Author Archives: Next Step Customer Service

milk pouring into a mason jar - effects of calcium on pregnancy

What Does Calcium Do During Pregnancy?

In order to have a healthy pregnancy, you will need to make sure you are getting enough nutrients to provide for yourself and your growing baby. One nutrient that is extremely important is calcium as it aids in the development of your baby in many different ways. The only way to receive these benefits is to ensure that you are getting enough of it through your diet or through a daily prenatal vitamin supplement. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of calcium on pregnancy.

What Is Calcium?

Calcium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is sometimes added to others making them fortified. Everyone needs to get calcium each day in order to stay healthy. However, it is especially important that pregnant and breastfeeding women get the recommended daily amount. The National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women get 1,000 mg (milligrams) each day.

The Role of Calcium in the Human Body

Calcium has many important roles and functions. It is mainly used to build up and maintain strong bones. However, it is also used to help with muscle mobility, and to help your nerves carry messages between the brain and body.  In addition to that, calcium is used to help release hormones and enzymes that have an effect on most functions in the body. All of this makes it very important to avoid a deficiency.

Effects Of Calcium On Pregnancy

Development

While you are pregnant, your baby will need to get enough calcium to grow and develop properly. Specifically, calcium is needed to help develop the bones and teeth of your baby. In addition to that, calcium is needed to help develop other body parts such as the heart, muscles, and nerves.

Bone Health

Your calcium intake will affect both you and your baby during and after pregnancy. If you do not get enough calcium to provide for your baby, your body will take the calcium from your bones. This can cause you to lose bone mass and can lead to serious problems later in life. However, one thing to note is that this is normal and most women will lose a little bone mass during pregnancy regardless of how much calcium they are getting. Issues arrive when you don’t get enough calcium and too much bone mass is lost.

Deficiency

Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies are common in pregnant women, due to the sharing of nutrients with their growing baby.  Some signs of calcium deficiency are:

  • Muscle problems
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Dental problems
  • Depression

As previously mentioned, calcium is needed so the nerves can communicate to the body telling it to move. Without it, the body cannot function properly which can cause muscle aches, cramps, and spasms. When it comes to dental problems, the explanation is even simpler. As with your body taking calcium from your bones, it will also take from your teeth which can cause tooth weakening and decay.

It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms so they can give you a proper diagnosis. They may also have a recommended plan-of-action to combat a deficiency.

Too Much Calcium

On the other end, it is possible to get too much calcium. This is very rare, especially in pregnant women, but is usually more common in those who already get enough calcium through their diet and still supplement. Some signs of a calcium overdose are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy & fatigue
  • High blood pressure

Vitamin D & Calcium

In addition to getting enough calcium into your diet, it is important to get vitamin D as well. Your body needs vitamin D in order to properly and efficiently absorb calcium.  You can get vitamin D by spending time in direct sunlight, with your skin uncovered by protective clothing or sunscreen.  It may also be necessary to add a vitamin D supplement to your regimen during pregnancy. Here at Prenatal Liquid Vitamin, we have our Prenatal vitamin that contains both calcium and vitamin D along with many other nutrients that are needed for a healthy pregnancy. Check out this article to learn about the Top 5 Vitamins for Pregnancy.

Getting Calcium Into Your Diet

At first, making sure you are getting enough calcium into your diet may seem like a difficult task. However, with some dietary changes and supplementation with a prenatal vitamin, many pregnant women do not have a problem avoiding deficiency.  Examples of foods that calcium is found in are:

  • Milk & other dairy products
  • Kale, broccoli, & Chinese cabbage
  • Grains
  • Fortified juices, & cereals
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Beans & Lentils
  • Sardines

In addition to those many foods, you can also get calcium from a liquid prenatal vitamin. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before starting one as they can determine what the best option for you is.

Conclusion

When it comes to the effects of calcium on pregnancy, there is a lot to know about what it can do for you and your baby. However, one thing to keep in mind is that you need to provide enough for your baby so your body is not relying on your bone mass. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about Teething in Babies.

Sources

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/
mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-nutrition/art-20045082
https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/vitamins-and-other-nutrients-during-pregnancy.aspx
https://americanpregnancy.org/naturally/where-to-get-calcium-naturally-during-pregnancy/

baby chewing alphabet block - signs, symptoms, and remedies for teething

Teething In Babies; Everything You Need To Know

Teething is something that all babies will go through at some point in their early life. There are many common signs and symptoms of teething, but as a new parent, it may be hard to recognize these at first. In this article we’ll go over some of the signs and symptoms of teething, and what can you do to help. Continue reading to learn more about the signs, symptoms, and remedies for teething.

What Is Teething

Teething usually starts when your baby is between 6 and 12 months old. However, the teething process can take some time and your baby will almost be 3 by the time their baby teeth come all the way in.  The most painful part of the process for babies is when their teeth are initially breaking through their gums. Teething is very painful and can cause babies to become more irritable and fussy. While there are limitations on what you can do to ease their pain, it is still important to know the signs and symptoms of teething and how you can make the process easier on your baby.

Symptoms of Teething

Drooling

One of the first and most common signs that your baby is teething is drooling. It may come as a shock to see exactly how much drool a baby can have, especially if it is your first child. All of this drool will likely cause your newborns shirts or onesies to get wet from it and you may want to change them or wipe them off occasionally throughout the day. Another thing you can do is have them wear a bib so you can save on the clothing throughout the day.

If you take care of the drooling on your baby’s chin and neck by having them wear a bib, or wiping them off when it gets out of hand, you don’t need to worry about them getting a rash too much. However, if you forget, or something doesn’t work right, your baby may get a rash on their chin or neck from drool. Don’t worry because a simple rash ointment or cream from the store can help soothe the baby.

Irritability

As previously mentioned, when teething your baby may feel more irritable and fussy. This is normal because their mouth is aching from their teeth trying to come through. Depending on the pain tolerance of your baby, they may feel irritable for a few hours, or even up to a few weeks. They may just get fussy, or be constantly crying in pain. Be sure to check out this article to learn about What to do When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying.

Chewing

Another one of the signs of teething in babies is chewing or biting. This happens because there is a lot of pressure from teething so your baby is trying to relieve that pain. Biting down on things is the best way for them to do this so you may want to get them some teething toys so they aren’t biting on you.

Not Eating

Sometimes, the pain and pressure that your baby has been to the point where the suction of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding caused pain for them. This can make your infant become fussy whenever it is time to eat, and they may even refuse to eat for the time being. Try to encourage them to eat by providing foods for them and if this lasts more than a few days then you should contact a pediatrician.

Helping A Teething Baby

When it comes to helping a teething baby there are a few things that you can do. To start, you can consult with your doctor on what over the counter pain medication is safe to use for the baby. They may even recommend a numbing gel for babies.

As previously mentioned, you will probably want to invest in some teething toys for them to chew on. Some teething toys are made specifically to be able to freeze for better pain relief and numbing. If you cannot afford to get them teething toys, you can also get a washcloth or towel wet, freeze it, and let them chew on that.  One other solution is to fill a bottle with water and freeze it upside down so that the water freezes into the nipple and they can chew on that.

Massaging your child’s gums can also be incredibly helpful.  You can do this with freshly washed fingers, wetted gauze, or a cold spoon. It is also said that rubbing peeled ginger across a babies gums will help soothe the nerve endings and also has anti-inflammatory benefits.

If your baby is old enough and has started to eat real foods, try giving them more cold foods. One thing you can try making at home is fruit based popsicles.  One effective way to do this is to  crush up fruit and mix it with organic fruit juice.  The cold will help numb their gums as they chew.  There are also mesh feeders that you can fill with frozen fruit for the baby to chew on.

Lastly, and arguably most important is to give your little one lots of comfort as they are in a tough time. This is especially true if they are cranky as they are probably in more pain then you think. One of the best ways to do this is to cuddle up with them in a nice spot and rock them back and forth.

Conclusion

When it comes to the signs, symptoms, and remedies for teething, there is a lot to know. For starters, it is important to remember that all babies will go through this when they are around 6 months of age. Another thing to remember is that your baby does not know what is going on and is in need of your help. That is why it is important to comfort them and take care of them.

Sources

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Babys-First-Tooth-Facts-Parents-Should-Know.aspx
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teething
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/teething/art-20046378
https://www.chla.org/blog/rn-remedies/your-infant-teething-know-the-signs-and-symptoms

crying baby close up - caring for a crying baby

What To Do When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying

As a new parent, you may not be able to decipher why your child is crying. However, as time goes on many parents are able to tell what is wrong just by the sound of their child’s cry. This skill will take time to learn so in the meantime, why not learn about some of the common reasons that babies will cry and what you can do to resolve the issue. Continue reading to learn more about caring for a crying baby.

Caring For A Crying Baby

When your newborn first starts crying, especially in the middle of the night, give them 3-5 minutes to see if it resolves itself. They may have just woken up temporarily and may be able to calm down on their own.

Some Australian researchers conducted a study where they worked with families who said their babies had a sleeping problem. They then had some of the parents delay the time they went in by letting the baby cry for a bit. After one year, the babies who were left to cry for a bit had less stress than the babies in the control group. In addition to that, the mothers of these babies reported that they had less stress than other mothers. However, the researchers noted that the attachment of all the babies in the study was the same. It is okay to let your baby cry for a few minutes as long as it does not reach a point of neglect.

If after a few minutes your baby continues to cry, you’ll want to check on them. When you go into their room or wherever they are sleeping, try to find what may be the reason for their crying. There are two common causes of crying, especially during nap time, or in the middle of the night. These two being that your baby is feeling some form of discomfort, or is feeling sick or ill.

Checking For Discomfort

When you go to check for discomfort in your newborn, the first thing you want to check for is their diaper. Check to see if they have in fact soiled their diaper and are in need of a change. If not, check their body temperature as the room they are in may feel fine to you, but to a sensitive baby, it may be too cold or too hot. To check this, feel the back of their neck, and if it is cold, warm them up by adding layers to their clothes, but if their hot and sweaty, try lowering the room temperature to accommodate this.

