers have SSC after birth for at least an hour
  • Mothers offer first feed once the baby shows readiness to feed
  • Mothers and babies who are unable to carry out SSC after birth to do so as soon as they can

Neonatal units have been charged with;

  • Advising parents on the need and impact of touch, comfort and communication on a baby’s health and development
  • Encouraging parents to provide comfort and emotional support to their babies
  • Ensuring that mothers receive proper care that leads to them  transitioning to breastfeeding

Benefits of skin to skin contact 

  • Development of heart and lung function

Once a baby has been safely delivered the heart and lung function are crucial to the development of the baby. Being in close contact with the mother is the closest thing to being back in the womb.

This, therefore, enables them to adapt accordingly to the environment which boosts their heart and lung functionality. Studies have shown that babies who do not get the skin to skin contact have a hard time breathing and most of the time have an elevated heart rate.

  • Thermoregulation 

Keeping the baby in close contact with the mother ensures their warmth. In fact many doctors have argued that skin to skin contact is better than placing the baby in an incubator. It also helps them to adapt to the temperature making them more independent. This in turn ensures that they are healthy and maintain a constant body temperature

  • Blood sugar regulation

Babies need blood sugar for energy so that their bodies can carry out various developments. It is due to this that they need skin to skin contact so they can initiate breastfeeding so they can get the energy they need from milk. Babies born from mothers with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of having hypoglycemia and should therefore practice skin to skin contact to stabilize their blood sugar level

  • Instigation of breastfeeding

Skin to skin contact plays a major role in initiating breastfeeding. During skin to skin contact hormones are released which engage the child and mother to develop certain instincts which lead to breastfeeding. It is also through skin to skin contact that the mother generates hormones which lead to the production of more milk.

  • Colonization of bacteria

Contact between the mother and child enables transfer of good bacteria which is key in protecting the baby from pathogens. The bacteria also help the baby to develop certain immunities which cannot be obtained in any other way. Some bacteria can break down milk proteins which the child is not able to digest thus ensuring that the baby obtains all the nutrients from breast milk.

  • Reduced crying among infants

Crying is an instinctive action conducted by all mammals once separated from offspring, they cry as a way to try and reconnect with parents. It therefore makes perfect sense that babies who are in skin to skin contact with their parents cry less as they are comfortable and satisfied to be with their parents. They will therefore cry less as they feel protected unlike babies who are separated from their mothers

  • Relief from pain and good state of mind

Various studies conducted all over show that babies tend to feel less pain when in skin to skin contact. This is because they are comfortable and hence are more relaxed which reduces the pain level. Skin to skin contact also helps to reduce fetal stress. This ensures they are in a good state of mind which in turn leads to better sleep due to a feeling of comfort and security

  • Communication 

Mothers are encouraged to enhance communication with their babies as it is during skin to skin contact that it is most effective. Various observations have been made where babies have been seen to respond to their mother’s voice during skin to skin contact clearly showing the importance of communication during skin to skin contact.

  • Easier transition

Research has also shown that babies that undergo skin to skin contact have an easier transition from the womb as compared to those who don’t. They have added advantages like being more physiologically stable and better at breastfeeding. They also cry less and have a lower pain response all due to skin to skin contact. Skin to skin contact makes them feel like the time inside the womb and thus have an easier time adapting to the new environment as it seems familiar.

  • Bonding 

Skin to skin contact greatly strengthens the bond between a mother and child as being in close contact with each other makes them develop certain instincts. This is clearly illustrated when a child is seen to respond to the mother`s voice during skin to skin contact. Touch familiarizes them with each other and even helps them develop certain instincts which help them understand each other better. The hormones released at this time also strengthen their bond as they are the reason they begin to develop certain instincts towards each other.

  • Mental development

Studies have shown that through skin to skin contact babies develop optimal neurological development by engaging each other. This is quite clear as some babies are seen to respond to their mother’s voice during skin to skin contact which is a sign of mental development. Activities like determining the right time to rest and the right time to breastfeed are all due to mental development. Various doctors argue that the effect is clear even in later stages of life thus making skin to skin contact very important.

  • Healthy weight 

When babies are with their mothers during skin to skin contact they receive warmth from their mothers` body and thus don’t lose energy in generating heat thus ensuring they maintain their weight. Skin to skin contact also reduces fetal stress which if not controlled could lead to loss of weight and thus maintain a standard weight. Studies have shown that babies gain more weight when sleeping and since skin to skin contact ensures they have better sleep they therefore gain the required weight thus maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Increased milk supply

During skin to skin contact a mother releases more hormones which in turn lead to production of more milk which is essential to a child. Fetal movements around the breast also lead to development of certain maternal instincts which also lead to production of more milk.

  • Prevention of postpartum depression

Skin to skin contact ensures that both the mother and child get adequate rest which is a great way to curb postpartum stress. The comfort and security generated by skin to skin contact also help to keep the baby relaxed and thus avoiding complications that may arise due to postpartum depression. The practice also gives time for the mother and child to bond which is also another way to reduce postpartum depression

Working From Home With Babies And Kids – 15 Mommy Bloggers Share Their Invaluable Tips

Working From Home With Babies And Kids – 15 Mommy Bloggers Share Their Invaluable Tips

Working from home with babies and kids during a pandemic is tough but parents are known for making the impossible possible. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in many countries, kindergartens are closed or are not safe for children to be there. Although there have been reports that kids are asymptomatic, infected kids are active carriers and pose virus transmission risk to their families – including parents and grandparents.

In these unprecedented times, many parents are coming to terms with working from home as companies opt for low-contact work environments to contain the pandemic. 

As I sought to understand how many parents will need to juggle between work and taking care of their kids, I came across a Brookings Institute study that revealed that there are 23 million working Americans that do not have a caregiver in their family (2018 data). These parents without family caregivers must find a balance to concentrate on their work while trying to take care of their children. 

If you have older kids, it may be easier compared to the situations faced by parents with infants and toddlers that require undivided attention while still having to deliver in their jobs from home.

We want to help parents manage their responsibilities and because this is such an important topic, I asked Minuca Elena to reach out to 15 mommy and daddy bloggers and asked them the following question:

What tips do you have for parents that are working from home with babies and kids under 7 years old?

Keep reading to see what they had to say.

Sandi Schwartz – Happy Science Mom

My biggest advice for parents who are working from home while having to take care of kids under 7 years old, especially children who are doing online learning, is to take nature breaks together.

Study after study shows how connecting with nature is beneficial to our health and well-being. It calms us down when we are feeling stressed and boosts our mood when we are feeling down.

We are all dealing with a great amount of stress these days, and it is imperative that we get nature breaks on a daily basis. It is even better if we can do this with our children. This doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment. Grab your lunch and head outside. Bring school projects out back while you are finishing up your work or encourage your kids to read under a tree.

There are so many fun options for an outside time after the workday, such as starting a family garden, riding bikes, going for a family walk, practicing yoga outside, and doing an art project in your backyard. Building a nature habit can help your family get through these tough times.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus – Impact Parents

I’ve noticed in the pandemic — first in the early months, and now again that school is re-starting — that parents of younger children, roughly ages 5-8, are really struggling. Some parents are seeing a lot of regression. Some parents are dealing with their kids’ physical need for more movement. Some are managing emotional intensity or social isolation, others are desperate for more structure. All of them are trying to figure out how to get anything else done besides school!

Young kids are struggling for a lot of reasons. First, they are still concrete thinkers and see things in ‘black and white, so they’re not very good at ‘future’ thinking. A week or a month is a significantly larger percentage of their lives, and so it feels like this pandemic has been and will continue to go on forever.

