pullups vs diapers

Baby Pull-Ups: What Are They, What Age To Switch & More

As a new parent, you’re going to do an astronomical amount of diaper changes and go through many disposable diapers.

As your exhaustion levels rise, you will likely start wondering how soon you can potty train your child.  

While the answer will vary pretty dramatically from child to child, experts stress the importance of waiting until your child is ready.

The good news is, you may not need to wait as long as you think to start the process.  

By making use of a transitional product, “baby pull-ups”, you can begin preparing your child for potty training a little bit sooner.

Treating potty training as a work-in-progress and adding this extra stage is also a great way to ensure success.  

What Are Pull-Ups?

Pull-ups are a transitional diaper type designed for use as you work towards potty training your child.

The main purpose is to start encouraging independence while still providing leak-proof protection.

The main difference between pull-ups and diapers is that pull-ups are designed to easily slide on and off so that children can put them on and take them off on their own.

Why Should You Use Pull-Ups Instead Of Diapers

should you use pull ups for potty training

So, what is the function of making the switch to pull-ups as part of your potty training journey? 

For starters, involving your kids in the process and giving them some independence is a great way to get them excited about potty training.

Kids will love helping out and will be more motivated to make the switch to “big boy/girl” underwear.  

Plus, learning to pull up and pull down their own pants is an essential skill that you will need to teach them anyway- both for potty training and for dressing themselves later down the line.  

Pull-ups will also make changes much easier for you. Once your child is old enough to be involved, they are likely to become quite squirmy and difficult about diaper changes.

If they can take some ownership over the process, you likely won’t have to fight with them as much and only have to clean up for them.

This will hopefully reduce the time spent changing too.  

Pull-ups can help to reduce and eliminate messes caused by accidents. If you were to skip straight to underwear from diapers, you would likely have extra cleaning and laundry to do.

On the other hand, Pull-ups are easy to change and are (almost) as absorbent as diapers are. 

They also reduce embarrassment for potty training children who may be upset at the mess if they have an accident.  

Cons Of Switching To Pull-Ups

are pull ups as absorbent as diapers

While pull-ups are a useful tool for beginning your potty training journey, there are a couple of pitfalls to be aware of before choosing to use them:  

Do pull-ups make bedwetting worse? 

While pull-ups are often an excellent solution for preventing messes and extra laundry caused by bedwetting, they may not be supportive of solving the actual problem. 

Unfortunately, children are able to use a pull-up like a regular diaper, meaning that bedwetting may continue.

Many parents state that children will choose to use the pull-up throughout the night versus making the trip to the bathroom if they feel they need to go.

In a lot of cases, the safety net of the pull-up creates reliance.

Eventually, children will need to be weaned off of the pull-ups to effectively stop bedwetting from happening, so many parents would recommend skipping the use of them at night.  

Do pull-ups prolong potty training? 

In the same way that pull-ups can lead to reliance issues when it comes to bedwetting, you might find that reliance on pull-ups causes your potty training journey to take a little longer.

Unfortunately, without the physical discomfort caused by an accident in regular underpants, there’s not much incentive to get up and use the toilet instead of using the pull-up like a diaper.

That being said, experts say that if your child is truly ready for potty training, this shouldn’t become much of an issue. If it persists, it’s possible that your child is just not ready to be potty trained.

Are pull-ups as absorbent as diapers? 

Most pull-up brands claim to be equally as absorbent as their diapers.

In some cases, they might even state that they are designed to be more absorbent since they are meant for overnight use by older children who need greater leak protection.

However, real parents would almost unanimously agree that this is almost never the case.

If you take some time to browse parenting forums (or just ask a friend with older kids), you’ll find that most parents find them to be less absorbent, with more leakages. 

Are pull-ups more expensive than diapers?  

Since diapers are already such a significant monthly cost, you might be wondering how the cost of pull-ups compares.

If you choose to incorporate them into your potty training plan, should you be budgeting for an extra investment?

In general, pull-ups are more expensive, but only by a few cents more per unit. If you only use pull-ups overnight or for a short transition period, the difference may be inconsequential.

But if you are using them all day long for several months, this extra cost can add up. 

What Age To Switch From Diapers To Pull-Ups 

what age to switch to pull-ups

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. Many experts recommend starting to potty train around two years old.

That being said, some children are ready as young as 18 months, and others are not ready until they are nearly three.

Rather than sticking to the “right age” to switch to pull-ups and start your potty training journey, pay attention to your child’s behavior.

When the time is right, there will probably be some tell-tale signs that your child is ready.  

Waiting until your child is ready to start potty training is definitely the key to success. Since potty training relies on self-motivation and independence, your child needs to be interested in the process.

If your child is not ready, they will simply continue choosing to use their diaper instead of making their way to the potty.

There needs to be enough interest and incentive to keep them engaged in the process. 

Signs Your Child Is Ready To Start Potty Training  

So, what exactly will your child do if they are ready to start?

While your child probably won’t tick off every sign, exhibiting a few of these behaviors is a pretty good indicator that it’s time to start preparing for potty training. 

Here are some of the signs to look out for, according to child development experts:  

  • Started to display interest in the bathroom 
  • Shown interest in “potty talk”  
  • Likes to be in the bathroom with you  
  • Can tell you when they are about to go to the bathroom  
  • Can follow basic instructions  
  • Has asked to use the potty/toilet  
  • Has decent fine motor skills (i.e., putting on some of their own clothing or shoes with some assistance)  

How To Transition To Pull-Ups

how to transition to pull ups

A quick google search will provide you with dozens of tips for beginning potty training with your toddler.

After all, making it fun, keeping them engaged, and using incentives are all essential in creating a positive experience and finding success.

That being said, there are a few that are specifically handy when it comes to switching to pull-ups:

Communicate

If one of the main signs that your child was ready for potty training was an increased interest in talking about potty time, then it is important to keep encouraging this open discussion.

Explain what you are doing, what they are doing, and encourage them to tell you what they need.  

If you’re dealing with a toddler who struggles with bedwetting, let them know if you or your spouse struggled with it when you were younger. If you didn’t, make it clear that everyone has had an accident- even you.

Keeping this dialogue open will help your child communicate their needs with you and lessen the impact of regressions caused by embarrassment from accidents.  

Use positive reinforcement, not shame.

Accidents happen, and potty training isn’t instant – it’s a process.

Do your best not to shame your child if they make a mistake since embarrassment will only lead to regression. Instead, have them help you clean up and move on.  

You will want to focus on celebrating their successes – no matter how small – and incentivize them to keep trying.

You can do this with just your words (a high five and a “way to go buddy” can go a long way), or you can use a rewards system.  

No matter how you choose to celebrate, letting them know that you are proud that they made it through the night, asked to use the potty, or even pulled up their own pants will make a world of difference.  

Give them the best chance of success.

You need to make it easy for your child to succeed.

During the day, this might mean making the potty easily accessible to them by keeping the door open, putting them in pants that are easy for them to pull up and down, and offering additional bathroom trips.

This becomes increasingly important for nighttime routines, though it may look a little bit different.

A child who has just had three glasses of milk with a scary dark hallway to stumble down is far more likely to have an accident in bed.  

Be sure to reduce drinks right before bedtime, and give them a clear, well-lit path to the bathroom. Maybe even let them pick out a fun nightlight as one of their potty training rewards.

You may also want to consider waking them up partway through the night to provide them an opportunity to get up and use the washroom, though this isn’t ideal for every family.

If your child is easy to get back to sleep, this is certainly worth a try.  

Take breaks from pull-ups.

Since pull-ups are meant to be a transition product, it’s essential to give your child a chance to phase out of them once they have adjusted.

Rather than getting them used to their pull-ups and then stopping using them flat-out, consider giving them “nights off”.

Every so often, switch the pull-up out for some “big kid” underwear and see if they can make it through the night.  

You don’t want to rush this before your child is ready, but this will also help to reduce reliance and nighttime laziness.

Give them a chance to show you they can make it through the night (or day) without an accident. If an accident does happen, it’s no big deal – they can simply try again another night.  

Using Pull-Ups For Older Children 

It’s not uncommon for children as old as 12 years old to have bedwetting regressions.

Thankfully, you can use pull-ups to help tackle bedwetting in older children as well. You may need to shop around to find the right fit, though.  

Using a youth or teen-sized pull-up is a much better choice than a diaper, especially for older children, since this can be an embarrassing and upsetting problem for them.

We recommend seeking the advice of a doctor on how to best remedy their bedwetting problem, but the use of pull-ups should help drastically with cleanup, and reduce embarrassment caused by mid-night messes. 

baby ear is smelly

Smelly Baby Ears: Potential Causes & What To Do About Them

When you have a new baby, you’ll be hypersensitive to their needs and changes to their behavior or body.

One of the most common things that new parents notice about their babies is a distinctive smell coming from their ears. 

Earwax (Cerumen) is a naturally occurring substance that helps to protect the ear canal from damage and keeps it waterproof, so if you notice that your baby has a lot of earwax, it could be completely normal.

Babies’ earwax is much softer and lighter colored than adult wax. This is completely normal, and it tends to toughen up and develop a yellowy color as they get older. 

The wax works on a cycle and gradually makes its way to the outer ear, carrying any bacteria or germs to keep their ears clean.

However, if the earwax starts to take on an unpleasant smell, there may be a problem. 

What Could A Smelly Baby Ear Mean?

Fungal Infection

Anaerobic bacteria – bacteria that can survive without oxygen – thrives in your baby’s ears and can develop into a severe fungal infection if it’s not managed correctly.

Your baby may also experience earache, itching, dizziness, feel off balance – which can be particularly dangerous if they’ve just started walking and they may hear ringing in their ears. 

If left untreated, it could have a long-term impact on their hearing as they get older. Ear infections are especially problematic in young children, as their ears are still developing. 

How To Treat An Ear Infection

If you suspect an ear infection, you should always see your pediatrician for advice. Prescribed ear drops can treat minor infections.

However, if the infection is more severe, your pediatrician may need to scrape out any excess wax using a curette (a small scraping tool used to pull out wax clumps). Don’t worry, it won’t hurt. 

Your baby’s ear should be kept as clean as possible throughout the ear infection treatment, avoiding any water. 

How To Clean A Baby’s Smelly Ears

babies ear smells like vinegar

To prevent a build-up of wax and that awful earwax smell, you should always make sure your baby’s ears are clean.

Wash Cloth

Using a washcloth is the easiest way to clean their ears if there’s not too much wax build-up. 

  1. Soak a cloth in warm water.
  2. Squeeze out any excess water – don’t let droplets get into their ears. 
  3. Gently sponge off any excess ear wax from around the ears. 
  4. DON’T put the cloth inside their ears – it could make the issue worse. 
  5. Dab the ears dry with a soft towel. 

Ear Drops

If there’s a substantial amount of wax and you’re worried that it might develop into an infection if not cleared, you should see your pediatrician for advice.

They may tell you that baby ear drops would be a suitable solution. 

DON’T buy ear drops over the counter without consulting your pediatrician. Some ear drops aren’t suitable for babies. 

  1. Always administer ear drops when your baby is calm and laying down – wriggling will mean that you miss their ears. 
  2. Warm the bottle up between your hands first to make sure the drops aren’t too cold. 
  3. Tilt their head gently to one side.
  4. Allow the correct amount of drops to fall into their ear. 
  5. Try to get your baby to lay still for a few minutes to let the drops take effect. 
  6. Wipe off any excess that runs out of the ear. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Your pediatrician may also recommend diluted hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to ear drops.

If you’re making this solution up yourself, you’ll need to mix 50% hydrogen peroxide with 50% fresh water in a clean bottle.

Shake thoroughly to ensure it’s properly diluted, then use it in the same way as ear drops. This method is slightly gentler on your baby’s ears if the infection is minor. 

How To Prevent A Baby Ear Infection

baby ear smells like sour milk

Cleaning Techniques

One of the leading causes of ear infections in babies is the way that they’re cleaned. Many people try to use Q-tips to get the wax out or even the end of their fingers.

Anything that you put into your baby’s ear could have bacteria on there, which you’re transferring into their ear canal. 

Your Q-tip may also crush the earwax into the eardrum or to the side of the ear canal, making it uncomfortable for your baby and impacting their hearing and balance. 

NEVER put anything into your baby’s ear to clean them. 

Viruses

Many baby ear infections are hangovers from viral illnesses, so they aren’t necessarily avoidable unless you avoid the virus. Unfortunately, this means that antibiotic drops probably won’t work. 

If you’ve tried drops to no avail, then speak to your pediatrician. They may be able to gently scrape away any infected wax to make your baby feel more comfortable and smelling fresher. 

Why Does Your Baby’s Ear Smell Like Vinegar?

baby ear smells like sour milk

Ears sweat. If the smell from your baby’s ears is intensified when it’s a warm day, it could be because they’re too hot. There are lots of tiny sweat glands behind your baby’s ears.

The vinegar-type smell could be caused by the sweat not being wiped away correctly. You should always make sure you wipe behind your baby’s ears thoroughly with a damp cloth – especially on hot days.

It’s a spot that’s often missed, but as long as you wash behind their ears, you should be able to avoid the pungent smell. 

Baby Earwax In Hot Weather

The hot weather is a bit of an enemy of your baby’s perfectly clean ears.

Damp earwax smells and could become watery and appear a darker, greenish color if left for too long. The problem is that when it solidifies later, it might cause a blockage. 

What To Do

Remove a few layers if it’s clear that your baby is too hot. This should stop the problem from becoming worse.

Never sit your baby in direct sunlight – always make sure they’re in the shade. 

When it’s a scorching day, you should make sure that the outer ear is completely clean at all times by using a damp (not wet) cloth. 

Baby Waterlogged

Although earwax does contribute to making your ears waterproof, it can’t remove every drop of water from the ear.

If your baby’s ear fills with water and isn’t dried correctly, the wax inside will start to give off a damp, musty smell – sort of like wet clothes that have been left out. 

What To Do

If you’re concerned that your baby’s ears are waterlogged, you should gently dry the outside of their ear with a soft towel. 

Your priority should be to get all of that water back out, even if that means tilting their head gently to the side to allow stray droplets to run out themselves naturally. 

Don’t put anything in your baby’s ear to try to dry it out – you’ll only make the problem worse. 

How To Prevent

Whether your baby is having a bath or is at the pool, you should always make sure that their ears don’t go below the waterline. 

If they do, dry their ears immediately with a towel to remove any excess water. It’s the damp wax that smells if it’s left to dry on its own.

Summary

Your baby’s ears could begin to smell because they have a fungal or viral infection. Don’t panic right away, as most minor infections can easily be cleared up using drops.

The key is always to make sure that your baby’s ears stay clean and dry, and you shouldn’t have any issues. 

what to say to someone who just had a baby

What To Say To Someone Who Just Had A Baby & What Not To Say

As society continues to remove the taboos surrounding childbirth and the difficulty of adjusting to parenthood, the discussion surrounding being a better and more sensitive support system has been quite prevalent.

As much as we have progressed in creating awareness of the delicacy surrounding this time, many people still struggle to know what is tactful and what is offensive. 

We all know a few key greeting cards line for welcoming a little one into the world, and a quick google search will provide you with a dozen ways to congratulate the couple.

But beyond that, you might wonder how to navigate conversations and show support towards new parents, especially if you’ve never been there yourself.

Thankfully, we have put together a guide on everything you should and shouldn’t say to new parents so that you can be helpful instead of hurtful. 

What To Say To Someone Who Just Had A Baby

What do you say to a new mom

If you want to support new parents, there are few key phrases that will help them the most. 

Congratulations.

Pretty much any congratulatory phrase will do.

But they just brought a new life into this world, and that is no easy feat, so make sure you acknowledge and celebrate this milestone.

If “Congratulations” feels too simple, you can go for something like “you did it! He/she/they are perfect!” or “We are so happy for you” will work too. 

Is there anything I can do for you?

More than anything, an offer of help will be well received and much appreciated. Of course, only make genuine offers.

Sometimes new parents will hesitate to reach out for help, so if you really want to make sure they know you are serious, make specific suggestions instead of leaving it open-ended.

Can you bring them dinner? Hold the baby so they can take a shower? Babysit so they can spend an hour alone with their spouse?

Once you have settled on something you can do to lighten their load, you can add a subtle “If there’s anything else you need, please let me know”. 

You’ve got this. You’re doing great.

Words of affirmation are so important for new parents’ well-being.

Especially for first-time parents, it can be quite overwhelming to adjust to a newborn’s needs and try to find their stride when it comes to parenting techniques that work for them.

Letting them know “you’re doing great”, “you’re such a good mom”, or “you have great instincts” will do wonders for helping them to silence their doubt and listen to their gut. 

How is your recovery going?

Adjusting to life with a newborn and sleepless nights aren’t the only challenging things about new motherhood.

Regardless of how she delivered, she will be going through a significant recovery process, mentally and physically.

While everyone thinks to check on how the baby is doing, it may not be as obvious that you need to check on how mom is doing.

Some questions might feel too personal, so try to gauge the nature of your relationship before asking anything pressing.

If you’re just a casual acquaintance, just letting mom know you’re thinking about them, too, will suffice. Closer friends should consider checking in on their emotional and physical well-being. 

Let me know when you’re ready for visitors.

Do not invite yourself over, and do not ask “can I come visit now?” with a sense of urgency.

If you put them on the spot, they might oblige even if it’s not what’s best for them right now, and that is unfair.

They are trying to balance their new baby’s sleep/feed schedule, get some rest themselves, and recover from a physical trauma.