Other things to check for are if they are hungry or overstimulated. If your baby is hungry, all you need to do is get them fed so they can stop and go back to what they were doing. On the other hand, if they are overstimulated, then you might want to close curtains in the room or turn off the lights. Another thing you can do to help an overstimulated baby is turning the noise down throughout the house.

Checking For Illness

If you have looked and found that there are no signs of discomfort in your newborn, or you have dealt with those and they are still crying, you may want to check for any sicknesses in your newborn. The first thing you should check for is a fever, as it is a sign that some form of illness is present. Use a digital thermometer to find their temperature as a mercury one is toxic to newborns and should be discarded immediately.

If you find that they have a fever of over 100°F you should contact your doctor and get their recommendation as to what to do. Other signs to check for if they are vomiting, fatigue, or nausea. If your baby has these, along with a runny nose, sneezing or coughing they could have a cold or the flu and it is important to get them to a doctor as soon as you can. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about How To Take Care Of A Sick Baby.

Soothing A Crying Baby

When it comes to soothing your crying baby, you may just need to resolve their discomfort. Remember that your little one crying is their only way of communicating and letting you know something is wrong. Other times it will take some more effort to soothe your little one. Here are a few suggestions for next time you are trying to soothe your baby.

  • Rock them back to sleep
  • Swaddling
  • Pacifier
  • Feed them
  • Sing a song
  • White noise machine

Some things to try to help them get through this is to hold them and rock them to aid in soothing them. Additionally, you can try swaddling them and giving them a pacifier to help distract them. Just do whatever works for your baby as different things may be soothing for different babies.  Check out this article for more info on comforting your baby.

Take a Break If Needed

If for some reason your child will not settle down and stop crying, don’t hesitate to ask for help. This is especially true if you are frustrated and sleep-deprived because you won’t be thinking as clearly. Instead, ask someone, such as significant other, to take a turn in caring for the crying baby so you can take a break.

If that is not available, set your child in a secure area like the crib and just take a minute or two to get something to drink, take a few deep breaths, and take care of yourself. That way when you come back, you can better help your newborn with their problem.

Conclusion

When it comes to caring for a crying baby, there is a lot that you need to know in order to help your child. One of the most important things is to take care of yourself so you can better take care of your newborn, and don’t be afraid to ask for help as.

Sources

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/when-your-baby-wont-stop-crying.htm
https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/2171-how-to-stay-calm-when-baby-won-t-stop-crying
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/crying-colic/Pages/Calming-A-Fussy-Baby.aspx
https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/crying-baby-before-3-months-old/
https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/05/21/peds.2015-1486?version=meter+at+1&module=meter-Links&pgtype=Blogs&contentId=&mediaId=%25%25ADID%25%25&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&priority=true&action=click&contentCollection

Preparing For The Arrival Of Your Newborn

As you get closer and closer to the due date, you may feel stressed out. There can be many causes of this stress, however, one of the main ones is not feeling prepared for the baby. To limit this as much as possible, you’re probably going to want to do a lot of preparations. Continue reading to learn about preparing for a newborn.

Essential Items To Buy

Crib

A crib will be where you want your baby to be sleeping as much as possible. While you can allow them to nap in your arms, you don’t want to go to bed for the night sleeping in the same bed as your baby. Instead, put them in their crib, and if you have to, move the crib into your bedroom for the first few weeks. When you get your crib put together you want to make sure that you inspect it so nothing is wrong. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that the crib should have:

  • Firm, tight-fitting mattress
  • No missing, loose, or broken hardware
  • No more than 2 3/8 inches between the crib slats
  • There are no cutouts in the headboard

Lastly, one thing to make sure is that the crib is installed correctly with all pieces in the correct spots so you do not put your infant at risk of suffocating and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Stroller

When choosing a stroller for your newborn it is important to remember that they cannot sit up on their own. So they will probably be spending a lot of time in their car-seat. Many companies that manufacture car-seats will often have strollers that allow their car-seat to strap in so you can push your little one around. If that is not the case for your brand, there are some strollers that are universal for car-seat attachment. What’s better about some strollers is they can be modified as your child grows to accommodate them not needing the car-seat. Other things to look for in a stroller are is one that can fit in your car, and is easy to set up and take down when you need it to.

Bath

When you start to bathe your newborn at home, you do not want them sitting directly in the water. In fact, what you need to do is sponge bathe them. Some essential bathing items are baby soap and baby shampoo as their skin is more sensitive. It is also good to have washcloths so you can sponge-bathe them until the umbilical cord falls off.   After that, you can put them in the tub with the help of a special baby seat, which will hold them out of the water and allow you to have your hands free to bathe them.  Make sure you are never babies or even young children baby on their stomach in a crib - preparing for a newborn unsupervised, and the water is only 3 inches deep.

Clothing

One thing that is very important when preparing for a newborn is making sure you have the proper clothing for them.  Some essential pieces of clothing you are going to want are some onesies as these are probably what your newborn will be spending most of their time in. Another thing to make sure you have is one-piece pajamas with built-in footies to keep their feet warm. Make sure you don’t remove tags and keep the receipts before your newborn comes home and can try on the clothes as you may have to return them to get a different size. Be sure to check out this Guide To Newborn Clothing.

Diapers, Wipes, etc.

These are going to be your best friends when you need to change a diaper so it is important to make sure you are not only stocked upon them but that they are in a place you can get to easily from your diaper changing location. If you are using disposable diapers, make sure you also have a trash can nearby to get rid of them, however, if you are using cloth diapers, place a cleaning hamper nearby and wash them as soon as you can. When it comes to wipes and other supplies, just make sure you have a decent stock within arms reach of the diaper changing location.

Food

Most likely your newborn will be breastfed for the first few months, but it is important to have formula on hand in case you need to use it. In addition to making sure you have enough food for your newborn, make sure you have enough for yourself and the rest of your family. That way you don’t have to worry, and don’t have to eat out each night. Make sure you are still getting the nutrients you need as the breastfed baby is getting their nutrients from the foods you eat.

Preparing Home

Cleaning

Before your newborn comes, you may feel like your house is dirty and you are going to want to sterilize everything and keep things as clean as possible. However, while it is good to clean the house and sterilize the dirty areas where the baby will spend their time, you don’t want to go overboard with this. The reason being is that your newborn may be sensitive to the chemicals used to clean the house. Luckily, you can purchase natural cleaning products at your local store or online, or even make some yourself with vinegar, water, and other household items.

Baby Proofing

Baby proofing is similar to cleaning. Baby proofing your home consists of going around the house and finding things that your baby may get into that can harm them once they are mobile. This is important to do, but it should not be too much of a worry as your baby won’t be able to get into anything until they start to crawl. Check out this article to learn more about Baby-Proofing Your Home.

Pediatrician

Another thing to do when preparing for a newborn is to find a pediatrician for them. That way, when your newborn gets sick, you can take them and get them checked out without worrying about where you are going to take them.

Conclusion

When it comes to preparing for a newborn, there is a lot that you are going to need to do in order to reduce your stress. The best way to avoid any unnecessary stress is to get the stuff you will need for your newborn in advance so you are already prepared and keep receipts in case you need to return any products you bought that were the wrong size or didn’t work for your baby.

Sources

https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/cribs/crib-safety-tips
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/strollers/buying-guide/index.htm
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/delivery-beyond/Pages/Bringing-Baby-Home.aspx

profile view of pregnant woman holding belly - how iron affects pregnancy

How Iron Effects Pregnancy

Iron is a nutrient that is vital for the proper function and development of the human body. This makes it important to ensure that you are getting the recommended amount each day. During pregnancy, it is even more vital to get this nutrient because you are also providing it to your growing child. In fact, it is recommended that expecting mothers get even more of this nutrient than women who are not expecting. In this article, we’ll cover how iron affects pregnancy and the dangers of not getting enough.

What Is Iron?

Iron is a mineral that is needed in the body for proper growth and development. The body uses it to make hemoglobin which is a protein in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to different parts of the body. It is also used to make myoglobin, a protein that helps provide oxygen to the muscles and hormones too. According to the National Institutes of Health, pregnant women need to get 27 mg (milligrams) of iron in their diet each day. This can either come from the food you eat, or from supplements.

How Iron Affects Pregnancy

As mentioned above, the main use of iron during pregnancy is for proper growth and development of your child’s body. However, many pregnant women find that they are deficient in iron. This is a result of there being more blood in the mother’s body during pregnancy. This means that the percentage of iron in the blood is lower, and this can cause a deficiency.

Iron Deficiency & Pregnancy

Anemia

Anemia is a condition where there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the entire body. Iron deficiency is the main cause of anemia and results in red blood cells being unable to carry oxygen. Some symptoms of anemia are;

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pale skin
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands & feet

One thing to note about anemia is that mild-anemia is common in pregnant women due to the increased amount of blood in their bodies. However, if this is left untreated, it can lead to severe anemia which can cause other health complications.

Other Complications

According to the National Institutes of Health, some health complications that anemia and severe iron deficiency can cause are a “risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and low levels of iron.” They also go on to say that “getting too little iron might also harm her infant’s brain development.” There is only one way to avoid a deficiency which can lead to anemia. This is to ensure that you are getting the recommended 27 mg of iron each day.

Treating Deficiency

As previously mentioned, the only way to prevent and treat a deficiency is to get the recommended 27 mg of iron through diet. The main source for iron intake should be your diet. Different foods will either contain heme iron, or non-heme iron. Heme iron is absorbed more efficiently in the body and is found in foods such as:

  • Lean meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish

On the other hand, nonheme iron is found in plant-based food and cannot be easily digested. Because of this, it is recommended that people who eat non-heme iron foods also eat something with vitamin C to help absorb the iron. You can find nonheme iron in:

  • Dried fruits like raisins & apricots
  • Peas
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Iron-fortified cereals, bread, & pasta

You can get iron from supplements as well. Your doctor may recommend that you start one and even recommend a specific one for you. Here at Prenatal Liquid Vitamin, we have a prenatal vitamin that contains iron to help you get the nutrient you need.

One thing that is crucial is to make sure you are not getting too much iron as an excess can be harmful to you and your child. The National Institutes of Health gives the upper limit of iron for adults is 45 mg daily. They do go on to say that your doctor may prescribe more than that if you have a severe deficiency.