Younger kids often see school as a place to learn and home as a place to play, and so now that home and school are blended, it can be disorienting and confusing. Besides that, let’s be honest: the world is in turmoil. We’re all trying to cope with daily changes in logistics and still keep a handle on our emotions. This is a lot to ask of younger children — a kind of ‘invisible burden’ we’re asking them to carry.

Suggestions on how to improve resilience in young children:

Don’t Pretend that Nothing’s ‘Wrong.’ Kids feel it when things are out of sorts — like emotional sponges.. There’s a huge opportunity to help children see that they can handle uncertainty, and that starts with handling it ourselves. Let your kids see you navigate changes with confidence.Show them that you will figure things out even when you don’t know what’s going to happen. Focus on building their trust in you, and show them what it looks like to be resilient.

Meet Them Where They Are & Acknowledge Them. If your kids have regressed (as many did this year), focus on where they are now, not where you think they ‘should’ be based on their age. They’ve dealt with a lot this year.

Skills they may have once mastered (like sleeping well, getting dressed, or playing independently), may be difficult to stay on top of when they are emotionally also trying to focus on handling life without daily play-dates or weekend outings. Help them see what they are handling well. Look for the smallest victories to celebrate!

Practice Radical Compassion – For Them and For You. Let’s be honest — it can be difficult to be present for yourkids right now. Try to recognize feelings (yours and theirs) and lean into compassion. Your child may be feeling insecure; you may be worried about your own loss of routines or productivity.

Allow everyone to feel whatever they’re feeling. Don’t ‘correct’ the emotions. When kids (or you) feel seen or heard, it allows them (or you) to find strength and courage. Picking yourself up and persevering starts with self-compassion.

Practice Failing Forward. Mistakes happen. Life doesn’t always go as planned (the key lesson of this year!). So make it okay to make mistakes, and teach your kids to learn from them. That will teach your kids to become flexible problem-solvers — potentially the greatest skill they can bring into adulthood.

Hayley Gallagher – The Centered Parent

Here are a few tips for parents working from home with little ones:

1. Rely on Routines: Get serious about your schedule for the day and rely on your routines as if your life depended on it! Create visual schedules (chalkboard, poster board, dry erase board, etc) that your children can see. If they aren’t able to read yet, incorporate imagery and graphics to help them understand. Involve them in the creation of the visual routine boards so they will be more likely to follow them. This will help you manage the day when you only have a few minutes here and there to supervise them.

2. Schedule Designated Learning Time: Make educational YouTube channels and software your best friend. There are lots of parent-approved, kid-friendly YouTube channels that offer educational content you can feel good about your kids consuming. A few of my favorites are The Brain Scoop, Crash Course Kids, and SciShow Kids.

3. Build in Chill Out or Quiet Time: Even if your kids don’t nap anymore, it’s okay to reintroduce something similar. Building in a block of time that is devoted solely to chilling out can be super helpful for getting work done. Help your kids design their own Chill Out Space somewhere in the house and stock it with their favorite quiet activities. Things like books, journals, art supplies, pillows, blankets, music, etc. all make excellent additions to the space.

4. Call in Reinforcements for the Big Stuff: If you are lucky enough to have family and friends nearby, don’t hesitate to lean on them for support. Got an important meeting? Ask your friend to come over and sit with your kids while they do online learning. Worried about getting that big project finished on time? Ask a relative to take the kids to the park for a couple of hours.

For most parents, it’s not realistic to have daily child care support, however, if you can prioritize the major work events that may require extra hands on deck, don’t feel bad about reaching out. Your loved ones are probably more than happy to help.

Kealy Hawk – Little Bear Care

I would say my biggest tip is to foster self-play! I’ve baby-proofed my living room and made sure it has books and toys for my kids to play with. Great toys include duplos (big legos), an etch-a-sketch, and colorful wooden blocks. Those are the ones my kids like best and they help foster imaginative play.

Self-play helps kids foster creativity, imagination, and decision-making skills. It helps to play with them for a few minutes at the beginning of the day and show them how to build different things. As you play with your child, let them choose what toy to play with.

As they start taking the lead, let them continue playing while getting away to get your work done. I’ve found that self-play has allowed me to work while keeping my kids happy and entertained throughout the day.

Brenna Leslie

Brenna Leslie

We are all aware of what unprecedented times these are, but for parents of young children, the world does not stop turning. Food does not put itself on the table and toddler tantrums do not diffuse themselves. Parents, who are experts under normal circumstances at spinning several plates at once, are up against the challenges of a lifetime as they trudge through each day of this pandemic.

Communication and planning ahead are imperative to ensure both parents are on the same page about which meetings can coordinate with nap times, which meals can be prepared ahead of time, and so on. Young children experience and explore their world through play. This means that it is crucial that they get time for imaginative play, learning activities, and physical exertion each day.

For parents who have previously trusted daycare or preschool providers to handle these important elements, it is now up to them to weave them throughout the day. 

The number one tip I have for parents juggling the stressors of working from home and caring for young children during this pandemic is patience. Patience with yourself as a parent, your partner or spouse, and especially with your children who are going through a difficult time as well, is crucial.

Tonya Mickelson – The Writer Mom

I have a 4 year old, an almost 2 year old, and I also babysit a baby while his parents are at work.

I have been working from home off and on (previously for an employer, and now for myself) since my first baby was a couple months old, and it’s certainly had its ups and downs!

My advice for other parents? Prepare LOTS of activities to keep them busy! I have put together little boxes with various activities, such as paint sticks, play doh, kinetic sand, puzzles, and so on.

Make time to take care of yourself. Take a break and get outside with the kids every day, even if it’s just a quick trip to the mailbox. Keep water at your workstation so you don’t forget to hydrate.

Be honest with people when you’re on the phone. Let them know you have kids and you’re working from home. Most people are pretty understanding! And if it’s a bad time, just ask if you can call back shortly.

Honestly, I learned pretty quickly how to type one-handed while holding or nursing a hungry baby! While it’s hard to work from home with a baby, it gets much easier as they get into toddlerhood.

Gert Mikkal – Dad Progress

When our daycare was closed, I stayed home for two months and took care of our two-year-old. I’ll share a simple trick that helped me also to get some work done.

As there are so many distractions, working from home isn’t easy, even at the best of times. Things are even worse when you’ve got the little bundle of joy running around and craving for your attention. So it would be best if you came up with a game plan. Make a list of at least four easy indoor activities every evening. This helps to save a lot of time as you don’t have to figure out the game plan on the spot. Make the necessary preparations beforehand, and the next day will go much more smoothly.

I rotated my boys’ favorite activities every couple of days. I made a sensory pin with rice and took it out every now and then. He also happens like puzzles, drawing with water, and treasure boxes. As a result, I was able to squeeze out two to three hours of deep work every day. And by doing this, I didn’t have to feel guilty for letting my kid watch TV for the whole day.

Barbara Nevers – Neo Little

This pandemic has forced people to work from home. As a mother of two, I already know the hustle of having to take care of kids while doing other chores at home. It’s now even more challenging adding office work into the equation. Here are 3 tips for making work from home with kids less stressful:

Get up early. Set up an alarm, probably an hour or two before the kids wake up so you can prepare and plan your day ahead. It would also be better to check emails and do the work that needs your concentration while there are no distractions.

Stimulate independent play. If you have toddlers, prepare simple and safe activities for your kids to keep them busy for a couple of hours. As soon as they tire themselves, they’d be taking a nap then there would be more time for you to concentrate on your work.