Instead, put the ball in their court by saying “let me know when you’re ready for visitors”. To be extra kind, you can add the assuring caveat, “it’s okay if you’re not yet. Take your time.” 

It’s okay to be overwhelmed. 

Empathize as much as you can. Letting them know that it is overwhelming and okay not to love every second of it is so helpful.

Especially if you are a parent yourself, a simple “I know how you’re feeling” can go a long way. Validate their feelings and open yourself up to be a sounding board.

They may want advice, or they may just want to vent, but this lets them know that you are a judgment-free member of their support team who understands what they are going through. 

What Not To Say To Someone Who Just Had A Baby

What to say to your best friend who is having a baby

Now that you know what you should say to support a friend or family member who has recently given birth, you may be wondering what you shouldn’t say.

There is certainly a big list of faux pas that are just insensitive and unnecessary. 

When will you be having another one?

Just don’t. They are probably really overwhelmed with the baby (and potentially other children) they have at this moment. Her body may still be recovering.

This means they are focused on the day-to-day, not when they will get pregnant next. Even if they do have a “plan” for how many kids and when to have them, this question is just insensitive.

It dismisses the significance of the recent birth and family changes and puts a lot of pressure on people.

They will have more kids if/when they are ready, and they will share those plans with you only if they deem it “your business”. Otherwise, leave it alone. 

Anything to do with losing or not losing the baby weight. 

This is just not polite or appropriate. Their body just created life is healing from trauma and adjusting to a major change.

Don’t put undue pressure on a postpartum mom who may already be struggling with body image issues. She may not want to lose every single pound. In fact, some mamas love embracing their curves and stretch marks.

Others may desperately want to lose weight but can’t get it to come off fast enough. Her health and weight journey is the business of her and her doctor only.

Don’t ask questions, and don’t make unnecessary comments.

Have you tried…

Quit offering up unsolicited advice. Expecting parents are bombarded with so much advice, “research,” and judgments leading up to their baby’s arrival and throughout their child’s life.

Chances are, they have made educated and calculated decisions about how they are raising their child and why.

They also might just be doing what feels right for their family, learning on the job, and following their instincts.

Both methods are totally valid, and your “advice” will come off as a judgment of their parenting choices more than anything. If they need your help or opinions on a specific issue, they will ask.

This means that you should keep your thoughts on breast/bottle feeding, co-sleeping, sleep training, schedules, babywearing, and just about everything else to yourself.

Also, they will put hats and socks on their baby if needed. Chances are, the baby just pulled them off, so leave this one be. 

Do not minimize their delivery experience.

While you might not do it on purpose, the way you talk about their delivery is important.

Regardless of whether they had a C-section, medicated hospital birth, non-medicated hospital birth, or home birth, avoid words like “natural”.

All ways of bringing their baby into the world are natural and should be applauded.

Also, they might be experiencing some upset surrounding deviations from their birth plans or choices they didn’t get to make.

For this reason, don’t say one is easier than another, compare/contrast, or say things like “just be happy you have a healthy baby.” They are, but their feelings about their birth experience are also valid.

Be sensitive and kind, and don’t try to find the silver lining. If they are struggling, acknowledge their struggle instead of dismissing it. 

You look tired…

They probably know, and they probably feel more tired than they look. This is just unnecessary. They are physically recovering, and they are operating on next to no sleep.

Pointing out how tired they look will make them feel worse, especially postpartum mothers dealing with body image. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Do not minimize their current experience. 

If new parents open up to you about how hard the adjustment has been, do not negate their feelings by turning it into positive, or worse, a competition.

Seemingly harmless phrases like “you’ll miss this stage” make new parents feel like their experiences are unusually hard or that they are coping worse than others, which is unfair.

Also, it’s not wise to tell someone who is in survival mode, “if you think that’s bad, wait until…”

They just need to get through today, and you are both minimizing their current experience and making them feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. 

When are you going back to work? 

We understand the curiosity here, but it usually ends up coming off as a judgment.

They might not know yet, they might be anxious about having to go back too soon, or they might be grappling with balancing their career and their new role as a parent.

Don’t rush them and try to be understanding of their choices. Some will choose to be stay-at-home parents, while others get back to it right away and outsource help.

Both are okay and completely up to them. If you are going to ask, don’t try to convince them one way or the other. 

how to get rid of stretch marks on breasts

13 Ways To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Stretch Marks On Breast, Stomach & More

Pregnancy and postpartum come with lots of different bodily changes, one of which is stretch marks.

Some women love their stretch marks, while others do everything they can to prevent them and reduce their appearance.

When it comes to stretch marks on the breasts, many women feel uncomfortable with how they look in low cut-tops or even naked.

Thankfully, we have put together a guide outlining thirteen remedies, both home and medical, for reducing the appearance of stretch marks on your breasts.

Ways To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Stretch Marks On Breast, Stomach & More

how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks after delivery

Pure Butters

When it comes to both preventing stretch marks and reducing their appearance postpartum, moisturizing is key. 

While you can certainly use lotions and moisturizers from the drug store, most pure nut body butters will do a better job. In fact, they are specifically recommended for use on stretch marks.

This can include Cocoa, Shea, Almond, and Coconut body butter formulas. Shea butter, in particular, has plenty of Vitamin A in it, which increases skin elasticity.

With any of the butters, using the 2-3 times daily will help soften skin to prevent stretch marks when your skin stretches during pregnancy, but they will also soften existing stretch marks and help your skin to adjust as it shrinks back.

Pure Oils

When it comes to stretch marks, it’s not just appearance you need to worry about. Sometimes, as they heal, your skin will become quite dry, itchy, and irritated.

Pure oils, such as almond, castor, olive, rosehip, coconut, and grapeseed can aid in both reducing appearance and in reducing discomfort.

Coconut oil is especially good for shortening healing time thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and its ultra-hydrating effects will keep itching at bay.

On the other hand, you may want to try Castor oil to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Castor oil will prevent water loss of the skin, helping it lock in moisture.

Also, it has Ricinoleic acid, which is one of the best natural skin moisturizing ingredients on the market.

Stimulation/Massage

If you want to rejuvenate your skin and improve dermal nutrition, it’s crucial to improve your circulation.

You can start to improve circulation by giving yourself a massage, with or without lotion (although the hydration from a lotion is a bonus).

This will help new tissue grow and replace damaged skin, which could reduce your stretch marks’ visibility.

Specially Formulated Creams/Oils

If you’re not set on 100% pure oil or butter, why not try one of the specially formulated belly oils and butters on the market.

These products will combine many of the pure ingredients listed above as well as other skincare superstars such as assorted vitamins and aloe vera for amplified effects.

Plus, you can reap the benefits of multiple super-moisturizers and skin-savers in one simple step.

Exfoliate 

Use an exfoliating scrub, homemade or store-bought, to remove damaged skin and promote regrowth. You can also purchase an exfoliating brush to speed up the process and promote circulation.

Tretinoin Prescriptions

If you are noticing that most over-the-counter products and natural remedies are not helping the appearance of your stretch marks, you may want to talk to your physician about a prescription for Tretinoin.

Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A that is often used in medicated cosmetics to help with skin conditions.

It promotes collagen production and skin turnover, which will significantly help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Just be sure to talk to your doctor first if you have sensitive skin or if you’re breastfeeding, as this will not be a good solution for everybody, especially for use on the breasts.

Laser Therapy 

If you’ve tried every trick in the book to deal with your stretch marks at home and still aren’t satisfied with the results, you may want to consider a non-invasive clinical procedure.

Laser therapy for stretch marks aims to rebuild college in affected areas. One round of treatment, plus a good moisturizing regiment, should be enough for your stretch marks to fade significantly.

Wells suggested a skincare cocktail to accompany a round of laser treatments to best fade stretch marks.

A round could take a few months to complete, but the sessions themselves are only 15 to 30 minutes, and it’s completely painless.

Products With Retinol 

Retinol should be the first ingredient you look for when scoping out a stretch mark repair product.

It will help to even out skin tone, exfoliate, hydrate, and promote collagen production. Over time, this will return your skin to it’s natural, healthy state. Retinol removes dead skin cells and smoothens rough skin textures.

In fact, it is a vitamin A derivative that is often used in anti-aging products for these same properties.

Rebuild Skin Cells With Micro-Needling

If you’re not afraid of the odd cosmetic procedure, why not give micro-needling a try?

Micro-needling is known to be a great option for reducing the appearance of stretch marks or getting rid of them altogether.

This is because the needles stimulate collagen and elastin production in the exact spots where your skin needs to be rebuilt.

There are even some at-home devices for micro-needling, but we recommend leaving it to a professional, both for your safety and the highest chance of success.

Treat Stretch Marks With Fillers

Did you know you can actually use injectable fillers to reduce the appearance of stretch marks?

Poly-L lactic acid and dilute calcium hydroxyapatite can be used to promote natural production of collagen from underneath your scars.

Some fillers last as long as 1-2 years, but a couple of rounds is recommended for the best, long-lasting results.

Homemade Recipes For Pregnancy Stretch Marks

how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks home remedies

You don’t have to invest a ton of money into your stretch-mark combatting skincare routine.

Whether you would rather go the all-natural route or save a few dollars, you can surely find the perfect recipe to suit your needs.

This way, you’ll know precisely what you are putting on your skin, and you can customize the recipe for your own skincare and scent preferences. 

Fatty Cocoa Recipe

This DIY cream is fantastic for use during pregnancy.

It will help keep your skin moisturized and healthy, prevent stretch marks, and help with itching, which is quite common as your belly grows.

It smells like chocolate, which is an added bonus, and it’s safe for postpartum use and sensitive baby skin. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cocoa butter
  • 1/2 lb. pork fat 
  • 1/2 lb. beef fat

Directions

  1. Cut the fat products (beef and pork) into 1-inch cubes. Once you have all of your cubes prepared, put them in a simmering pan on the stove, with the heat at the lowest setting possible. 
  2. Add approximately 2 tbsp. of water to help prevent burning. You will know if you’ve added enough if the water just barely covers the bottom of the pan- anything more is too much. 
  3. Render the fat slowly. 
  4. Once the fat is halfway melted, you can add in the cocoa butter. No matter how tempting it may be, do not increase the heat setting to speed up the process. This is important for avoiding burning and maintaining the right texture.
  5. Once the fat and cocoa butter has melted entirely, remove it from heat. 
  6. Use a lined mesh colander to strain the melted materials in a large glass bowl. 
  7. Place the glass bowl in your freezer and allow it to set for 20 minutes. 
  8. When you remove it from the freezer, there should be a solid layer on top. If this layer is not set yet, put it back in the freezer for ten more minutes. 
  9. Use an electric hand mixer to whip your fat and cocoa butter mixture until you get the texture/consistency of your usual body butters. 
  10. Store in a dark and cool place – or the fridge for an added cooling effect. 

Oily Water Recipe

This homemade cream is perfect for mamas who want a DIY lotion that’s multipurpose.

The ingredients are specialized for stretch mark prevention, but they are also optimized for created a high-moisture, wonderful smelling product that you will love to use. 

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of unrefined coconut oil
  • ¾ ounce of unrefined cocoa butter
  • ¾ ounce of unrefined Shea butter
  • 6 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 2 teaspoons of vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops of cypress essential oil
  • 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops of helichrysum essential oil

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and Shea butter in a small saucepan over the lowest heat setting possible.
  2. Wait until the oils are melted completely, then mix in water until smooth and fully combined.
  3. Remove your oil mixture from the stovetop and continue mixing as it cools. Once you have reached room temperature and creamy consistency, you can stop mixing. 
  4. Once your stretch mark oil mixture is at the proper consistency, add essential oils for scent as well as extra vitamins and minerals. 
  5. Move your oil to a dark-colored container and store it in a cool, dark place. 

Oily Butter Recipe

If oil is more in line with your usual skincare routine, this is a super-easy, three-ingredient recipe that is perfect for stretch mark prevention.

Coconut oil is one of the best ingredients on the market for moisturizing and strengthening your skin tissue. The cocoa butter is chalked full of antioxidants that prevent skin damage.

And, lastly, Almond oil will help increase your skin elasticity as it grows and stretches. What more could you ask for? 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil 
  • 2 Tbsp. of cocoa butter
  • 2 tsp. of sweet almond oil 
  • Essential oil of choice (optional)

Directions

  1. Use a double boiler (small glass boil perched on top of a pot with boiling water) to heat your coconut and cocoa butter until melted. If you cannot use a double boiler, a saucepan will be fine; just be sure to keep the heat setting as low as you can to avoid burning. 
  2. Remove your bowl of coconut oil and cocoa butter from the stove and stir in your almond oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. 
  3. Pour your mixture into a lidded jar and allow it to cool completely. 
  4. Apply daily to your stretch marks to reduce their appearance, or twice daily to your pregnant belly to avoid getting stretch marks.

Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

The most important thing you can do to prevent developing stretch marks during pregnancy is to keep your skin moisturized.

You can use any hydrating lotion that you like for your skin, but you may also want to find a specialized stretch mark oil or butter with ingredients that promote collagen and elastin production. 

This will help your skin to be more elastic and handle stretching better. That being said, there is no foolproof way to avoid stretch marks entirely.

Despite best efforts, some people are more prone to developing stretch marks and will get some anyway.

Every pregnancy is different as well, so you may notice that you get stretch marks in a second pregnancy even if you didn’t during your first, or vice versa. 

Reducing Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Once you have surrendered to the fact that you have gained a stretch mark or two, you might start looking for some quick-fix solutions.

Your stretch marks will “fade” over time, from bright red and purple to a more standard white scarring. 

That being said, if you would like to speed up the process or get rid of them completely, there are some steps you can take, both medically and at home.

baby hands really hot

Baby Hot Hands & Feet: Normal, Dangerous, Or Catastrophic?

When you’re a new parent, it’s natural to be hypersensitive to any changes in your baby’s appearance and behavior.

And many parents become worried when they notice that their baby’s hands and feet are very hot compared to the rest of their body.

However, most of the time, the heat coming from your baby’s feet and hands is completely normal and could even be a good sign – so don’t worry!

Why Are Your Baby’s Hands And Feet Hot?

Why Are my Baby’s Hands hot

There are a few reasons that your baby’s feet might feel warmer to you than the rest of their body, but most of the time, it’s caused by something completely normal and natural.

The World Health Organization suggests that newborns’ hands and feet are supposed to be much warmer than adults.

It shows their healthy blood flow. They may even remain warmer than the rest of their body until they’re around two years old. 

However, it could also be because of these following reasons.

Room Temperature

Babies are much more sensitive to temperature than we are. A warm room might seem perfect to us, but they might be feeling a little too hot, especially in the summer.

Just like we have to consider the bathwater temperature, we should consider the overall room temperature too. Try putting a fan on to see if this helps. 

Layers

It’s tempting to wrap your baby in layer upon layer of woolly clothing, especially in the winter.

But babies are actually hardier than you think, and overheating your baby could lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

Obviously, you need to make sure they’re wrapped up if you go outside, but when you come into the warm house, make sure you remove a layer; otherwise, they could overheat. 

Other common signs of overheating include red, sore-looking ears, red cheeks, rashes on legs and chest, or lethargy – leading to unresponsiveness in severe cases. 

Activity

Even babies get hot when they’re doing a lot of moving around. If you’ve had a full-on play session, it could be that they’re just a little excited and are warm from the exertion. 

Mood

Having warm hands and feet could just be a sign that they’re content and having a good time. Warm hands, warm heart – as they say. The heat coming from their hands and feet can indicate happiness and comfort. 

Conversely though, if their hands and feet are cold, it could indicate stress and discomfort.

Check if they need a diaper change if they’re hungry or if they just need to get out of an environment where they aren’t comfortable. 

Fever

If your baby’s hands, feet, and heads are hot and they have accompanying behaviors such as excessive crying, mood swings, or a loss of appetite, it could indicate a fever. 

Don’t’ worry too much, actually, a fever could be the sign that your baby is fighting off an infection, which shows that their immune system is working correctly.

If you notice fussy behavior alongside the temperature, take them to a doctor to see if there’s anything you can do to make them feel more comfortable. 

Infection

Any cuts or scrapes exposed to the elements may invite bacteria that could develop into an infection. The infection is caused by your baby’s body trying to fight off any illness as a result. 

While this is a positive sign for their immune system, you should go to the doctor right away to seek treatment. Infections can develop into sepsis if not treated properly. 

As soon as you notice a cut on your baby’s skin, you should wash it out with warm water and monitor the skin around the wound to ensure it heals properly. 

How Can You Tell If Your Baby Has A Temperature?

Why Are my Baby’s feet hot

A baby’s temperature should always be taken orally if you believe that there’s something wrong.

Their hands, feet, and heads are usually much warmer than the rest of their body, so judging whether they have a fever using the touch of their hands or touching the back of your hand to their forehead is likely to make you worry.

Always take your baby’s temperature using an oral thermometer (but ensure you hold onto the other end to prevent a choking hazard). 

Your baby’s temperature should be 97-100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What Should You Do If Your Baby Does Have a Temperature?

If you’ve used a thermometer to find that your baby’s temperature is a little too high, you should immediately try to bring the temperature back to normal levels.

  • Ensure the room you’re in is well ventilated. 
  • Remove any excess layers of clothing (but make sure that their body is still warm enough – keep the bottom layer of clothing on, your baby could still catch a chill).
  • Prepare a bath of water that’s slightly cooler than normal – Not cold!

If your baby’s temperature remains high, you should seek professional help from your pediatrician. It’s probably nothing serious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

What If Your Baby’s Hands Are Cold?

why are my baby's hands cold

If you notice your baby’s hands or feet are excessively cold, especially in a warm climate, this could be something to check with your pediatrician.

It could be just that they are cold – in which case, you should just put on an extra layer. 

However, if they have cold, clammy hands, it could be a sign that they’re struggling with blood circulation or that they have the beginnings of something much more severe, such as meningitis. 

If in doubt, take a trip to the doctor straight away. 

Summary

It’s normal to be worried about any changes to your baby’s temperature, but most of the time, it’s something completely normal, so try not to panic.

It’s usually your baby’s behavior that will alert you to something serious; if they’re crying more often or have lost their appetite, this could signify that there’s something wrong. 

Typically, having hot hands and feet is normal for babies, but there’s no harm in seeing your pediatrician to put your mind at rest. 

are herbalife shakes safe during pregnancy

Drinking Herbalife While Breastfeeding Or Pregnant: Dangers & Alternatives

Many meal replacements boast about their health benefits, weight loss solutions, and great tasting shakes, but are they the same with pregnant or breastfeeding women? 

Herbalife sits on the fence, saying that, while certain products would be absolutely fine, as they are simply a replacement meal, other products do show a warning against Herbalife consumption in pregnant or breastfeeding women. 

Can You Drink Herbalife While Pregnant?

can you drink herbalife while pregnant

While some Herbalife products might be acceptable during breastfeeding or pregnancy as a vitamin or protein boost, it’s not recommended to use any Herbalife products as meal replacements while pregnant.

Although Herbalife does showcase products for extra vitamin consumption and energy build-up, they are best known for their healthy shakes.

However, these are typically meant as a meal replacement, usually for weight loss. 

Losing weight during pregnancy is never recommended. In fact, by the start of your third trimester, most midwives will suggest consuming around 340-450 extra calories per day to keep your baby growing at the correct speed. 

Increasing Tiredness

During pregnancy, your unborn baby needs to take vitamins from your body to keep them healthy. This is already a drain on your resources, which is why women in the later stages of pregnancy become tired quickly. 

Consuming any weight loss product during pregnancy is likely to exacerbate the problem, causing you to become easily drained.

It may also remove some of those great vitamins and minerals that your baby needs to grow strong. 

Baby Growth

Losing weight for you also means losing weight for your baby. You need to consume more calories to help your baby grow at the correct rate.

Using a weight loss solution of any type may mean that your baby can’t get all the nutrients they need from your body, and it could affect their growth and development. 

Trying to lose weight during pregnancy could:

  • Cause your baby to be born prematurely.
  • Cause your baby to be under-developed at birth, meaning their brain or body isn’t equipped for survival outside the womb. 
  • Lack of specific vitamins might cause the malformation of certain aspects of their body – e.g., lack of calcium could cause the bones to be more brittle. 
  • An absence of specific vitamins may mean that your baby is intolerant to certain foods after birth. 

Loss Of Vitamins

If you check the back of any Herbalife container, you’ll see that most products contain the recommended amount of daily vitamins. Great, right?

In theory, this works for most adults, as a daily diet generally includes lots of some vitamins and less of others depending on what you like to eat. Herbalife simply evens it out. 

However, what’s not apparent is that while you’ll get an even coverage of vitamins, you might lose out on the extra that you usually get from your standard diet. 

For example, if you eat a lot of oranges, then you’ll get a lot of vitamin C from your normal diet.

If you scrap the oranges and just use Herbalife, sure, you’ll get some vitamin C, but probably not as much as you were getting with oranges, as the shake has to make room for other great stuff that oranges might not have. 

Are There Any Herbalife Alternatives For Pregnant Women?

Can You Drink Herbalife While Breastfeeding

Protein Powder

Consuming a high protein diet while pregnant or breastfeeding really helps your baby to grow.

It’s recommended that a pregnant woman should consume around 70-100 grams of protein per day from eggs, soybeans, or potatoes. This helps with the growth of the body and, most importantly, the head. 

Some women suffer significantly from nausea during the second trimester of pregnancy, meaning that the consumption of such heavy foods is problematic. 

It’s acceptable to consume some protein powders to build up to the right level in this situation.

Herbalife has some pregnancy-friendly powders for this reason, and other protein powders such as Whey are fine for pregnant women. 

Fresh Ingredients

There’s no substitute for freshly sourced ingredients. Herbalife is primarily a supplement, so some of the good stuff in there is likely to be synthetic so that the powder will last a little longer. 

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables gives you all that goodness, straight from the source.

Recent studies have discovered that the ellagic acid in some berries can protect the body from cancer, while kale and spinach contain calcium for strong bones and teeth and lutein for excellent eye health. 

These ingredients that come naturally from fresh produce don’t appear in Herbalife powders. 

Can You Drink Herbalife While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can drink the Herbalife shakes as a booster for your nutrition during breastfeeding. 

However, it would be best if you didn’t use the shakes for weight loss at this point. Your baby still needs your milk to have lots of nutritional value to help them develop. 

You should continue to eat the same varied diet and mix a daily shake on top of this, rather than as a replacement meal.

Herbalife has a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for your baby’s development, but you need to ensure that this is extra to the great everyday food you eat and not instead of. 

Caffeine Warning!

Certain products made by Herbalife are designed as energy boosters rather than weight loss products.

If you’re looking at boosting your energy, some products may contain caffeine, which can affect the quality of your milk.

Make sure you check the label of the products to ensure they’re breastfeeding-friendly first. If you’re feeling a little drained, try some fresh fruit or vegetables as a booster instead. 

Summary

Trying to lose weight during pregnancy probably means that you’re fighting a losing battle. You should wait until your baby is born to consider cutting down your food intake. 

Certain Herbalife shakes could be used to boost the number of vitamins you’re already taking in if used as an extra meal, rather than a meal replacement, but make sure you check the label to see that there’s no caffeine.

Anything that isn’t baby-friendly will make that quite clear. 

exercises to help baby walk independently

24 Effective Exercises & Tips To Help Your Baby Walk

A few moments in life can top the moment when your baby takes his or her first steps—but if you’re not there yet, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help your child achieve this small yet great feat?

In this article, I’ll give you a few suggestions.

A baby’s first small steps are a giant stride towards independence—a proud moment for any parent.

Physical development is the foundation on which all other building blocks rest, and walking is an excellent milestone by which you can measure overall physical development.

Most babies will probably start walking at around 9 to 16 months. It is important to note that the time it takes for a baby does not say anything about intellect or athletic ability later in life.

However, if your baby isn’t even trying to walk by 18 months, you should consult your physician.

The good news? There are many exercises you can (and should) do to promote walking.

how to encourage baby to walk

Lay A Solid Foundation

A baby’s journey towards walking already starts in the uterus. Your child’s spinal cord has been forming since the first trimester (in the first 6 – 7 weeks).

Therefore, it’s crucial to take folic acid as soon as possible and continue throughout your pregnancy to prevent spina bifida.

Spina bifida is a congenital disability that develops when a baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. It might be treated through surgery, but it’s best avoided. 

So, have those vitamins! A little goes a long way in this case.

Develop Your Baby’s Senses

A child’s senses form the building blocks for stable physical development. Our singular senses (touch, taste, and smell) are the first to develop. 

So, one of the best ways to develop a baby’s senses to aid walking is through baby massage. Specifically, a foot massage. 

During the first year, a foot massage can have numerous benefits, such as:

  • Improving his or her locomotor system.
  • Preparing the child for walking.
  • Boosting blood circulation.
  • Enhancing muscle tone.
  • Preventing flat feet.
  • Boosting the baby’s immune system.

Develop Your Baby’s Muscles

If the senses are the foundational bricks of physical development, the muscles are the cement.

Muscles must be developed in a specific order – neck strength, sitting, crawling, and walking. Though you can skip any one of these phases, it is not advisable.

This is because each set of muscles developed in each phase has a crucial function later in life. For instance – a child who never crawled might struggle with mathematics or develop hand problems such as an improper pencil grip.

Though it might feel unnecessary, a baby must have tummy time to develop a strong neck (and rolling skills). After rolling, a child will learn to sit up on their own (well-done core muscles), and then crawling should follow. 

After crawling comes standing and then the literal first steps to independence!

Work on each of those phases diligently, and you’ll ensure their path to success!

Activate Cruise Control

Cruising is a vital stage before walking. It can continue until 12-14 months.

Experts agree that walking is the most variable physical milestone for toddlers and should not be used to gauge developmental success unless there are other indicators of giftedness or serious delay.

Some babies start walking at nine months, and others only at sixteen months. But, your baby will cruise while holding onto furniture.

Ensure that all pieces are sturdy because a baby will push all his or her weight onto it. Couches and coffee tables give ample room for a cruising baby to strut his or her stuff.

Keep Them Barefoot

Tiny shoes are adorable, but they are not the best tools when your little one is trying to take his or her first steps.

Pediatricians will generally recommend that you keep the baby barefoot as often as possible. This way, they can feel the ground and adjust their balance accordingly.

Different surfaces require the use of different joints, muscles, and postures. If a baby cannot feel the floor under his or her toes, it hinders the learning process.

Use Sturdy Shoes

Though barefoot is best, it is not always practical. When you are out and about, your child will need shoes.

But, your baby needs shoes with a supportive ankle and sole. It is important to understand that your baby has not yet used their ankle and lower leg muscles a lot and needs extra support to get those muscles working. 

Sturdy shoes will keep ankles from rolling or wobbling. It will also help the baby feel sturdier.

Avoid Obstructive Clothes

Science shows that girls will usually start walking sooner than boys. Yet, that beautiful little dress might be cramping her style!

Ensure that your baby is dressed in clothes that allow him or her to move freely. Playsuits without fitted feet and short trousers with elastic waists are perfect.

Fitted feet will restrict a baby’s ability to move freely and naturally. Lightweight fabrics are also better than coarse fabrics like denim.

Watch your child’s movements in the clothes you have chosen. If he or she seems unhappy, consider that there may be something about the clothes restricting movement and causing frustration.

Remember that clothing suitable for a newborn baby will not be right for a child moving about the room. Their clothes should always facilitate the level of movement that they reached.

Firm Surfaces

It can be terrifying to allow your wobbly, unbalanced infant to walk on hardwood floors or tile, but this is the best place for them to learn.

Once they are steadier on their feet, use those soft or uneven surfaces to challenge their balance a bit more.

Once they get the hang of standing and walking a bit, use various textured surfaces (carpet, beds, sofas, and grass) to improve their balance. It is also a great sensory experience. 

Note: Never let your little one walk on a bed or sofa without supervision.

Give Them A Reason

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to something on the other side. It had a purpose.  Just like this cliché chicken, we all need a reason for our actions.

The same applies to a baby. If you place a favorite toy or snack just out of reach, it will encourage your child to move.

(A bonus is that your child also learns that it is worth putting in extra effort to obtain the things he or she really wants in life.)

Provide An Enticing Journey

The destination is important, but the journey is also part of the fun! Make walking fun with squeaky shoes or a bubble-wrapped walking surface.

The funny sounds might encourage them to keep moving on their feet for more squeaks. You might also consider adding bells to shoelaces or Velcro straps for a delightful jingle-jangle sound. 

Baby Steps

Do not expect your baby to run across the living room when they first start to walk. They will slowly begin to take one or two steps at a time.

While you are teaching them, remain close at hand. If they can only take two steps, do not sit on the other side of the room. You can always increase the distance as they gain confidence.

Reduce Their Fear

Keep objects and furniture close so they know that they always have something sturdy to hold onto. 

Remain close and keep your arms open wide, ready to catch them if they fall. Once they realize that they will not get hurt if they fall, their fear should be reduced, and they may be more confident to take a few more steps.

Gradually Reduce Support

You can hold your baby under their arms, trunk, or on their hands. As they gain muscle strength, they will need less support.

Make sure you decrease the amount of support you give them gradually as they learn to walk. When a child learns to walk, it is best to have two adults instead of one.

This can provide the encouragement and motivation that your child needs to get started. One adult can encourage the child, while the other gives him support on the other end.

Place Them On Their Feet

After you have held your child, place him or her down in a standing position instead of sitting.

It might be easier for them to be placed in a seated position, but you want to take every opportunity to get them bearing weight on their feet.

Even when they plop down as soon as you place them down, you are still letting them know that your expectation is for them to stand up.

Childproof Everything

Just because you want your child to become a strong walker does not mean that you need to have a heart attack every step of the way.

The way to maintain sanity while your baby learns to walk is to babyproof your house. 

Knowing that you live in a safe home will give you great peace of mind, and you will be able to focus on the important thing: Helping your child develop.

Play Music

Music activities for infants engage the child’s aural and physical being. Age-old activities include tickling, wiggling, bouncing, and finger playing. 

Music not only stimulates brain development, but it can help strengthen a baby’s muscles when bopping to a tune.

Studies have shown that music might help turn your baby into a walker sooner than you think! 

Use Words Of Encouragement

Never underestimate the value of words of affirmation! We all love hearing words of encouragement from loved ones, and babies are no exception.

If your child knows that you believe he or she can accomplish the feat of walking, it will encourage him or her to try even harder. Not only that – it will also build your child’s self-esteem.  

Remember: Just because your child does not have a broad vocabulary yet, does not mean that they do not understand what you are saying.

They can pick up on your tone of voice and body language. They will love the attention and the feeling of making their parent proud. 

Give A Hand

Holding your child’s hand or hands while he or she is trying to walk might be a good idea.

Not only do they know that you are there for them, but they also get the feeling of what it’s like to stand upright. This might be the type of encouragement your little one needs to take his or her first independent steps. 

Just keep in mind that your baby’s legs and feet will get tired quickly. Make sure to rest often.

Role Models

Children are great copycats. Therefore, kids of your child’s age – or a little bit older – could be of great help through their example.

Having another baby walking around might be the motivation that they have been looking for. 

This theory’s basis is that a baby will be encouraged to walk because they will need to walk to keep up with the competition! 

Put Them Down

It is tempting to pick up and carry your baby everywhere, but the time has come to let your little one come to you. A baby that is carried everywhere has no need to walk. They know their mom will do it for them.

Even though you do love your child dearly, it is time for them to gain some independence by navigating the world independently. 

The best way to do this is to let them stand on their own two feet.

Remove Obstacles

For years you have been honing your house to be a cozy, welcoming nest for all that enters. 

Unfortunately, all the creature comforts might make it an extremely uncomfortable obstacle course for a baby just learning to walk. 

Take a step back and observe the room. Maybe there is too much furniture in the space or too many small objects in their way.

Toys That Assist Walking

Pull along toys will encourage your toddler to walk. In fact, they will feel very independent taking their favorite duck or doggy out for a spin.

A push trolley, pram, or toy lawnmower might also encourage a child to walk. But stay close. A toy with wheels could “run away” from your little one, leaving them plunging.

Do Not Push

It may be frustrating, but every parent needs to realize that every baby is their own person.

They are creating their own personality with their own personal interests. This might be the reason why they are not quite ready to walk just yet. 

A child who walked late probably also sat late and crawled late. Walking probably will not be the first milestone that you are concerned about. 

If you are concerned, consult your doctor. It is important that the child’s walking should be viewed in the context of other skills to try to figure out where he or she is on the motor development continuum. 

Walking Rings Are Not Your Friend

A walking ring might keep your baby out of mischief for a while. They free up your hands while cooking supper or washing up. But they might not be the best idea due to two reasons:

  • They contribute to falls.

In the USA, tipping over walking rings is one of the biggest causes of head injuries in babies in the first year of life. 

  • They hamper development. 

Walking rings are usually used at a stage when your baby should be practicing the skill of crawling.

The ring not only hampers the development of crawling but also diminishes the motivation to crawl.

Why would you crawl (which is hard) if you can go anywhere in your walking ring (which is easy)?

The standing position also negatively affects the development of hips, legs, and feet as weight-bearing limbs for walking. 

What should a mother do to keep her baby from getting jaundice

What Should A Mother Eat When Her Baby Has Jaundice & More

Newborn jaundice is a common problem in babies, and for most, it’s easily curable. However, there are also a lot of things that a mother can eat while she’s pregnant and while breastfeeding to help prevent jaundice before it occurs. 

If your newborn baby starts to show jaundice symptoms, having a healthy diet for both mother and baby can help cure it.

Remember, lots of the vitamins and minerals that a mother eats are also consumed by the baby through breast milk, so maintaining that diet for as long as possible will help them stay healthy too. 

How To Recognize Jaundice

What should a mother eat when the baby has jaundice

The most recognizable sign of jaundice is a yellowish tint to your baby’s skin and the whites of their eyes.

This is because they have too much bilirubin in their bloodstream. This is a substance that is usually filtered out by the liver when the body breaks down old red blood cells. 

Jaundice will start to show in the face and eyes and gradually spread down the arms, chest, and legs. The further down the body the yellowish color spreads, the more serious it is. 

If your baby has a nasty case of jaundice, they will also show as having a fever, may lose their appetite, and might not pee or poop very often – meaning the body isn’t processing food through the liver very quickly. 

What Causes Baby Jaundice?

Jaundice in babies is relatively common as the red blood cell breakdown is a normal bodily function. However, a baby’s underdeveloped liver can’t process the breakdown as quickly. 

You’ll start to notice the signs of jaundice when the bilirubin levels reach 2 milliliters per deciliter.

The conditions typically last around 7-10 days but can go on for weeks if it’s not managed correctly. The more prolonged jaundice is, the weaker your baby’s liver is becoming, and it can hinder their development, so it’s vital that you do everything you can to prevent this. 

The Two Main Types Of Baby Jaundice

  • Physiological Jaundice

This is a natural process developed because your baby’s liver isn’t developed far enough to process bilirubin in the blood cells. This will typically go away gradually on its own as your baby develops. 

  • Neonatal Jaundice

This is when the fetus’ blood cells aren’t compatible with the mother’s body and the mother will form antibodies that attack the fetus’ cells. This causes a breakdown of the cells, increasing the amount of bilirubin. 

This type of jaundice is also incredibly common if the mother has diabetes while pregnant. 

What Should A Mother Eat When Her Baby Has Jaundice

How can I treat my baby's jaundice at home

There are several foods that you can eat during pregnancy which can help prevent neonatal jaundice later on. 

Cereal

Foods like cereal which are high in fiber, help the food to breakdown and remove toxins. This makes the breast milk purer.

Cereals also contain whole grains, which are high in beta-glucan. Research has shown that a bowl of whole-grain cereal per day drastically improves liver functionality after 12 weeks. 

It would help if you tried to make your daily bowl a habit as early as you can in the pregnancy. 

Fresh Vegetables

Vegetables that are high in vitamins A and C and high in fiber are great for your unborn baby. Certain leafy greens and herbs are also good for improving your metabolism and detoxifying your liver.

If you used to be a big drinker or had an unhealthy diet before your pregnancy, certain vegetables can help you return your liver to the best of health, giving your unborn baby a better chance of avoiding jaundice. 

Certain Fruits

Citrus fruits, in moderation, provide antioxidants which are perfect for a detox. If you add a few slices of lemon to your water, it will help improve your baby’s immune system, making their cells stronger. 

Papaya or mango are also excellent fruit choices as they contain lots of digestive enzymes which eases the flow of digestion through the liver and helps combat any bacteria. 

Berries such as cranberries, blackberries, or blueberries are rich in fiber, which helps break down food through the liver and intestinal tract.

The easier your body breaks food down, the more vitamins you absorb, which benefit your baby. 

Coconuts are also the perfect source of amino acid which help with liver regeneration and development. Try to use coconut milk rather than cows’ milk while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Water

Make sure you drink lots of fluids while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The more you drink, the easier it is for your body to process old cells and retain better liver functionality.

This ensures that you don’t pass the bilirubin down to your baby, helping their liver to develop as fast as possible. 

Try to drink around 2 liters of water per day if possible. However, you shouldn’t give water to your baby. Keep them hydrated with breast milk only. 

What Should A Mother NOT Eat When Her Baby Has Jaundice

food to avoid when baby has jaundice

If your baby has jaundice and is breastfeeding, there are a few food groups that you absolutely need to avoid. 

Alcohol

This is an obvious one. Our own livers don’t process alcohol well at all. Too much alcohol can cause permanent liver damage.

Drinking alcohol while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding can seriously harm your baby – not just causing jaundice, but other long-term liver issues too. 

Junk Food

You should avoid salty food. Junk food like kebabs, processed meat, or spicy sauces contain lots of salt, affecting the taste of your milk and can be bad for the liver. 

Refined Sugar

Believe it or not, white bread and pasta contain lots of refined sugar, which can actually contribute to conditions such as type 2 diabetes and are considered to cause difficulties in young children’s liver development. 

Switch to brown bread and whole-grain pasta throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

High Sugar Drinks

Sugar is difficult to digest, meaning the liver needs to work harder when you have a sweet tooth.

Giving excessive sugar to your baby through your milk or from your body while you’re pregnant could increase the chances of your baby developing jaundice just because the liver is having to work harder. 

Try to avoid fruit juices. Although fruits are good for you and your baby, most juices contain many additives and sugar substitutes that could actually work against the liver function. 

Raw Fish Or Undercooked Meat

While it’s usually acceptable to eat sushi or a rare steak for adults, these foods can contain bacteria and parasites that attack the liver. The fully developed liver of an adult can usually handle this.

However, if those bacteria pass to your unborn child, it could cause liver development issues from the beginning, possibly causing jaundice from birth. 

Can A Mother Eat Eggs If Her Baby Has Jaundice?

Pregnant women or new mothers can eat chicken eggs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It’s a myth that you shouldn’t eat eggs if you’re pregnant, which stems from the fact that they’re high in cholesterol.

And it’s correct that high cholesterol levels in the blood can cause issues with fatty liver syndrome, hindering a person’s ability to process food correctly. 

However, the cholesterol you eat doesn’t necessarily affect your bloodstream’s cholesterol levels, so it’s unlikely to pass to your baby. 

While it’s advisable to cook your eggs thoroughly during pregnancy, this is due to the bacteria that raw eggs may carry, which will attack the liver and may affect your baby. 

What Vegetables Are Good For Jaundice In Babies?

The trick to improving jaundice’s effects, or avoiding them altogether, comes down to a simple diet rich in fiber, fluids, and vitamins.

You need to help pack all those vitamins into your baby’s digestive system while they grow to aid proper liver functionality. 

Vegetables that are high in fiber and digestive enzymes really help your baby’s development. Try:

  • Broccoli 
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Baby Jaundice

Can I eat egg in jaundice

Sunlight

The UV rays coming from the sun can help reduce the bilirubin levels in the blood and help to relieve jaundice. Ensure you don’t place them in direct sunlight, but an hour or so outside will help. 

Intravenous

If your baby has a different blood type to you, an intravenous drip may be employed to add blood protein to slow the breakdown of cells. 

Feeding Schedule

Feeding your baby breast milk more often is a great way to get the liver to develop more quickly. It’s a good idea to make feeding time more regular to get that function moving more effectively.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding a small amount 8-12 times per day. If you’re struggling to get your baby to drink from the breast, try to feed breast milk from a bottle instead. 

Summary

Overall, newborn jaundice is quite normal. However, you should do your best to have a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy.

Eating foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, and digestive enzymes will give your baby the best chance of avoiding jaundice when they’re born. 

If you’re choosing to breastfeed your baby, make sure you feed them as early after the birth as possible and continue to breastfeed as often as you can.

The nutrients in your breast milk will help their liver to develop faster and stabilize the bilirubin in their system. 

If your baby’s jaundice lasts for more than ten days, take them to the doctor for a checkup. 

how long can a baby sleep in a pack n play

Babies Sleeping In Pack N Play: How Long, Is It Safe, At What Age & More

What Is A Pack N Play?

what is a pack n play used for

The Pack ‘N’ Play product is a crib-come-play area constructed by several different brands, Graco being the main one across the US.

These products are easily portable, foldable, and safe for your baby to both sleep and play in throughout the day. 

The cribs have mesh sides, allowing for excellent airflow while your baby is sleeping, and come equipped with different attachments to give you a whole baby care solution in one.

The Pack ‘N’ Play structure’s crib section comes away to reveal a safe play area underneath. You’re also able to attach mobiles and other toys to the sides of the playpen underneath to keep your baby safe and happy while you’re busy. 

The upper section above the crib even comes with a changing mat base so you can change your baby while you’re out visiting other people too. 

The Pack ‘N’ Play set is designed to be a convenient way to travel with your baby and is completely safe for your baby to sleep in.

So can a baby sleep in a Pack N Play? Yes, babies can sleep in a Pack N Play, but you should follow some measures before going ahead with the idea.

At What Age Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play?

what age can baby sleep in pack n play

Your baby can sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play when they’re young quite comfortably. If your Pack ‘N’ Play set comes with a bassinet, then you can use this until they reach around 13-14 pounds.

Because of the way the bassinet is suspended between the walls of the playpen, it can be dangerous to put a baby heavier than this in. Depending on their size, it may also be quite uncomfortable for them as they grow older. 

If you remove the bassinet when your baby gets a little older, you may also have a crib attachment which fits over the whole area, providing more space for your baby to grow. 

The crib attachment is built to hold more weight, and it’s safe to let your baby sleep here until they’re around 30 pounds in weight, which could be anywhere between 12 and 24 months of age. 

You shouldn’t let a baby of over 24 months sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play as it could be dangerous if it doesn’t support their weight. They may also be large enough to start climbing over the sides. 

How Long Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play?

how long can babies sleep in pack and play

Babies will sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play crib in precisely the same way as they do in a static crib.

So, you’re OK to leave them overnight as long as you’re confident that your crib has been built by the manufacturer’s specifications and you’ve checked it’s sturdy enough.

An entire 8-hour sleep session shouldn’t be a problem. 

However, the amount of sleep that your baby gets in the Pack ‘N’ Play is more to do with the environment around them.

You’re most likely to use a ‘Pack ‘N’ Play kit when you’re traveling, staying in a hotel, or at someone else’s house. The unfamiliar surroundings may mean that it takes your baby longer to fall asleep.

A brand-new Pack ‘N’ Play set will also have a different smell and feel to the places that your baby is used to. It may take them a while to feel safe enough to drop off to sleep in the new crib. 

Is It Safe For A Baby To Sleep In A Pack N Play?

is it safe for babies to sleep in pack n play

Pack ‘N’ Play equipment is entirely safe for portable use. However, there are some concerns about the way in which parents are using it against advised instructions, which could cause some health concerns. 

Extra Bedding

You should only provide the light bedding that the Pack ‘N’ Play set comes with when your baby is sleeping in there.

One of the biggest causes of cot death when using a portable crib is because the parents have placed thicker mattresses, quilts, or longer blankets in the crib that it wasn’t made for.

The mattress and sleep equipment that comes with a Pack ‘N’ Play kit is suited explicitly for comfortable sleeping in that area. Putting more bedding in could cause your baby to move awkwardly and pull the covers above their head. 

Building The Structure

You’ll need to ensure the structure is built firmly to the manufacturer’s specifications. Check that the structure is sound and solid before placing your baby inside.

If the structure is built incorrectly or modified in any way, it could cause your baby to catch themselves on loose edges resulting in injury – or the whole structure may even collapse, trapping your baby inside. 

Strangulation

Ensure your baby isn’t wearing loose-fitting wool clothing. If any rivets are sticking out that you haven’t noticed, the material could easily get caught and cause injury or even strangulation. 

Folded Sides

The sides of most Pack ‘N’ Play structures are made of mesh, specifically to allow air to flow through the crib and playpen. 

However, if you let your baby sleep in the crib, with one side folded down, the material edges will double over, removing the mesh’s benefit and potentially causing a suffocation hazard. 

Multiple Children

Pack ‘N’ Play structures are only made for one child at a time. If you have more than one, you will need a different crib for each. This is because:

  • Two children’s weight could be too much to maintain the cribs integrity – meaning it’ll fall down. 
  • Even if your babys’ combined weight is less than 30 pounds, your babies may end up rolling into each other in the confined space, crushing each other, or pulling blankets, causing suffocation hazards. 

Older Models

Make sure you have an up-to-date model. Some older models aren’t as structurally sound, and the mechanisms can deteriorate over time. Remember that they aren’t as well built as a normal, stationary crib.

It’s best to get a new Pack ‘N’ Play structure if you have a new baby, rather than repurposing one from someone else or from a previous baby. 

Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play Every Night?

can baby sleep in pack n play every night

Although a Pack ‘N’ Play set is equipped for sleeping, your baby should have a proper crib that gives them a little more space to move around as they grow. 

A Pack ‘N’ Play crib will only be suitable until your baby reaches 30 pounds, but a crib will be needed for much longer than this. 

Although a Pack ‘N’ Play set should be completely fine for a whole night’s sleep, it’d be best to have a more permanent crib that accommodates their needs for longer. 

It’s also less hassle for you having to rebuild the Pack ‘N’ Play in the house every time you take it elsewhere. 

Can Newborns Sleep In A Pack N Play?

can newborns sleep in pack and play

Yes, newborns can sleep in Pack ‘N’ Play. In fact, there are bassinet attachments that come specifically equipped for this.

The bassinet is ideal for attaching to the top of your Pack ‘N’ Play area during the early days of breastfeeding, when you’ll want to be as close to your baby as possible.

It allows you to be close enough to your baby to see them turning, crying, or becoming uncomfortable and helps you to develop your bond, but it still provides the safe barrier so that they can’t fall out of bed and so that you can’t roll on them. 

Summary

Pack ‘N’ Play kits are an essential part of every new parents’ armory.

They allow for flexibility when traveling, closeness with your newborn, and you can be confident that your baby is safe if you ensure that you build your structure soundly and replace it when it gets a little old. 

when does the pregnancy line show

When Does The Pregnancy Line Show, Why It Does & How To Fade It

During the second trimester of pregnancy, you’ll start to see a line down the center of your belly from your belly button to your public region.

This pregnancy line is called the Linea Nigra. It is usually relatively thin, around a centimeter or less, and will gradually become darker as you get further into your pregnancy.

But Why Do You Get A Line On The Belly When Pregnant?

why do you get line on belly when pregnant

Increased Melanin

The line appears due to the increased levels of melanin that your body creates during pregnancy. This is a natural chemical reaction which increases the chemicals in your body that create color variation. 

This line has always been there, so it’s not a new addition to your body, and it’s naturally darker in some women than others depending on your skin tone. 

Other dark patches will start to appear on your body too, such as darker bags under the eyes, giving you a tired appearance, scars will get darker and more noticeable, and your nipples may also darken. 

Folic Acid Deficiency

The linea nigra has also been linked to a lack of folic acid in the pregnant woman’s system. Those who take synthetic folic acid in the form of a tablet tend to experience a fainter line. 

The easiest way to tackle this is to eat healthily by increasing the folate in your diet. Leafy greens such as spinach or kale contain lots of folates, as do fruits and whole-grain cereals. 

The linea nigra is an entirely normal reaction to your body being pregnant and is nothing to worry about. It’s not harmful or concerning for your baby. 

Does Everyone Get A Pregnancy Line?

Although the area of skin that would change is there for everyone, it’s not always obvious. Not all women will notice a massive difference in their skin tone, and that’s okay too.

Line or not, it doesn’t indicate that there’s any problem with the pregnancy or baby. Everyone reacts slightly differently. 

Pregnancy Line Above Belly Button

pregnancy line above belly button

Most pregnant women experience the linea nigra from their public region up to their belly button. However, some women may have a continuous line from their belly button further up their body to their lower chest. 

The length of the line doesn’t seem to make a difference as it is simply cosmetic. There’s also no evidence to show that the longer line takes more time to fade after the birth. 

However, an old wife’s tale states that if the line is past the belly button up to the ribs, you could be having a boy, whereas the shorter line, finishing at the belly button, must be a girl.

There’s no scientific evidence to back this though, but the fun superstition seems to have taken hold across the globe. 

Can You Have a Line On Your Stomach And Not Be Pregnant?

can you have a line on your stomach and not be pregnant

Studies show that 16% of women can start to show a dark line between their belly button and pubic area when they aren’t pregnant. This most often happens between the age of 25 and 45. 

Doctors don’t have a definitive reason why the linea nigra would appear outside of pregnancy; however, the most reasonable explanation would be a change in hormones – just as you would experience during pregnancy. 

  • Contraception – Some contraception, such as the Depo Provera injection or pills that require no break for a period, protects the woman from becoming pregnant by supplying the body with similar hormones as they would experience during pregnancy. Therefore, stopping them from becoming pregnant again. These hormones can stimulate darker skin. 
  • Early Menopause – Certain women experience early forms of menopause, such as hot flushes, frequent emotional turns, and irregular periods. The hormones in this period fluctuate and may present a temporary linea nigra. 
  • Regular Medication – Some medication, perhaps taken regularly for mental health conditions, could cause a reaction with a woman’s hormones, creating a temporary line which will typically fade once the medication is stopped. 
  • Stress – If you’re particularly stressed or in a heightened emotional state, this could even bring on a temporary dark line which will fade later. 

Does The Dark Line From Pregnancy Go Away?

does the dark line from pregnancy go away

Yes, it will fade when your body stops producing a high level of melanin. You’ll start to see the line gradually fading a few weeks after you’ve given birth, though it may take months to disappear entirely. 

Each time you get pregnant, the line will reappear again. 

Some women never fully get rid of their linea nigra after pregnancy and, although it will always fade, it remains darker than the skin around it. This can happen if you have particularly pale skin. 

How To Get Rid Of The Pregnancy Line

If your linea nigra doesn’t fade after pregnancy and you’re paranoid about the appearance, you could try bleaching the skin. 

Skin bleach can be obtained from a dermatologist, and it’s always recommended to do a patch test first as there are some strong chemicals in there.

Although bleaching the skin can work fine for some people, there have been a few concerns raised regarding its use:

  • It may even make the skin tone around the bleached area a different color to the rest of your body. Sure, it’ll change your skin tone, but can you be sure it’ll change it to the right color? 
  • The chemicals in the bleach can harm your baby, so never use it during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

A simple solution while you’re waiting for your line to fade is covering it with makeup and ensuring you always use sunscreen, as this will prevent the line from becoming darker. 

Can You Prevent The Dark Pregnancy Line Before It Appears?

Can You Prevent It

Because the linea nigra is an entirely natural and normal aspect of pregnancy, there’s no need to try to prevent it.

However, if you’re anxious about the appearance, you can minimize the pigmentation change by avoiding the sun as much as possible (not just on your belly).

Believe it or not, getting a tan on other areas of your body can stimulate melanin production for areas that aren’t exposed too. 

So getting tanned legs could affect your belly, even if you don’t realize it. 

You should completely avoid sunbeds or other fake tan techniques too. Not only can these increase the appearance of the dark line, but they’re also bad for your baby. 

Summary 

The dark line which appears during pregnancy is not harmful to your body and will normally fade over time, so there’s no need to do anything.

In fact, everyone has a linea nigra, it simply gets darker at times of heightened emotion or during a drastic hormone change. If the line bothers you, try to cover it up cosmetically with makeup until it fades away.