Tag Archives: baby

Have a Birthing Experience Like an A-Lister

Giving birth to your newborn child is one of life’s most precious things to experience (or so I’ve heard). That doesn’t go without saying that there are some not so precious things that occur during labor. To spare everyone of all the glorious details, let’s instead talk about how giving birth can be one of the most luxurious experiences of your life!

You’ve heard it here first; labor can be an experience where you feel like a queen, and it may leave you never wanting to leave that hospital room again.

In an article published by parents.com, they introduce some of the most luxurious birthing suites in the US. That’s right ladies, think spa treatments, 24-hour concierge service, and a private chef! It’s time to leave the roommate life behind, and experience a birthing experience as Amal Clooney would.

  1. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
    Birthing suites are designed to look like the outdoors! Oh yeah, your food is delivered by a tuxedo-wearing “food ambassador.”
  2. Rose Medical Center in Denver
    Birthing rooms have private bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, rocking chairs, and flat-screen TVs. To be totally low key, VIPs can enter one of the luxury suites, and be offered the services of a private chef.
  3. Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles
    If a three-room suite isn’t enough, mom can treat herself to an in-suite manicure, pedicure, or haircut. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe, and Victoria Beckham have given birth here, so start planning your totally casual celeb run-in now.
  4. The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
    Enjoy your luxury suite overlooking Central Park and have your newborn wrapped in muslin cotton swaddling blankets. And no mom leaves without a postpartum massage!
  5. The Women’s & Children’s Hospital at Centennial in Nashville
    How about a 24/7 concierge service to handle your requests? From making sure your car gets an oil change to delivering food from Nashville-area restaurants – can we say VIP?

 

We provided the top five luxurious birthing suites. For the remaining five you can read the full article, here.

Lindsay_Brooks

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Baby Bathing Tricks

Bathing a baby can be quite an adventure. Is the water too hot, too cold, too deep? How long should the bath last? And why is the baby STILL squirming?

In a recent article published by The Bump, they give a step-by-step guide on how to safely bathe a baby – all in efforts to make bath time a fun adventure instead of a stressful one.

We outlined the first steps of the guide below. For the full article including bath-side setup, check out The Bump website!

  1. Washing station - your setup should be steady and there shouldn’t be anything hard or sharp for baby to accidentally knock against
  2. Warm room - keep the temperature raised so it’s not a shock to baby’s system when she comes out of the bath.
  3. Water - fill the tub about three inches with water a little bit warmer than lukewarm. Use pitcher or cup to pour water over baby and rinse off.
  4. Soap - go easy on the amount, because too much can dry out baby’s skin.
  5. Washcloths - Designate a certain color or pattern used specifically for bath time so you don’t confuse them for diaper cloths.
  6. Special treatments - diaper cream, cradle cap treatment, or any other remedies should be within reach.
  7. Timing – pay attention to baby’s mood after bath time. If he/she is energetic and ready to play, bathe during the day. If more mellow, make it a pre-bedtime activity.
  8. Procedure - Start by soaking baby a little. Always keep one hand on baby, and remember that infants are slippery when wet. If baby needs cradle cap treatment, put this on first, then come back to rinse after you’ve washed the rest of the body. Start from the top and work your way down. Wash the face first, cleaning one area at a time. As you move down the body, thoroughly wash inside all the folds. Sweat and skin can get stuck in those areas and fester, causing nasty rashes, so it’s important to keep them as clean and dry as possible. Save baby’s dirtiest parts (aka the diaper area) for last. Then, move back up and wash baby’s hair. Since infants lose most of their heat through their heads, this should be your very last move. If the water is still warm you can engage in a little playtime, but resist the urge to splash for too long — as the water chills, baby will quickly get cold.

Bath

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

 

 

Top Baby Names for Bell Family

When you or someone you know is expecting, how many baby name lists will you admit to look at? There are so many sources to go to now for baby name inspiration. Pampers offers an impressive “Baby Name Generator Tool”, Parenting.com provides a search engine along with several sub categories (historical, unique, pop culture, etc.),  not to mention the countless magazines and books that give you thousands of suggestions.