Swap sitting with another parent. If it’s really impossible to get things done with kids at home and it’s also not an option to hire a babysitter, you can try a babysitting swap. This means a parent will take both kids for a few hours so the other parent can work and vice versa. So while you can enjoy your quiet workplace your kids also get to enjoy playdates.

Sarah Miller – Homeschooling 4 Him

My kids have special toys and activities that are reserved for playing with only while I am working. I brainstormed a list of activities that they could do independently and that they enjoy, and we get out a couple of these each day during my work time. My kids really enjoy these toys because they don’t see them very often, and this gives them something to look forward to while I am working.

I’ve also found that it really helps to stick to a routine during the day. My 5 year old has a quiet reading and rest time every day after lunch during my 2 year old’s nap. This allows me to concentrate on my work with no distractions during this time. It also gives me a time to schedule a meeting or phone call that will likely be distraction-free.

I have found that it can be hard to fit work in around caring for my kids, and that often means that I am trying to squeeze in a few minutes of work whenever I have free time. I am learning to put up boundaries around my family time. Evenings after dinner and before my kids go to bed are reserved for family time only. My kids are more understanding that I need to concentrate on work when they know that they will get their time with me, too.

Allie Schmidt – Disability Dame

My tips for working from home while taking care of a kid under 7-years-old are:

Establish Clear Boundaries: It can be hard for children to understand the difference between when a parent is available for them versus when work has to take a priority. It’s important to establish clear boundaries with your children by zoning off sections of time and space for work.

For example, maybe your child isn’t allowed to come into your office (unless there’s an emergency) between the hours of 1:00 – 3:00. By setting aside chunks of time in specific locations, your child can more easily understand the difference between work life and home life.

Create Rituals: Create daily rituals to help your child know when work has started and finished. For example, maybe you eat breakfast each morning with your children. When the dishes are cleared, mom “goes to work” next. On the flipside, create an after work ritual such as going for a walk with your children. Overtime, these rituals will signal to your child when you can and can’t give them your full attention.

Make DIY Solutions: If you’re busy and can’t immediately tend to your child, set up DIY solutions for them. For example, go ahead and make sandwiches or pre-portioned meals that they can find when they’re hungry. If they’re bored, create a basket of activities that can entertain them until you’re finished working. Anticipating their needs and creating ways to easily solve their problems will not only help you but will foster their own sense of independence, as well.

Crystal Garman – Simply Full Of Delight

Make realistic goals for yourself the night before. You aren’t going to be able to accomplish the same amount as you would at the office. Prioritize and make a written to-do list to keep yourself focused when you are constantly being interrupted.

On a similar note, when you get the children engaged in an activity (or down for a nap) take advantage of that time frame to do the work on your list that takes a lot of concentration, like writing or creating. Don’t waste your quiet time checking email or promoting on social media. These easy tasks can be done at any point.

With specific goals in mind and a specific time frame to work on them, you are more likely to actually accomplish something and be satisfied with your workday.

Jessica Speer

With parents balancing work and their kids’ home learning needs, it’s not surprising that many families are struggling to find their groove. Distance learning requires focused attention and effort, which can be challenging for kids even under normal circumstances. At first glance, this list can look overwhelming to caregivers and kids. To start, implement one or two of these ideas at a time.

Create Structure and a Study Space at Home: Neuropsychology research tells us that kids have better retention if learning takes place at the same time and location as much as possible. Work with your kids to set up a consistent workspace and daily schedule. What time will at home learning start and end? Make sure water and supplies are on hand to minimize distractions. Schedule movement breaks to best meet your child’s needs.

Catch them Doing Right: To encourage growth, acknowledge small successes, such as “I appreciate how you were at your desk this morning at 9am.” “Do you know you just worked for 15 minutes straight? Great work!” Recognize the effort that it takes to get to the desired outcome.

Movement Breaks: Notice what blend of focused work and movement breaks work for your child. Studies show that 15 minutes of intense movement a day, such as jumping on a trampoline or jogging around the block helps with focus and attention.

Break Work Into Manageable Chunks: A full day of on-line learning or a big project can feel overwhelming. Help kids break tasks into manageable chunks.

Build the Foundation to Learning: A healthy diet, sleep, exercise, and routine is foundational to learning. Establish consistent bedtimes, eat breakfast, and get outside for exercise every day.

Balint Horvath – Project Father

Being forced to stay at home is a time of bonding when you can have uninterrupted family time. During such moments (typically after working hours) anything and everything can be turned into fun at home. You could try cooking with your children, teaching them how to prepare their favorite meals.

You could practice drawing, coloring, and other artistic activities. Even cleaning out wardrobes with your children can become a fun activity. We share such fun “duties” between my fiancée and me since both of us are at home. When one is occupied with the kids, the other can get done with some work.

And when you do need to work concentratedly, another productivity tip I have is related to getting rid of distractions. Listening to music can have some major effects: it gives you less distraction and it elevates your mood. When you listen to music, everyone around you will be less likely to bug you.

Marissa LaBuz – Just Simply Mom

Having a schedule is absolutely necessary. Designate specific times for work, teaching, play, lunch, etc. This will increase your productivity throughout the day.

Keep routines the same. Changes in routine are going to be especially stressful for both you and your children. It’s best to keep them as close to the previous (pre-pandemic) schedule as possible. Kids thrive on structure and will appreciate a good routine.

Take turns with your spouse. If you have this luxury, use it to your advantage. This way one of you always gets time to really focus.

Designate the best work and play space. Decide where everyone can do their work most effectively and without distractions. Decide where the kids are most comfortable, but also include a novel space that will be fun and exciting to keep them entertained.

Capitalize on nap time. If you’re lucky enough to have kids who still nap, that’s a huge chunk of time that you should focus 100% on the work you need to get done.

Be more strict with your work time. You’d be surprised at how much more productive you can be if you set up specific parameters for yourself, like setting short term goals, no using your cell phone, and adjusting the lighting in your room.

Separate mom and business roles. You will need to give your full concentration to one area for a set amount of time. If you don’t do this, you will never feel accomplished or productive.

Amelia Zamora – Mama Bear

My tip would be to have your child “work” with you. My oldest is almost 5 and my youngest is 2.5 so in order to get any work done, I will have them set up a little work area right next to me (or at least in the same room). I give them paper, pens, an old tablet or laptop and have them “work” like mommy does. I will also give them tasks to do to help them feel like they are a part of it all. I will say “I need a drawing of __” and ask them to draw it for me.

If that doesn’t work or wears off, I will set them up with playdoh, kinetic sand, or some sort of hands-on activity on the kitchen floor next to me while I’m working so they are occupied but I can still watch/hear them.


Aside from the expert advice above, here are 5 tips to stay productive when working from home:

  • Child’s Sleep: Take advantage of your baby’s sleep period to tackle pressing stuff.
  • Share parenting chores: If you work from home with your partner, you can easily take turns attending to your baby and this will increase your productivity without reducing your baby’s care.
  • Planning: Depending on your week’s schedule, make sure you plan accordingly so you allocate time to the most pressing stuff
  • Work while you breastfeed or pump: If you barely have time to attend to the most basic needs, consider using a hands-free breast pump so you can keep working.

Thank you so much to all the parenting bloggers that contributed to this expert roundup! Please share this post with your friends and followers on social media. So many parents right now are overwhelmed by responsibilities and they will benefit from reading tips and advice from other mothers that are working from home with babies and kids

History of Baby Showers

History of Baby Showers

This post is part of our educational series on the history of common baby gear and baby events including baby showers which have been around since Ancient Egypt.