Conclusion

When it comes to how iron affects pregnancy it is important to avoid a deficiency as it can lead to serious health complications for you and your baby. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about How The B-Vitamins Affect Pregnancy.

Sources

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/
https://americanpregnancy.org/naturally/treat-iron-deficiency-naturally-pregnancy/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/anemia-during-pregnancy/art-20114455

two babies drinking bottles - what should babies wear

A Guide To Newborn Clothing

When your newborn arrives, chances are you are going to be stressed out with everything you need to get done. Many new parents struggle with all the things they didn’t realize they needed to get before the baby arrives. You can research, and talk to experienced parents, and prepare, prepare, prepare, but the simple fact of the matter is that there will still be surprises and struggles and unexpected obstacles.  One thing many parents don’t realize is all the clothing that they will need. Continue reading to learn about what babies should wear.

What Should Babies Wear?

One-Piece Outfits

When looking for these, it is important to find ones that will allow your baby to move around when they are having tummy time. They look like onesies however, they have legs on them too. They are almost identical to pajamas, however, they differ due to them being lighter than the one-piece pajamas used at night. Pajamas also will usually contain booties to keep the feet warm at night. Regardless, this makes them an excellent choice for playtime, and even naptime. Try to have at least 5 of these to make sure you are stocked up.

Shirts & Onesies

Many newborns do not wear the same kind of shirts that many children and adults wear. However, they wear what are called onesies. These are like the one-piece outfits mentioned above, but they do not have any cover for the legs. This makes them ideal for layers in the winter, and just around the house during the warmer summer months. They are usually worn underneath most outfits that a newborn is wearing. They can make it easier to clean up any blow-outs that your baby might have. However, if you prefer to get some actual shirts too, it is still ok as they make a great layer in the cold months. Try to have 10 shirts or onesies on hand at a time.

Leggings or Pants

These can be very useful, as they can serve many purposes. During the winter, they can be put over or under a one-piece to add an additional layer of warmth. However, during the summer they can be paired with a shirt or a onesie to keep your newborn’s legs covered. Look to get around 10 of them, and f

ind ones with a stretchy waistband so they can be used when your newborn grows and gains weight. If you have 10, you can pair them with a shirt or onesie mentioned above.

Sweater/Jacket

When getting some form of sweater and jacket, it is important to make sure that it is the outermost layer on the baby, and that it has buttons on the front to be easily removed once you are inside. Another thing to note is that when you put your baby in their car seat, you need to remove the jacket as it can compress and cause the seatbelt to become loose.

Pajamas

When choosing the best PJs for your newborn, there are some things to consider. The first being that you want them to keep your baby warm. The reason is that you do not want there to be any extra blankets, pillows or stuffed animals inside their crib. If you do, you are putting your baby at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Sleep.org states “One-pieces with built-in feet are a great go-to choice.” That way you can keep your baby warm without the risk of SIDS. Try to have around 4 of them on hand in case some get dirty.

Socks

Socks can help keep your baby’s feet warm year-round. In the warm months, they can protect their little feet from the harsh sun. However, during the winter months, when paired with a one-piece with built-in feet, they can provide extra warmth. You are also going to want to invest in many socks, as they can easily go missing.

baby in winter clothing - what should babies wear

Mittens/Gloves

When you are looking to cover your baby’s little hands, there are some things to know. If you are just looking to cover them from the sun, then gloves are your go-to option because they can allow your baby to

still use their fingers. However, if it is winter and you are trying to best keep their hands warm, then you should use mittens instead. It is best to get a pair of each and keep them both inside your diaper bag. For more things to put into a diaper bag, check out one of our previous articles.

Hats

Regardless of the time of year, a hat can benefit your baby in many ways. During the summer, when they are out and about and don’t have much shade, a hat can help keep your newborn cool. In the winter months, something similar to a beanie can help keep their little head warm. However, many babies do not like something on their heads so you may want to get them some shade like the cover over a stroller when you are out of the house.

Conclusion

When it comes to what should babies wear, there is a lot to know. One thing you can do as a parent is to make sure that they are not too cool and also not too hot. If they are sweating excessively, it is best to immediately remove a layer to avoid overheating. On the other hand, if they feel cold when you touch them, you should warm them up by adding layers of clothing.

Sources

https://www.sleep.org/articles/what-babies-should-wear-to-sleep/
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/Pages/Dressing-Your-Newborn.aspx
https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/health-daily-care/dressing-newborns/dressing-a-newborn

How The B-Vitamins Affect Pregnancy

B-Vitamins are important for everyone to get on a daily basis. It is important for soon-to-be mothers to ensure that they get them because they are providing for their newborns as well as themselves. So, what do the B-vitamins do for pregnancy and where can you find them?  Continue reading to learn about the effects of B-vitamins on pregnancy.

Effects Of B-Vitamins

Thiamine

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1 plays an important role in the body. It is used to turn the foods that you eat into energy and is important for the development and function of cells in the body. When pregnant, thiamine plays an important role in the development of your baby’s brain. This makes it crucial that you get the recommended daily intake of 1.4 mg each day. You can get thiamine from many foods such as:

  • Beef
  • Liver
  • Pork
  • Nuts
  • Oats
  • Oranges

Riboflavin

Riboflavin, Vitamin B2, is a water-soluble vitamin. All of the B vitamins are water-soluble. This means that it is not stored in the body. So, each day you need to replace what you have lost. In pregnancy, it is crucial to maintain good eye health. It also can keep your skin looking healthy. The same goes for your baby. You need to get 1.4 mg when pregnant, but during breastfeeding, you need to get 1.6 mg. Try these foods to up your B2 intake.

  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Salmon

Niacin

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. In the body, it is used to metabolize foods and develop new cells. During pregnancy, it is used to help develop the baby’s brain. The American Pregnancy Association states that vitamin B3 can also “ease nausea and can relieve painful migraines for mom.” To avoid a deficiency in vitamin B3, aim to get 18 mg when pregnant and 17 mg when breastfeeding. Some foods that contain this nutrient are:

  • Liver
  • Chicken breast
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Ground beef
  • Brown rice
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid, otherwise known as vitamin B-5, is used to metabolize foods in the body and is also used to help break down fats. When pregnant, it also is used to create hormones that can help relieve the stress that comes with being pregnant. It also can help with the pain caused by leg cramps and help prevent them altogether. You need to get 6 mg of pantothenic acid when pregnant and 7 mg when breastfeeding. You can get adequate amounts from foods such as:

  • Meat: pork, chicken, turkey, duck, and beef
  • Fish: salmon, lobster, and shellfish
  • Dairy: milk, yogurt, and milk products
  • Egg yolk
  • Legumes: lentils, soybeans, and split peas

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the day-to-day function of metabolism as it is needed for over 100 enzyme reactions. The National Institutes of Health state that ” Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.” This makes it important to get this nutrient, not only during pregnancy but afterward when breastfeeding. To get the recommended daily amount of 1.9 mg during pregnancy, and 2 mg when breastfeeding, try some of these foods:

  • Pork
  • Poultry: chicken or turkey
  • Fish
  • Bread
  • Vegetables: carrots, spinach, sweet potato and peas

Biotin

In the body, vitamin B7 (Biotin) is used to turn the carbs, fats, and proteins you eat into energy. During pregnancy, there are not any extra effects that this nutrient provides. However, it is important to get this vitamin, as pregnancy can frequently cause a deficiency in different vitamins. To avoid a deficiency,  pregnant women need 30 mcg each day while breastfeeding women need 35 mcg. Try these foods to up you biotin intake:

  • Eggs Yolk
  • Almonds
  • Cheeses: One study found Blue cheese and Camembert to have the most.
  • Sweet potato
  • Cauliflower

Folate

Vitamin B9 is arguably the most important B-vitamin during pregnancy. This is used to help reduce the risk of birth defects. It is also used to make DNA and other genetic material. Check out one of our previous articles to learn about The Benefits of Folic Acid for Mothers. To get the effects of this B-vitamin on pregnancy, you need to get 600 mcg each day when pregnant, and 500 mcg when breastfeeding. To get this amount, try foods like:

  • Leafy green veggies
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans
  • Bread
  • Cereals

Vitamin B12

The last one of the B vitamins is vitamin B12. This nutrient is used to make genetic material such as DNA. During pregnancy, this vitamin is used to help maintain the nervous system. The American Pregnancy Association also states that vitamin B12 is “Essential for baby’s neural tube formation, brain and spine development.” It also works with folate to help prevent any birth defects. You need to make sure you get 2.6 mcg daily during pregnancy and 2.8 mcg when breastfeeding. Many foods contain this nutrient such as:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Meats: beef, liver, and chicken

Conclusion

The effects of B-vitamins on pregnancy are only available if you get the nutrients through your daily diet. However, there are also other ways to get these nutrients. One example is a prenatal vitamin supplement. Here at Prenatal Liquid Vitamin, we offer our Prenatal Multi for those who are looking for a supplement with these vitamins in it. For more information about this product visit our website here to learn more.

Sources

https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/vitamin-b-pregnancy/
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/
https://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(62)89506-X/pdf

caring for a sick baby

How To Take Care Of A Sick Baby

When your newborn baby gets sick for the first time, you may feel scared as a parent. It can be hard to sleep at night knowing that your little one is not feeling well.  There are many steps you can take to care for your ailing baby. Continue reading to learn all about caring for a sick baby.

Caring For A Sick Baby

Fever

If your child has a fever, this could mean that there is another problem because a fever is not an illness of its own. This happens when the body raises its temperature. It does this because the enzymes that fight the illness work better at higher temperatures.

Family Doctor.org states “Many doctors diagnose a fever as an oral temperature above 99.5°F. They diagnose fever as a rectal temperature above 100.4°F.” When checking the temperature of your child, try to use a digital thermometer, but never use a mercury one, as it is toxic.

When new parents find out that their child has a fever, their first instinct is to go to the doctor immediately. However, this is not the case, as a low fever of around 101°F or under is not dangerous unless the infant is under 2 months old, then you should contact your doctor. However if they are older, but still under a year, you can undress them and encourage them to drink in order to cool them off.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “If your baby is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature up to 102°F and seems sick or has a temperature higher than 102°F, contact the doctor.”

Ear Infection

An ear infection, also called otitis media is inflammation in the middle ear. It can be hard to tell if your child has an ear infection without a proper diagnosis from their doctor. This is because many children will rub their ears when they get tired. However, if your baby starts to tug at their ears and is showing signs of discomfort, you should take them to a doctor as soon as you can. The doctor will be able to assess and accurately determine whether or not they have an ear infection.

If your child has an ear infection, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic to help. If not, they may recommend that you just wait it out, as many ear infections will resolve themselves within a few days. However, there are still some things that you can do to help relieve the pain in your infant’s ear. To start, give your child plenty of fluids to drink and encourage them to swallow. Another thing you can do is apply a warm compress to their ear to ease the pain. If the infection lasts for more than a few days, get back in contact with your doctor as they may have more guidance.

Cold

The Mayo Clinic states ” Babies are especially susceptible to the common cold, in part because they’re often around other children. Also, they have yet to develop immunity to many common infections.” Some symptoms of the common cold in babies are, congested or runny nose, fever, sneezing, coughing, decreased appetite, and difficulty sleeping. Many times, the cold will resolve itself after around 10-14 days, and your baby will go back to being their normal self. However, if your baby is younger than 3 months, get them to a doctor. The reason is to make sure that there is no other serious illness present along with the cold.

Flu

When your baby has the flu, they will show symptoms such as fever, aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, and even vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you call your child’s doctor to avoid any further complications such as the ear infections mentioned above. When you notice your child has the flu, make sure that they are getting enough to drink in order to prevent dehydration. Also, make sure that they are getting rest. If your child is over the age of one, they will be prescribed a medicine by the doctor for you to give them.

Conclusion

You may find that you are caring for a sick baby often because some illnesses like the cold will come and go while the others show up for a while and don’t come back. One thing to note is that it is always ok, especially for new parents to be worried about your baby’s health, as it is your job to make sure that they are ok. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn more about Keeping Your Newborn Safe During Winter.

Sources

https://familydoctor.org/condition/fever-in-infants-and-children/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold-in-babies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351651
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20047793

smiling baby in a diaper - how to change a diaper

How To Properly Change A Diaper

When you first become a parent, you will be changing around 10 diapers each day. Over your first year with your newborn, that adds up to over 3,000 diaper changes. If you are going to be doing this consistently, it is important to know what you will need, and how to do it right. Continue reading to learn how to change a diaper.

What Will You Need?

Diapers

There are two different kinds of diapers that you can use to clothe your baby. The first, and most common is disposable diapers. These are the ones that you buy from the store, and once you have changed it, as the name suggests, dispose of it. If you use these diapers for your newborn, try experimenting with different brands as some might be uncomfortable and cause a rash for your little one.

The other kind of diaper that you can use is cloth diapers. These can be a little more environmentally friendly but are also a little less convenient due to them needing to be washed afterward. If you clean them yourself, wash them separately from other laundry and use a mild detergent. Kids Health states “Don’t use fabric softener or antistatic products, which can cause rashes on babies’ sensitive skin.”

Wipes

When it comes to the wipes you will use to clean your newborn, there are some things that you are going to need to know. The first being to not use just wipes to clean your newborn. The reason is that if you use too many, you put your newborn at risk of developing a rash. Instead, use a washcloth or cotton balls dipped in warm water and then finish off with a wet wipe. As your newborn gets older and their skin becomes less sensitive, you can switch to only using wipes.

Ointments

These can be used if your baby is beginning to show signs of a diaper rash. The most common is red, sensitive skin where their diaper is. Your child’s doctor may recommend a certain brand or even prescribe a certain ointment to help with your child’s rash. To use, simply spread some onto the area where the rash is and cover with a clean diaper. Make sure you are using the ointment after you have changed them and use it every time until the rash fades.

Changing Station

A changing station can be anywhere that you normally change your baby’s diaper. Many people have one set up in their child’s nursery. It can be a table that can secure the child or even a mat that you roll out on the floor. Regardless, your changing station should have everything that you need to change a diaper within arms reach. This also includes a trash can nearby for dirty wipes, cotton balls, and diapers.

How To Change A Diaper

When it comes to how to change a diaper, there are some things that you will need to do. The first thing that you need to do is lay your baby on their back on top of the changing station. You then want to remove any clothing that prohibits access to the diaper.

Next, You are going to need to remove the dirty diaper and if you have disposable ones, throw it in a trash can. You can do this by lifting your baby’s legs gently and sliding the diaper out. After that use some of the cotton balls or washcloths to clean them thoroughly. The American Pregnancy Association states “Wiping from the front to back will help prevent spreading bacteria that could cause an infection.”

If the area where you just wiped is red and has a rash, you can then use your rash ointment to soothe the area. Other things that you can use are baby lotion, or baby powder too. Be sure to talk to your newborn’s healthcare provider before introducing a new product.

Before you reapply a fresh clean diaper, let your baby’s skin dry a little. After that, take the clean diaper and place it under your baby and fasten it as you normally would. If it is disposable, you use the velcro straps. However, if you use cloth diapers, you will either have a safety pin or diaper tape to apply to fasten it.  Some cloth diapers also have buttons.

Finally, you can replace any clothing that you have taken off. If their clothing got dirty in the process, grab a fresh pair and put that on. One thing to always remember is to always wash your hands before and after changing to avoid the germs from spreading.

Conclusion

Taking care of a soiled diaper is not hard as long as you know how to change a diaper. The important thing to remember is to have all of your supplies nearby and to never leave your newborn unattended at their changing station. Be sure to also always wash your hands to keep your baby safe. Be sure to also check out one of our previous articles to learn about some Diaper Bag Essentials.

Sources:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/diapering.html
https://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/changing-a-diaper/
https://carepointhealth.org/diaper-changing-tips-smooth-babys-bottom/

winter newborn safety - baby in a coat and beanie

Keeping Your Newborn Safe During Winter

When the temperature drops and everyone is preparing for the holidays, things can get a little crazy. Shopping and preparations are taking up time and people tend to forget things. One thing that should never be forgotten is the safety of your newborn. However, how do you keep your newborn baby safe and healthy during the winter months? Continue reading to learn more about some winter newborn safety tips.

Winter Newborn Safety

Clothing

With the decline in the temperature, you will want to make sure that your newborn is warm. It is important to also be careful about what you are using to keep your baby warm as there is a time and a place for different articles of clothing.

If you are going to be outside for a bit, you are going to want to make sure that your baby has enough to keep them warm, but not overheat. Healthychildren.org states, “Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm.” These include footed onesies, a long-sleeve shirt, and a light jacket. Some extra things that you also want are some boots, gloves/mittens, and a warm hat.

When you are indoors, you can remove all the extra articles of clothing as long as it is not cold in the room you are in. If you have just removed clothing and your infant becomes fussy, it could be because they are cold. Don’t think that because you are not cold, your newborn will not be, because newborns get colder faster than adults do.

Car Safety

During the winter months, snow and ice are on the roads depending on where you live. These can make for some dangerous roads and it is important to make sure that your baby is safe while on these roads, To do this, make sure that they have a rear-facing car seat. Be sure to also inspect that it is properly installed and your baby is secure in it.

Another winter newborn safety tip is to make sure that you do not leave them in the car when you are not there. You do not want to do this at all because in the summer months they can overheat, and in the winter months, they can freeze. Doing this can also help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, otherwise known as SIDS.

The last car safety tip is to avoid jackets in the car. Now a light jacket will be fine, however, a big puffy jacket on your newborn whilst driving can actually be dangerous. There are many reasons why with the first being the heat. Your newborn might be overheating in their car seat due to the jacket, so it might be best to take it off. The other reason is, it may be too big and you may need to loosen the safety straps to fit your baby. In the event of an accident or abrupt stop, the straps can compress the coat and cause your newborn to slip out of the car seat restraints.

Keeping Warm At Night

The reason why you want to make sure that your infant has the ideal sleeping temperature is that they do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature like adults do. You can check to see if your baby is hot or cold by checking the back of their neck. If it is cool then you might want to warm up your baby. You can do this by putting them in warmer pajamas or by investing in a space heater. If you choose a space heater, there are some things to look out for. Make sure that it avoids fire hazards, meets current safety standards, and ideally has a temperature control. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) states that you should do the following.

  • Inspect for cracked or broken plugs
  • Look for loose connections
  • Plug directly into a wall
  • Place on flat surfaces and not on tables cabinets and carpet
  • Unplug and safely store when not in use

If your baby is sweating on the back of their neck, you are going to need to cool their room. You can do this by turning off the space heater, and if that does not do enough, or you didn’t have one, turn down the air conditioning or remove a layer of clothing off your baby.

Illnesses

Many believe that the cause of the common cold is the cold weather. This is actually a myth and the cold is caused by viruses that we are exposed to during winter. You want to limit the exposure that your baby gets to these viruses. You can do this by making sure that everyone who holds your newborn has washed their hands thoroughly and has used sanitizer.  Make sure anyone who isn’t feeling well or is exhibiting cold symptoms doesn’t hold your child.  Another thing to make sure of is that your baby is immunized. The Clevland Clinic reminds parents too, “Keep vaccinations current, including the flu shot for children 6 months and older.” This way, you and your baby can both be protected from any winter virus.

Hypothermia & Frostbite

It is unlikely that you’ll be outside, especially for long periods, in severely cold weather with your baby. As long as you keep your newborn warm, you will not have to worry about either of these. However, they are still possible and are very serious. Hypothermia is when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. In infants, you will see them showing signs that they are cold. You will know that your newborn has hypothermia if their temperature drops below 97.7 degrees Farenheight. If not treated, it can lead to frostbite or even death. Frostbite is when the skin and underlying tissues are freezing. One of the first signs of frostbite in infants is white patches on their skin. If you see this, you need to warm them up and get them inside immediately and call your doctor.

Conclusion

There is a lot to know about winter newborn safety. It is important to make sure that you are keeping your baby warm while at the same time, ensuring that they are not overheating. To learn about Tummy Time for babies, please check out one of our previous articles here.

Sources:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Winter-Safety.aspx
http://esfi.org/resource/space-heater-safety-tips-146
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/parents-know-these-winter-safety-tips/