Our families at Bell Family continue to grow, and that means our list of baby names is too. Below, you can find some of the top names amongst our families from the past year. No thanks necessary for giving you another resource to help mix up your list that you (almost) narrowed down.

Top boy names:
1. William
2. Conrad
3. Sebastian
4. Bedford
5. Weston
6. Alexander
7. Luke
8. Harrison
9. Griffin
10. Colton

Top girl names:
1. Charlotte
2. Clara
3. Shannon
4. Louisa
5. Sophie
6. Eleanor
7. Lucie
8. Mia
9. Skylar
10. Annabel

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell 

Development Milestones Ages 2-12 Months

Moms and Dads everywhere are snapping photos of their child’s first smile, laugh, wave, and the big one – steps! We’d call these moments milestones in a child’s life, and the same probably goes for the parents, too.

The CDC.gov website provides an impressive list of milestones for children ages two months to five years old. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the top ones focusing on children ages 2-12 months.

2 months:
Begins to smile
Coos
Can hold up own head

4 months:
Copies some movements/facial expressions
Babbles with expression
Lets you know if they’re happy or sad

6 months:
Rolls over
Responds to own name
Brings things to mouth

9 months:
Understands “no”
Crawls
Stands holding on

12 months:
Uses simple gestures (waves, shakes head)
Says “mama” or “dada”
Sits without help

For the complete list of milestones, click here.

Carseat2

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy Mom

The Mother’s Matter blog recently posted an article that talks about how to raise a happy, healthy mom. One big influential factor they highlight is sleep (or lack of) amongst moms.

This post offers three tried and tested tips that can help moms and dads catch a few extra zzz’s.

1. Sleep more = Sweat more.

A study published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, revealed that a home-based, individual aerobic exercise program can reduce fatigue (both physical and mental) in women with postpartum depression. A second study revealed that a group of postnatal women who practiced in-home Pilates, were found to have lower levels of physical and mental fatigue than their non-practicing peers.

2. Wanna sleep? Apply the pressure.

Licensed acupuncturist and owner of Four Flower Wellness in Chicago, Ashley Flores, speaks to the restorative potential of acupressure for new mothers. Instead of using needles, the treatment is administered with the fingers. Flores suggested that applying acupressure to the Pericardium 5, 6, and 7 points (found on the inside of the wrist) can be especially useful before going to sleep.

3. Eat your way to a good sleep.

The foods a new mom opts for can make a difference in helping cope with a chronic case of depleted sleep. Nutritional Consultant, Patricia Daly, BA, DipHE, NT states that one of the best ways to stave off physical and emotional fatigue is to keep blood sugar levels even throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice are preferable to their white counterparts.

For the complete article and to see more from Mother’s Matter, click here.

Happy_Healthy Mom

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Trimming Newborn’s Finger Nails

Last week I got to spend time with both of my nephews (ages 9mo and 8mo). I don’t get to see them too often since they live states away, so when I do get the opportunity to spend time with them I am quick to snatch them up for some playtime. What I would soon find out is that playtime usually involves them grabbing my face. They laugh and giggle as they do it (baby giggles = adorable), but shortly later I find myself beginning to wince and looking for his mom to pass him back to. Why you ask? Two words: finger nails.

A baby’s finger nails are perhaps the smallest vicious thing out there if gone untreated. It’s important to keep them trimmed so they don’t scratch out themselves, as well as other people who hold them.

I recently discovered an article posted by The Bump, which asks the question, “What is the best way to trim a newborn’s finger nails?” Here are some of the answers they provided:

1. Carefully, you should wait until the baby is sound asleep so that he/she will not move as much as when he/she is awake. Then, push down on the finger tip and either clip or cut the nail. Finally, use an emery board to file and smooth out any rough edges.