Baby Shower occasions have been celebrated since the ancient Egyptian and Roman times, where guests gave newborns and new parents with handmade gifts.

While the activities involved in baby showers have evolved with time, the primary reason for the celebrations remains true; to celebrate the new mom for carrying a pregnancy successfully and welcoming the new baby in society.

This five-minute article explains the definition of baby showers, what happens at baby showers (traditional baby showers and modern baby showers, the Biblical factor of baby showers, a detailed history of baby showers, and the importance of baby showers.

Get all the interesting facts about baby showers by reading all through!!!

What is a baby shower 

A baby shower is a party held in honor of a first time expectant mother and the arrival of the newborn by friends and close relatives that are mainly female. For the second and subsequent babies, the “baby shower” is called a baby sprinkle shower.

Typically, baby showers are held four to six weeks before the baby’s due date to ensure that the pregnancy is well along and early enough to avoid untimely arrivals.

Usually, a close friend, one of the grandmothers-to-be, a sister, or a close family member throws the baby shower.

A baby shower guest list should include close family members and close friends to the mom-to-be to ensure all those present are genuinely happy for the expectant mother.

While baby shower themes are unnecessary, it adds to the fun to have one.  Besides, they inform guests on the gifts to buy. Usually, the gender of the baby or the likes of the mother-to-be dictate the theme. Popular baby shower themes include;

  • Mustache-themed baby shower
  • Nautical-themed baby shower
  • Dinosaur-themed baby shower
  • Harry Potter-themed baby shower, and 
  • Girl Power-Themed Baby Shower.

Baby showers involves various activities, which include;

  • A baby shower guest book, where attendees write their special messages to the mother-to-be, her child, and the father.
  • Games, including the baby shower diaper raffle. A baby shower diaper raffle is a raffle ticket that a guest receives to enter a draw to win a special prize after bringing a pack of  diapers.
  • Presenting gifts, where baby shower guests give the mom-to-be gifts they believe will be helpful to her when the baby comes.

It is advisable, however, for a mom-to-be to prepare a baby shower gift registry. A baby shower gift registry is a list of items that an expectant mother wishes to receive from her baby shower guests. Also, a baby shower gift registry  is an organizing tool that helps a mom-to-be track what baby items she needs to purchase after what she receives during the baby shower.

What happens at Baby Showers (has it evolved over time?)

Traditional baby showers and modern baby showers are similar in that they celebrate a successful pregnancy and the birth of a child. Traditional and modern baby showers are also similar in that guests brought gifts to the expectant mom and involved playing games to cheer up the mom to be.

 However, baby shower activities have evolved over time.

  • Traditional baby showers were celebrated for a family’s first born only. 
  • A family member or a close friend with the mom-to-be planned the baby shower
  • Only women attended the customary baby showers.
  • Baby showers took place after the birth of a child
  • Baby showers happened during lunch time

Today, baby showers have evolved the following ways;

  •  Usually, baby baby showers happen before the birth of a child, especially four to six weeks before the baby’s due date. 
  • Men can also attend the baby showers. 
  • Also, a mom-to-be can plan her baby shower
  • Baby showers are celebrated for all births, known as a “sprinkle baby showers” for second and subsequent births.
  • Baby showers happen any time of the day, including evenings where guests can enjoy mocktails.
  • It may involve a gender-reveal session.
  • It may be a themed party.

Photo Credit; Amazing Teez

The most outstanding feature of modern baby showers is that men are holding baby showers. Yes they are!  It is an emerging trend where friends of the father-to-be throw him a baby shower.  A man baby shower is called the manshower, or the dadchelor, or baby stag

Similar to the baby shower, dadchelor guests bring diapers as gifts in exchange for beers. Popular games for dad-chelors include “Huggies and Chuggies”, “Poker and Pampers”, and a “beer-in-a-bay-bottle drinking race.”

Is Baby Shower Biblical?

Baby showers are biblical as they’ve been associated with the versus from the Bible:

  • Phillipians 4: 6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 
  • Psalms 127:3 also reads. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Therefore, Christians can celebrate baby showers. Christians can plan baby showers that reflect their religion through;

  • Including bible verses on the invitation cards
  • Decorating the baby shower venue with candles tied with little scripture tags.
  • Guests can gift the mom-to-ve with a baby’s first bible
  • Play christian songs and include prayers
  • Burn incense, and much more fun christian stuff.

Pagan Origin of Baby Showers

Baby showers are not of Pagan origin. Baby Showers have an origin in Ancient Rome and Greece where a woman was welcomed back to society with a party and gifts after isolation during pregnancy. In ancient Egypt, a woman was purified after pregnancy and giving birth and the baby welcomed mto society.

Baby showers are important because:

  • Baby showers are essential because they provide the expectant family with a chance to ask family members and close friends to help in the upbringing of a child. For example, a baby shower gives expecting parents essential baby products such as diapers, baby bottles, clothes, toys, and blankets.
  • Also, baby showers are important because they present a forum for the expecting mother to receive all the baby advice they need. Interestingly, a pregnant mother values advice from other moms more than after she gives birth. Usually, it is annoying to keep hearing what you are doing right or wrong in the upbringing of your baby.
  • Baby showers are significant because they provide a good chance for guests to give the expectant mother different affirmations during birth. Birth affirmations are short phrases that a woman repeats during birth to ease the difficult period. For example, “my body was built for this” and “I can do this.”
  • Finally, baby showers present a chance to celebrate the expectant mother, and the expectant father. Often, a pregnancy takes an emotional and physical toll on the mother, which is a good enough reason to celebrate the triumphant ending of the pregnancy.

The Indian Baby shower, known as Godh Bharai, for example, is conducted to bring happiness to the mom-to-be by making her feel special and loved. The Indian baby shower entails giving the expectant mother a special outfit for the day, swinging her gently in a seat adorned with floral decoration, and expelling any evil spirit from the mum to be through a ceremony called the Ovalni.

Our related articles on history of baby gear:

Deaf Babies Guide

Deaf Babies Guide

Baby hearing milestones

Apart from passing hearing screening, there are also signs that you can watch out for that indicate your baby’s hearing is intact. Expected milestones within the first year of life include:

Birth to 3 months

  • Is startled by loud sounds
  • Makes soft sounds (vowel sounds aah, eeh)
  • When spoken to, they calm down or smile (ssh)
  • Recognizes your voice and calms down if they were crying

4 to 6 months

  • Turns the eyes towards the sound
  • Makes bubbling sounds
  • Responds to tones of voice
  • Responds to music and pay attention
  • Seems to enjoy toys that make sounds

7 to 12 months

  • Looks and turns toward the direction of the sound
  • Responds when their name is called without the voice being loud
  • Listen when spoken to
  • Responds to simple requests or commands like no, come, go, bye.
  • Looks at things you refer to e.g., a picture, toy they are familiar with.
  • Begin to imitate sounds and say names like ma-ma

Babies at a high risk of hearing loss

A baby may be at high risk of having a hearing loss if:

  • They were born prematurely
  • They stayed in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)
  • They were treated with medicines that could cause hearing loss
  • They had complications at birth
  • They had frequent ear infections
  • They had infections that could damage their hearing such as meningitis or cytomegalovirus

Why do newborns need hearing screening?

The sole purpose of hearing screening is to help to determine if a baby may be deaf or hard of hearing. If the hearing screening is not done, it will be difficult to tell when changes in the baby’s hearing are occurring within the first months and years of life.

Babies normally get startled by sudden noises and turn their heads towards the sound, for example, but this doesn’t mean they can hear all the sounds happening around them. Even babies that are deaf may hear some sounds, but not enough to understand what has been spoken.

Babies that are hard of hearing or deaf need early interventions, support, and care to promote healthy development. If hearing status is not identified, the necessary support will not be given, and this will lead to the baby’s communication skills being negatively affected.

In the long term, if hearing loss was missed, it would impact the child’s academic ability and social-emotional development.

How hearing screening is done

Data from CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that over 98% of newborns in the United States receive newborn hearing screening.

There are two screening methods that are normally used: Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) and Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE).

  1. Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR)

This screening involves measuring how the hearing nerve and brain responds to sound. Soft tones or clicks are played through earphones into the baby’s ears. Three electrodes placed on the baby’s head then measures the hearing nerve and brain’s response

  1. Otoacoustic Emission (OAE)

The screening measures sound waves produced in the inner ear. A tiny probe is placed just inside the ear canal to measure the response (echo) when clicks or tones are played into the baby’s ears.

Both screens are painless and can be done while the baby is sleeping or lying still and usually take about 5 to 10 minutes. Either screen may be used or both.

What to do next if your baby didn’t pass the hearing screening

Step 1. Follow up with an Audiologist.

If your baby fails the initial newborn test, rescreening is done, then diagnostic testing. The diagnostic testing is most accurate. Your pediatrician will refer you to an Audiologist if a hearing impairment is detected, and more follow-up testing will be done before the baby is 5 months old. Interventions are then provided before the baby is 6 months old for treatment to be most effective.

Step 2. Early childhood hearing interventions

If the diagnostic test shows your baby has a hearing loss, you will need a team of early interventional professionals to guide and support your baby. They include:

  • Pediatric audiologist
  • Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat/ ENT physician)
  • Service coordinator
  • Family- infant teacher
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Family practitioner

The main goal of this team is to help your baby achieve their individual fullest development potential as possible.

Interventions

  • Hearing aids

Your child can be given a hearing aid if he has sensorineural hearing loss. This hearing loss is usually the most common. Hearing aids have three basic parts: the receiver, microphone, and amplifier. The settings of these components are normally customized to make certain sounds louder. Some hearing aids can be worn on the body, and others are fitted behind the ear or inside the ear. The doctors will guide you on which hearing aid suits your child’s needs.

Hearing aids make sounds louder for the deaf child.

Because of the technology used to develop them, hearing aids are expensive. You might find some health insurance companies cover part of their cost.

  • FM system (auditory trainers)

It is a unique amplification device that is designed to help school-going kids. The system has a microphone that the teacher speaks into and a receiver help for the child. They send the sound either to the ears or to a hearing aid. FM devices improve hearing in a group or noisy environment. They can also be used at home and also work well for older kids.

  • Hearing rehabilitation

Hearing rehabilitation works on developing and improving the child’s ability to communicate. They include auditory therapy, listening therapy, and speech (lip) reading. Technology is coming up with new inventions by the day; your specialist team will guide you on the best tools that will further aid in your child’s communication.

  • Surgical treatment

A cochlear implant is surgically placed into the inner ear to send sounds directly to the hearing nerve. This treatment does not cure hearing loss, but it is very effective for children with profound hearing loss who cannot be helped by hearing aids.

Is my child deaf or ignoring me?

If your child doesn’t seem to pay attention when you are talking to them and sometimes are forced to keep repeating what you are saying to them, it is possible they are ignoring you, or it is a hearing impairment.

You can tell they are ignoring you if they seem responsive to other sounds, like music or TV. However, if they don’t seem to respond to sounds or they ask you to repeat what you said to them, or you have to be loud for them to listen, it might signal hearing impairment, and you need to have a pediatrician check them. If they are school going children, their teacher will also notice and raise this concern.

Baby passed hearing test but doesn’t respond to sound/signs of baby hearing problems

Sometimes babies who pass the newborn hearing screening go on to develop hearing loss a few months or years down the lane. Progressive hearing loss or late onset can happen from a lot of factors such as infections, e.g. Measles or meningitis, head injuries, exposure to loud noises, secondhand smoke and more

So, even if your baby has passed the newborn hearing screening, you still need to watch out for possible signs of hearing loss as they grow and discuss them with your pediatrician. Some of the signs to watch out for include:

  • The baby doesn’t startle at loud noises by the time they are 1 month old or turn toward sounds by 3-4 months.
  • The baby doesn’t notice you until they see you
  • The only sound the baby concentrates on is vibrating noises
  • When you read to them, they don’t seem interested or to be enjoying
  • If the baby has delayed in beginning talking, has difficulties understanding, or hasn’t said single words like ma-ma or pa-pa by the time they are 12 to 15 months old.
  • Doesn’t respond when called out to from another room
  • The child wants the TV volume turned up than others
  • The child appears to hear some sounds but not others. (There are variations, some children only one ear affected by hearing loss other times the hearing loss affects only the high pitched sounds).
  • The child sits slowly or cannot walk unsupported properly or has trouble keeping and holding their head steady. (It happens in children with sensorineural hearing loss if the inner ear part which affects balance and movement of the head is also damaged)

Do deaf babies cry differently?

Crying is the first way babies are able to communicate, and all babies cry for the same reasons, either they need something or they are having discomforts. All babies’ cries are usually inborn or instinctive. They are therefore not affected by external factors except those that affect brain development like prematurity or injury, the larynx or if the mouth is affected like having a cleft palate.

So, deaf babies and hearing babies cry the same the only difference being the deaf babies cannot hear themselves.

How to Test Baby’s Hearing At Home

As earlier discussed, earlier detection is key in treating babies with hearing impairment so that they can develop normally. However, we know that not all mothers around the world are able to access hearing screening services for their babies. Even in America, where almost all babies receive the newborn hearing screening, 45 % of parents with babies who need repeat screening after failing the first do not return.

The good news is, every parent with an iOS smartphone or tablet can download a free app created by Eric Kraus, MD, surgeon in otology and neurology, and screen their baby’s hearing at the comfort of their own home.

The app is called the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App and is available free from iTunes store. It features an inbuilt, self-calibrating sound level meter that measures voice volume. This allows a mom to gauge the loudness of her voice while speaking the Ling 6 Sound Test while the baby is sleeping lightly.

The 6 Ling sounds are (“ah,” “oo,” “sh,” “sss,” “mmm,” “ee”). The mom will be repeating the sounds at 60-70 decibels within the first five minutes of the baby falling asleep in a quiet room.

For this screening purpose, only the mom’s voice should be used, and not the father or any other speaker because babies are mostly in tune with their moms’ voice.

Babies aged 2 weeks to 6 months will arouse and respond when the mother speaks. This indicates the baby’s hearing is intact or is at least working properly in one ear. On the other hand, if a baby fails to rouse repeatedly, it could indicate a hearing impairment, and parents should seek additional professional hearing testing for the baby.

If a baby has been using hearing aids, the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test should be performed at home when the baby is wearing them. If the baby arouses when the mom speaks, it is a positive indication that they are providing the desired benefits.

How do deaf parents know when their baby is crying?

There has been a lot of interventions used from ages past by deaf parents to be able to tell when their baby is crying. These included sleeping in the same bed with the baby, so they can detect movement, other times using a trained hearing dog to alert them, and more. These interventions were limited compared to today, but babies still thrived.

Nowadays, the options are plenty. Deaf parents can use baby monitors, smartphones, flashing light and mirrors, and the old age, most reliable option, which is simply looking at the baby.

Baby monitors– there are various kinds of monitors in the market for deaf parents such as; audio baby monitors, vibrating baby monitors, video baby monitors, and others that can do all those functions. The most favorite among deaf parents is the vibrating monitor or a camera baby monitor or monitors that combine both functions. You will be interested to learn that there is even a baby monitor that can be connected to a vibrating alarm clock which causes the bed to vibrate, waking the deaf parents if they are sleeping.

Smartphone apps– you can use FaceTime, for example, to observe your baby when you are in different rooms by placing an iPad facing him while you use the iPhone.

Flashing light– they have always come in handy in alerting the deaf of fire alarm, a phone call, doorbell, even a crying baby.

Mirrors– these can be used perfectly while having a car ride, for example, where a deaf parent can be able to observe the baby.

Trained hearing dog– hearing dogs also assist the deaf parents by physically alerting them about alarms and sounds such as the doorbell, smoke alarm, telephone call, and the baby’s cry. Some deaf parents get hearing dogs from donating organizations such as PAWS or buying the dog, which is extremely expensive.

Baby Cry Monitors for Deaf Parents

The most common cry monitors for deaf parents use the following modes:

Vibration alerts, light alerts, extra-loud sound, and combination of vibration, light, and sound. The four modes have been proven effective in alerting deaf parents when the baby needs attention.

Baby monitors with vibrating alerts

They cause vibrations on the parent unit to notify the deaf parents and usually differ in strengths. Some of the best vibrating monitors include:

  • Summer infant babble band wearable audio monitor
  • Sonic alert sonic sitter baby cry signaler
  • VTech DM 221
  • VTech DM 223
  • Vtech BA72211GY
  • Philips Avent SCD570
  • Graco Secure Coverage
  • Audio baby monitor timeflys

Baby monitors with LED lights alert

The monitors are also ideal for parents who are totally unable to hear any sound. To use, you turn the parent unit to face upwards where you will be able to see the LED lights flash when the baby cries. Some monitors have the LED levels set in a way that also matches the sound level. For instance, from a scale of 1 to 10, a LED level of 10 would mean the baby is crying very loudly and screaming while 1 or 2 the cries are just soft or wimps. Because of these variations, deaf parents are able to respond to the baby accordingly.

One major disadvantage is that the LED lights are ineffective in situations where you are not able to see the light coming from the parent unit or asleep. To solve this problem manufacturers have developed monitors that combine light function and vibration.

Baby monitors with lights, vibration, and sound.

These are the most ideal for deaf parents because it gives them two options, so they don’t miss any cry.

The Best Pregnancy Apps 2019

When I was in my first trimester, I got introduced to pregnancy apps and since then, I’ve used the apps and developed expertise on how you can choose the best pregnancy app. Before we came up with this list of best pregnancy apps in 2019, we consulted widely and reviewed over 50,000 reviews of pregnancy apps.

We also compared and ranked all the apps to come up with the Bump pregnancy app as the overall best app you can use on your iOS or Android device to track your pregnancy.

5 Key Ranking Factors of The Best Pregnancy Apps

After over a full week or research, we settled on the following factors to rank these pregnancy apps:

  1. Accuracy of the apps
  2. Price
  3. Functionalities of the app
  4. Personalized features and baby product recommendations
  5. Baby development info

7 Best Pregnancy Apps List 2019

Below is a list of the best pregnancy apps you can download on Appstore or on Google Playstore:

  1. The Bump pregnancy app
  2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting,
  3. Babycenter Pregnancy tracker
  4. I’m Expecting Pregnancy App
  5. Pregnancy Assistant
  6. Sprout Pregnancy
  7. Baby Names

Reviews of 7 Best Pregnancy Apps

#1. The Bump Pregnancy App

The Bump Pregnancy App is our overall best pregnancy app available in Appstore and in Google Playstore. The app is a free

the bump pregnancy app, the overall best pregancy app in 2019
The Bump Pregnancy App
NameThe Bump Pregnancy App
iPhone and iPad App Rating on Appstore4.8/5 by over 15,000 users and ranked #128 on Appstore
Android App Rating on Playstore4.8/5 by over 28,900 users
FreeYes

#2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Pregnancy & Baby Tracker App is the second-best pregnancy app, coming behind the Bump pregnancy app. This app is currently the 30th most-downloaded app in the health and fitness category on Appstore and over 180,000 users have rated it 4.8/5.

What to expect pregnancy app, the second best pregancy app in 2019
  • Iphone and Android App: Link on Appstore
  • Android App: Link to Google Playstore
NameWhat to Expect Pregnancy App
iPhone and iPad App Rating on Appstore 4.8/5 by over 180,000 users and ranked #30 in the health and fitness category
iOS Compatibility Requires iOS 12.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
iOS Languages Supported English, Danish, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese
iOS App size121.3MB
Android App Rating on Appstore 4.7/5 by over 50,000 users
CostFree
Developer Address and Contact Developer: What to Expect
Address: 345 Hudson Street 16th Floor New York, NY 10014
Email: support@whattoexpect.com

The pictures below will give you a perspective of how the app looks like:

#3. Babycenter Pregnancy tracker

If you are looking for an app that can track your baby’s development to a specific week or day, BabyCenter’s pregnancy tracker is one of our best, coming third behind What to expect and the Bump apps above.

babycenter pregnancy app - third best pregnancy app 2019

Features you can expect on this app include:

  1. Pregnancy tips
  2. Fetal development videos
  3. Pregnancy news feed
  4. Food and nutrition ideas
  5. exercise advice
  6. Weekly checklist
  7. Reminders
  8. Photo diary
  9. Contraction timer

App Rating for iOS devices: 4.8/5

App rating for Android devices: 4.8/5

892,000 Android users have downloaded this app as of this update in October 2019

Name
Pregnancy Tracker + Countdown to Baby Due Date
Developed by BabyCenter, customerservice@babycenter.com

We’ll continue to update this post with more reviews of the best pregnancy apps

Dangers of Posting Baby Pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest

Dangers of posting baby pictures

There are over 750,000 predators in the United States and you should think about this before you start sharing snaps of your baby on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I don’t mean to scare you. It can be scary to think that a picture posted on the internet can be used by perverts to harm your child.

Look at the startling statistics presented in the presentation on the picture below. It illustrated that parents are busy posting pictures of

Image result for dangers of posting children's pictures on social media

The video below has been viewed by over 59 M users and it is an experiment of how predators can even be bold enough to start reaching out to your little ones. Watch the little girls in the real dangers shown in the video below.

The predators can also steal personal information of your child and use the same information when approaching your kid (appearing as a friend to the parent of the kid)at perhaps a public playground?

On the video below by Today, a stranger started posting pictures of a baby whose picture was posted on Instagram. He was claiming the baby was his daughter.

Look at the good pictures he stole in the snapshot below:

predator stealing a post of child online illustrating dangers of posting picture of your baby

In another case, a child’s photo was tagged in a porn site. Total gross misconduct you can expect from predators lurking on the internet.

You can watch the full video below:

Dangers of posting children’s pictures on social media

The infographic below best illustrates the dangers of social media to babies and children

info-graphic showing four dangers of social media for babies and kids

Steps To Take To Secure Your Baby Photos On Social Media Sites

Now that you’ve realized all the potential dangers of posting the pictures of your kids, you should try to reduce your online presence by changing the settings on your social media account to private. You can set the settings so your friends are the only ones able to access the photos of your baby that you post on social media sites such as Facebook. Facebook actually allows you to create a list which essentially allows you to limit access to any of your postings further. I have created a list with only the members of my family in it. This has allowed me to be sure no one else is accessing or misusing the photos I post online.

Someone Is Posting Pictures of My Child On Instagram or Facebook

If someone is posting pictures of your baby on Instagram or on facebook, consider taking pro-active steps to bring this to an end. You have to relay your concerns about the dangers of posting pictures on social media sites which gives access to thousands of predators. You can follow more steps suggested in the last section of this article.

How to tell Family not to post pictures of Baby on Social Media such as Facebook

I had experienced this first-hand when my mother-in-law and other members of my family really liked posting pictures of my baby online. It took me some time to start being proactive about telling them to stop posting pictures of my baby on Instagram and Facebook. You should note that Facebook and Instagram do not take down a picture and you should not bank on emailing them requesting the picture to be deleted. This means that you have to do it yourself. You need to take action that would ensure you have control over the privacy of your baby’s phots.

So how do you tell them?

  • Without thinking too much about it, simply ask the person who posted it to delete it. If they’d rather crop the image so your baby is not shown, that’s not a bad option. You can use words such as “I’m not very ready for this online world yet.” This way you come off as old school just afraid of the internet.
  • Ask whoever posted the picture to remove identifying tags such as location tags, name and face tags.
  • Request the person who posted the picture to ensure their privacy settings secure the photos of your baby’s photo. If you are fine with limiting the number of people who can see it, this can be adjusted in the settings.
  • Ask the person posting the baby photos to use a private photo-sharing site such as Picasa or Flickr. These apps require logins and are more secure.

Is someone close to you, perhaps a friend or someone you know posting pictures of your baby/child without your consent. Perhaps you are wondering how you can tell your mother-in-law not to post pictures because explaining privacy and its dangers can be hard to grasp for some people. As suggested above, the approach of being afraid of the internet and how photos online can be used by anybody including predators has worked well for many people.

Due Date Calculator By Conception: Free Pregnancy Tool

[pgc_pregnancy_calculator]

Guide To Pregnancy Due Date Calculator

If you want to estimate the due date of your conceived baby, we have worked with 3 pregnancy experts to put together a new and very accurate due date calculator. This tool is one of the many that 10BabyGear has been preparing to support pregnant mothers to estimate the likely date of birth for your baby.

There are three ways to estimate the approximate due date period and below are the options:

  1. Calculating the due date using the last period/conception date
  2. Calculating the due date using IVF method
  3. Calculating the due date using Ultrasound

Due Date Calculator on Conception

The date of conception is your day of ovulation as human eggs can only be fertilized in 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. Whether you are using in vitro fertilization or got pregnant naturally, the due date calculator on conception is purely an estimation based on when you ovulated. While the ultrasound estimation method may provide a slightly different conception date, the estimation of the due date may not vary significantly. This above calculator essentially can be called a when to conceive due date calculator

The estimated due date is the date you expect to go into labor and it is calculated using the formula below:

Due Date = (First Day of Last Menstrual Period + 287 DAYS)

The 287 days is the 9 months gestation period for humans plus 7 days. This is not a method specific or developed by the 10BabyGear team. It is a due date calculator and conception date estimator used by pregnancy wheel. You may have seen this being referred to as due date calculator wheel or due date calculator pregnancy wheel.

due date calculator pregnancy wheel
Due date calculator pregnancy wheel

Both terms mean the same thing, essentially adding 287 days to the last day of your latest menstrual period. This pregnancy wheel calculator of due and conception date has two main assumptions:

  • 1st Assumption: That the mother has 28 days menstrual cycle
  • 2nd Assumption: That ovulation takes place on the 14th day

This pregnancy wheel calculator is used solely for estimation purposes especially if you don’t remember the last day of your latest menstrual cycle or have forgotten the ovulation date.

Due Date Calculator With In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

The pregnancy wheel method works perfectly to estimate the expected delivery date when you’re not sure about the day of egg fertilization.

due date calculator twins ivf

However, if the egg was fertilized using in virto fertilization method, the due date calculator with in vitro fertilization is obtained using the formula below:

Due Date Calculator With In Vitro Fertilization = (Date of Fertilization + 266 Days)

The above formula works if you are having:

  1. IVF with your own eggs
  2. IVF with fresh donor egg cycle
  3. Fresh donor embryos cycles

To arrive at the IVF due date, an IVF due date calculator can use any of the following variables:

  • Date of your egg retrieval (Fresh IVF)
  • Date of day 3 embryo transfer (Fresh or frozen IVF) or
  • Date of day 5 blastocyst transfer (Fresh or frozen IVF)

The IVF due date calculator will give you the estimated date of confinement (EDD)

Due Date Calculator By UltraSound

Ultrasound is the only method among the four we’ve listed in this article that you actually have to visit the doctor. The doctor will use the ultrasound machine to calculate the gestation age and make an estimation of your baby’s due date. The gestation age is the number of days/weeks or months between the first day of your menstrual period and the day the ultrasound test is taken. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and its Canadian peer have cautioned parents to beware that the due date calculation using the ultrasound method can be inaccurate depending on the gestation age of your fetus. Actually, they recommend specific ultrasound days indicated below:

If you are torn between due date calculator vs ultrasound estimation method, I highly recommend going for due date calculator using conception date to avoid redating the fetus as it may have harmful effects.

The due date calculator according to ultrasound requires you to know the exact gestation age as mentioned above. You’ll then enter the exact gestation age in weeks and days such as 6 weeks and 3 days on the day the ultrasound was performed. I have personally used the due date calculator by ultrasound once during my first pregnancy and I didn’t like it. The process of visiting the doctor, measuring the size of the fetus, estimating the gestation period and comparing the due date calculator vs ultrasound was just too much of hassle to me. The same way I prefer using fetal dopplers/doptones at home to going to see the doctor every other time I want to check my baby’s heartbeat rate.

Is Due Date Calculator Accurate?

To question of whether due date calculators are accurate has been asked by many parents who have been testing the 10BabyGear Pregnancy tool before its release.

Is pregnancy due date accurate?

There are also several other online due date calculators such as those offered by BabyCenter, the Bump, WhattoExpect and many others. How accurate are all these due date calculators? To determine their accuracy, we carried out a survey with the help of the team at Pregnancy Center to determine the accuracy and below is what we found out

Due date calculators are somewhat accurate and it really depends on the variables you’ve put in. If you are confident about the variables, most due date calculators we surveyed are accurate about 20% of the times.

External studies however disagree and estimate that online calculators are only accurate 5% of the times. For example, if you are not sure about the gestation age, the ultrasound method may not be very accurate and similarly, the due date calculator may return inaccurate results if you don’t know the first day of your latest period.

We have tested and determined that 10BabyGear’s due date calculator is a very accurate calculator available online as of this publication in August 2019. You can, therefore, count on our tool as the most accurate due date calculator available.

Due Date Calculator for Twins

The due date calculator for twins has a minor adjustment compared to regular due date calculators for a single baby. The average pregnancy term for twins is around 38 weeks which is 2 weeks less than the average 40-weeks term for a singletons pregnancy.

If you have twins, you can calculate the due date of your twins using the calculator above and subtracting 14 days from the estimated delivery date.

Due Date Calculator Twins = ( First Day of Last Menstrual Period + 273 Days )

Due Date Calculator for twins IVF

The due date calculator twins for IVF baby follows the same formula indicated below:

Due Date Calculator Twins IVF = (Date of Fertilization + 252 Days)

The four methods above show you how to calculate your due date. As suggested earlier, you can use the tool we’ve prepared for you here at 10BabyGear or you can proceed to try out other tools available online. If you don’t want to use any of the tools, you can develop your own due date calculator excel spreadsheet that will essentially use the basic functions of excel to add up the days and arrive at your estimated due date.

Due Date Calculators Available Online

There are several tools available as of August 2019 and below are the main ones that we reviewed:

  1. Due date calculator the Bump
  2. Due date pregnancy calculator by BabyCenter (also has reverse due date calculator by BabyCenter)
  3. Due date calculator WhattoExpect

Any of the above due date calculators are used by doctors and gynecologists across the US, UK, Europe and beyond.

Due date calculator don’t know last period

If you don’t remember the first day of your last menstrual period(LMP), you can use any day of the week as a variable in the due date calculator above. The due date result you’ll get will have a variation of 7 days and we advise that you go for a reliable estimation by a doctor who can use the ultrasound method to determine the gestation age and the estimated due date without knowing your last period date. If there is no period or the LMP is unknown the ultrasound method is your best chance and we’ve had accurate results with ultrasound when the last period is unknown or when someone missed the period.

Due Date Calculator for Triplets

The average gestation period for triplets is 32 to 35 weeks compared to 38 for twins and 40 for singletons. You should, therefore, plan accordingly to expect your twins earlier than normal, about 5 to 8 weeks earlier.

Frequently Asked Questions on Due Date Calculators

Are due date calculators accurate

We found that online due date calculators are only accurate 20% of the time and external studies have determined that they are accurate 5% of the times. The variation in the actual delivery date may, however, vary slightly by a few days and maybe the correct term that should be used is due date estimators.

is due date calculator from implantation

why are due date calculators different

What is due date calculator

how is due date calculator after ivf

What is IVF Due Date?

IVF due dates aren’t determined by your last period, the date of conception, or even the egg retrieval day. They are determined by embryo transfer day and the age of the embryo at the time of the transfer. With IVF, the due date is determined by the date that the embryo implants in the uterus.

Baby Heartbeat At 6 Weeks

Baby Heartbeat At 6 Weeks

From the first week to the last week of your pregnancy, the baby goes through tremendous growth, essentially converting from an embryo to a living being. To keep tabs on your baby’s growth and health, 10BabyGear has put together this article to assist parents looking to understand what to expects about a baby and about the baby’s heartbeat over the pregnancy term.

If you are unsure about the term or the estimated delivery date of your baby, you can check use 10BabyGear’s delivery date calculator.

Baby Heartbeat at 6 Weeks

Part of week 5 and 6, a fetal heartbeat may be detected by vaginal ultrasound. Fetal doppler or home doptone may not be able to detect the heartbeat fully at this week. A lump of 2 to 4mm in length may not be producing sound waves that are detectable by home dopplers. The beats per minute at 6 weeks should be around 90 beats per minute.

Video by Kelsie showing Ultrasound sonogram at 6 weeks and 3 days:

Here is another video by Kayce Jones showing her ultrasound sonogram at 6 weeks and 4 days:

Baby Heartbeat at 6 weeks sound:

In the video below, you’ll hear the sound of the baby heartbeat at 6 weeks. To hear the heartbeat sound, you can skip to 1:44

No Sound of Baby Heartbeat at 6 Weeks. Should You Worry?

If you do not hear the baby’s heartbeat at 6 weeks, should you worry? In the video below, Dr. Teena Thomas from Doctor’s Circle answers this question:

Before we go into specific pregnancy weeks before and after 6 weeks, below is a helpful video by the British Heart Foundation explaining when you can start hearing the first heartbeat:

Week 1 and 2: Gestation

This is considered the gestation weeks and the period when the sperm penetrates into the egg with the sole purpose of fertilizing it. It takes a number of days for the sperm to travel in the fallopian tube and actually reach the egg.

Week 3, 4 and 5: Development

In week 3 and 4, the endometrium lining thickens and this is in preparation of the baby’s home over the next several weeks. Ultrasound may not be able to deduct any growth or any living being but transvaginal ultrasounds may detect gestational sac.

Below is a video that summarizes the development of the baby between week 1 and four:

Week 7

On week 7, a heartbeat can now be detected and it may range from 90 to 110 beats per minute. At this stage, you the chances of pregnancy success goes up to almost 90%.

From week 7 henceforth, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat using a home fetal doppler or using ultrasound in the hospital. You can read more about the different fetal dopplers available and how you can safely use it to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home.

You should note that from week 12 you won’t have to struggle as you try to hear the baby’s heartbeat as the baby’s heartbeat would have developed and the home doptone will be able to capture every beat.

10BabyGear Database with Over 100,000 Real and Verified Reviews

About 10BabyGear Reviews Database

10BabyGear has collaborated with several partners interested in informing parents on key safety guidelines that parents should follow when choosing a baby monitor. Jointly, the 10BabyGear and seven other websites that gather for parents have a joint database with over 100,000 baby gear reviews as of July 2019. The reviews are for select baby gear such as baby monitors, infant car seats, baby shoes, baby loungers, convertible car seats, and baby gliders.

Baby Monitor Reviews Sources

With the advice of our tech guy here at 10BabyGear and privacy experts, we will no longer be making the reviews public because they are gathered from different online retailers and manufacturers such as:

  • Amazon,
  • Walmart,
  • Owlet,
  • Eufy,
  • Infant Optics,
  • Motorola,
  • Target,
  • Samsung/Wisenet,
  • Hello baby,
  • Anmeate,
  • Buy Buy Baby,
  • Miku,
  • Youtube,
  • Reddit,
  • The Bump,
  • Wirecutter,
  • Arlo,
  • Nest,
  • Babysense/Hisense,
  • Owlet,
  • VTech.

To comply with privacy policies of individual websites, we will no longer make the searchable database available.

If you need the reviews database for non-commercial purposes such as academic research, 10BabyGear can give you access provided the request comes from a dot (.) edu email.

You can make the request for the baby monitor reviews database by sending an email to database@10babygear.com

You can find some of the verified reviews of baby monitor brands such as Infant Optics from the Consumer Affairs website (link to Consumer Affairs website with Infant Optics reviews).

What 10BabyGear Does with Compiled Reviews

We use our bot to go through all the reviews and spot the defects or complaints that users have about every brand of the baby monitor we are reviewing. A complaint that meets our minimum threshold of 5 reviews makes us indicate or at least mention the defect or particular problem that users have had with the particular baby monitor.

For example, if a baby monitor has pairing or connectivity issues and at least 5 verified users have talked and sought help about the problem, we analyze the problem deeper. If there are no troubleshooting solutions available, we indicate that in our reviews.

What This Means For Baby Gear Buyers

With our reviews, you can be assured that we touch on all features including defects and shortcomings of each baby monitor we review. As a buyer, you can be assured that our baby monitor reviews and recommendations are credible. You can read more about what you can expect from this site, 10BabyGear.com from our profile page.

Just to recap:

Baby gear reviews by 10BabyGear are reliable as they indicate these critical details that you need to know before you purchase a baby monitor:

  • Security vulnerability of each wifi and non-wifi video baby monitor we review
  • Baby monitor radiation levels and whether the emf level of each baby monitor reviewed is safe.
  • Baby monitor battery life and type
  • Baby monitor night vision range and capabilities
  • Baby monitor connectivity, indoor and outdoor range
  • Baby monitor pricing in comparison to other baby monitors that have similar features.