2. I found it hard to trim my newborns nails. I just put gloved on her hands for the first few months. Her nails didn’t grow very long. Now that she is almost 5 months old I have to trim her nails about 1-2 times a week to keep her from scratching herself and me. I put her in my lap (crossing my leg like a man) or in a cradle position and push back on the tip of her fingers to expose the nail. Then I cut them in stages since she can’t sit still for all 10 fingers.

For the full list of answers, visit The Bump website here.

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator,  Taylor Bell

 

Go Directly to (Baby) Jail!

It looks like this time the baby can’t pass “Go” and collect $200. Like any monopoly opponent, you rejoice when the other person has to go to jail because that means you have time to own the game, or in this case, the house.

Baby jail is a great way to keep your crawling infant safe, and also free up your hands to catch up on all of the housework!

The walls are great for balance, and allows the baby to pull themselves up to stand or walk.

You can even place your baby’s favorite toys inside for play and exploration!

Here’s one I put together for my little guy. You can buy it online at Target here.

Jail

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

 

Fussy Babies at Night

Just when you think it’s safe to relax and catch up on your DVR shows, the baby gets fussy and the struggles of putting him/her down to bed begin.

Have you ever wondered why babies freak out at night? Well, thanks to a great article by The Bump, we can start to solve this mysterious question.

Here are some of the reasons the article highlights as to why the baby is acting fussy. And for the full article, click here.

1. Baby is overtired - Just like how you get cranky when you’re tired, so does the baby. To prevent overtiredness, the baby needs to sleep a lot during the day — he/she should have a nap every two to two-and-a-half hours.

2. Baby needs to nurse - Some breastfed babies seem to want to feed constantly in the evenings. It’s okay to nurse the baby in what seems like back-to-back-to-back sessions; breastfed babies are virtually impossible to overfeed. The same can’t be said for formula feeding, so if you’ve just fed the baby a bottle, don’t try to “top him up” to prevent him from fussing.

3. Baby is hypersensitive - Here’s the main reason for the witching hour; the baby is hypersensitive to noises, sensations and activities going on around him/her.

Cuddle

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

First Foods – Peas, Carrots and Stain Stick – Oh My!

So your child is ready to start solids? Great!  Pull up your rugs and stock your cabinets with baby Oxyclean – life is about to get very colorful!

Introducing solid foods is an exciting (and potentially exhausting) milestone. I’ve gone down this road twice and had two very different experiences. I’ll try to be brief because you’re likely reading this post while trying to pee and keep your child from pulling all of the toilet paper off the roll at the same time.

With my first child, I had no clue what I was doing. I felt that my pediatrician wasn’t really providing me with the kind of nutritional support I was looking for. Her recommendation was rice cereal first, then fruits and veggies, etc. Rice cereal didn’t make sense to me because it’s not particularly nutritious and it’s hard for adult bellies to digest – things that make you go hmm… So, because I didn’t have enough on my plate already (pun intended), I decided to do a little digging.  I asked around, read a few books, consulted a holistic pediatrician and reached out to my friends abroad. Turns out, other cultures are feeding their children what they eat (in a mushier form) and are a lot less scientific (read: neurotic) about the feeding process altogether. I decided to give my son veggies and fruit first. So for 3-4 hours a week, I holed up in my kitchen and I did the Betty Homemaker, made from scratch purées thing. While a valiant effort on my part, I couldn’t keep up with his appetite and I was tired of the massive clean up.  Make food, clean up food, diaper change, stain remover, rinse, wash, repeat.  I also thought that the point was that he actually got the majority of the food I was serving in his mouth – as opposed to all over my (occasionally) washed hair and on the walls, so I made sure I was leading the charge by feeding him and making helicopter noises to get him to open his mouth. It worked – well enough, I suppose. I tried baby lead weaning – his determination to choke himself and my fear of said choking, ended that exploration rather quickly. The downside of purées (other than the labor intensive part) is that at some point you’ll have to go back to square 1 when they graduate to food that needs to be chewed!  Ugh, are we there yet?!  Some of you may not have entered this stage while others are thinking . . . been there, done that, got the strawberry stained t-shirt to prove it. Bear with me.

Fast forward two years and another child later – we were at the golden gates of feeding and I didn’t have the time or energy to go down the purée path again. I felt guilty that I’d done it for my son and didn’t want to “deprive” my daughter of the healthy food I’d provided him. I put on my strongest poker face and gave her whole foods and trusted (read: prayed to God) she wouldn’t choke herself.   She would take larger bites than made me comfortable, but I gave her the space to explore it and sure enough she would spit out pieces that were too big to swallow. I reminded myself to keep my face neutral – if she was coughing or gagging, she wasn’t choking (I strongly suggest taking an infant/child CPR class – for safety and confidence). I had to watch her carefully, but I gave her what we were eating and I tried to give it to her in a way that she could feed herself. And here is the kicker – she did! She even figured out how to use a fork and spoon by herself and she’s only 18 months. My 3.5 year old is still struggling with this skill.

I’d love to tell you there is a one-size fits all method of feeding kids but as with everything in child rearing – that’s not the case (because that would be TOO easy!). My advice is, try to be relaxed when you start this process. Of course, consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns. Know that right now, your child is getting nourishment from breast milk or formula so take the stress off yourself to get them to consume food for that purpose early on.  Your role is to provide them with what you deem as healthy food exposure – their role is to decide whether or not to eat it. Exposing our babies to foods is less about filling their bellies up so they can sleep through the night (although I hear this is a nice side effect for some, it wasn’t the case for my kids) and more about letting them explore flavors, textures and figure out “how” to eat and what is safe to swallow.

So what should you feed them you ask? From a nutrition standpoint – try to feed your kids as many whole unprocessed foods as you can. Organic is best, but not always available or affordable so check out the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, which can help you make the best decisions for your family. Life is busy – there is never enough time so don’t beat yourself up if you give your kids some processed stuff, but be cautious about the sugar and sodium content – you’d be surprised what can be in baby foods. With the advice of our holistic pediatrician, we started with orange vegetables (roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin), green vegetables (peas, broccoli, string beans), fruits (avocado, strawberries, bananas, apples, pears), meats and fish (rotisserie chicken is a great one or even the meat and veggies from chicken soup) and grains (quinoa is a fantastic source of nutrition and really easy for kids to eat). Advice regarding nuts has changed over the last year. New research indicates early exposure to trace amounts of nuts helps decrease allergies. Be sure to check with your pediatrician on the most accurate data and don’t be afraid to do research of your own – it can take a while for new studies to make it to your Dr.’s desk. Most of all, listen to your gut – mother’s intuition is a real thing. Be patient with yourself and your child – this is new for both of you.  If something is not working, change it up. I knew the way I approached eating with my son wasn’t successful so I did things differently with my daughter. She eats just about everything from fish to quinoa and she makes a massive mess in the process, but she has a healthy appetite for new foods and is an independent eater. If it means I need an extra paper towel to mop it up after, well, that’s a small price to pay.

Looking for a little more guidance on feeding your family? Contact me for a free consultation at thrivehivewellness@gmail.com.

Happy Exploring!
Jen Khalaf
Holistic Health Coach, Thrive Hive Wellness
Follow me on Facebook: Thrive Hive Wellness

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Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins, OH MY!

On the hunt for a perfect Halloween costume this year? Fear no more because we’ve done our research so you don’t have to!

Take a look at what category best fits you and then suit up for a fun night of trick-or-treating!

1. For the gamer
2. For the movie-buff
3. For the traditionalist
4. For the family outing
5. For the DIY-er
6. For the emoji-obsessed
7. For the youngster
8. For the tween
9. For the too old to be trick-or-treater
10. For the pup

Happy Haunting!

Halloween

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell