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The Right Time to Start Baby on Solid Food

Posted April 23rd, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Feeding Baby Solid Foods

Starting solids may be a ways off in your baby’s world (especially if you’re still pregnant), but a new study has found that many mothers are introducing babies to solid food earlier than medical experts recommend.

A recent article in USA Today discussed the study, which found 40% of mothers start feeding their baby solids before the recommended minimum age of four months old. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the head and neck control and overall coordination infants need to safely eat solids doesn’t develop until around 4 months. In addition, the early introduction of solids may increase the risk of some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease.

Starting baby on solids too soon also has an effect on the length of time a baby is exclusively breastfed.  The AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months because of numerous health benefits for infants. When a baby starts solid foods, they will naturally cut back on nursing or bottle-feeding, which affects the nutrients a baby is receiving in their diet.

The study also found:

  • Mothers who introduced solid food before 4 months were more likely to be younger, unmarried, have less education or be participating in the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

 

  • 8% said they introduced solid food as early as 1 month or younger, including 11% who formula-fed only and 5% who breast-fed only.

 

  • 89% of moms who introduced solid food early said they did so because their baby was old enough to begin eating solids.

o   71% said the baby seemed hungry a lot.

o   67% said the baby wanted the food I ate or showed interest in solid food.

o   8% said the baby had a medical condition that might be helped by eating solid food.

It is best to work with your child’s pediatrician or health care provider and follow their recommendations before starting baby on solids.

 

The Hairy Business of Being Pregnant

Posted April 9th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Hair

I loved my pregnancy hair. It was so thick, shiny and flowing. Honestly my hair had never looked better in all my life until I was pregnant.

I thought it was because of the prenatal vitamins, but I just learned this is not the case. The improvement in your luscious locks is because of the change in your hormone levels and not the vitamins.

What other changes can you expect with pregnancy hair?

Although it’s extremely rare, some preggos who had straight hair before getting pregnant may notice their hair becomes wavier or curlier during pregnancy.

Pregnant women may also see more hair growth around the temples (and some other places too – not just your head!).

What should you do if you see a change in growth or texture in your hair when you’re pregnant? 

“Don’t fight it; embrace it,” says celebrity stylist and dad, Kristoff Ball.

Try experimenting with new ways to style and wear your hair. Ask your hair stylist what products and techniques you should use to work with your new “pregnancy do.”

Your stylist should be able to give you some helpful pointers on how to work with your new mane. They may even suggest a new haircut or style to accentuate or enhance your changing hair.

How To Achieve A Better Night’s Sleep When Pregnant

Posted March 20th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Musical Belt

The tossing and turning, the getting up to pee every hour, the Charlie horses! Let’s face it…pregnancy sleep is the pits.

If you hear someone tell you one more time that your lack of sleep during pregnancy is preparing you for the sleepless nights when baby comes, you just might kick them in the shins. You’re tired and is it too much to ask for a restful night now?!

My friend, who is 33 weeks pregnant, asked if I had any tips for getting a little shut-eye during the late stages of pregnancy. I did a little research and here’s what I found:

Lie on Your Left Side – We all have heard that back is best when it comes to putting a baby down for sleep, but when you’re still growing that baby, avoid sleeping on your back. Instead opt for your left side, which allows more blood to flow to your uterus.

Invest in a Good Pregnancy Pillow – A good pregnancy pillow will offer support and raise your upper body. This will cause your baby belly to drop down, away from your diaphragm and lungs. You’ll breathe easier and hopefully sleep more soundly.

Elevate Your Bed –If heartburn is your number one enemy come nighttime, try elevating your bed. You can put blocks under the legs of your bed, which will raise your head and chest up and keep stomach acid at bay.

Limit Liquids – When 6 P.M. rolls around, shut the faucet down. Eliminating liquids after dinner will help curb your midnight trips to the potty.

Cool Down – Do you wake-up with your pajamas and sheets soaked through with sweat. Get a cooler night’s sleep by dressing in breathable, short sleeve fabrics for bed. Also, crack open a window or run a fan at night to keep cooler without running up your AC bill.

What are your tips for better sleep during pregnancy? Share your tips in the comments below.

 

He Did What? Man Sues Wife For Ugly Baby

Posted March 6th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Musical Belt

File this one under “ridiculous baby news!” A man in China sued his wife and WON for giving birth to a child he deemed “so ugly it horrified him.”

The story is as follows:

Jian Feng was very much in love with his wife when they married. However, when she gave birth to a daughter, he thought the baby was so ugly and did not bear any resemblance to himself or his wife. He accused his wife of being unfaithful.

Turns out his wife did not cheat on him. Instead, she had major plastic surgery that completely changed her appearance prior to meeting her husband. She had never told her husband about her face altering procedures. When she admitted to the reconstructive surgery, he filed for divorce and took her to court claiming she had wooed him into a marriage under false pretenses.

The judge sided with the husband who won $120,000!

Even with the payout to her ex-husband, we think the mama was the big winner in this case. Who wants a baby to have a daddy that is so cruel, judgmental and narcissistic? If the little girl was that unattractive, she is going to need positive re-enforcement and parents who will boost her self-confidence and self esteem. 

Do you think the mom should have been up front about her plastic surgery? Should any baby be classified as too ugly? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Playing Music For Your Baby: It Doesn’t Have to Be All Mozart and Kiddie Tunes

Posted February 20th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

Whether you’re pregnant and want to play tunes to your unborn baby with your Lullabelly pregnancy musical belt, or you have a newborn and want to play songs to soothe her, you don’t have to download the latest lullaby compilation.

Parents sometimes fall into a trap of only playing kid songs, or classical music, to their little ones because they think they should.  But there is no need to limit yourself to “Old McDonald” and the like if that’s not your jam.

In an article in Pregnancy & Newborn magazine, Erin Hannon, PhD, director of the Music Lab at University of Nevada, Las Vegas says, “If parents like the music, then parents will be engaged in sharing the music with baby.”

Hannon and other researchers say that exposure to all different types of music has a lot of benefits for your baby growing a relationship with you and the world at large.

So my advice is to play something you love to your baby. Play something that makes you feel good and smile.  Turn up Beyonce’s Put a Ring on It or rock out to Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy… and if you’re in the mood, introduce your baby to The New Kids on the Block – hey, you listened to them growing up so your baby should too, right?

Remember, by sharing music you love, you’ll be sharing some good vibrations together and growing the important mother-baby bond between the two of you.

Using Music To Boost Your Baby’s Mood

Posted February 6th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

We’ve all done it or seen it in action; a crying baby is soothed by the calming sounds of a sweetly sung lullaby.When my toddler was a baby, I used to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to her and it would quiet her down instantaneously.

In an article in Pregnancy & Newborn magazine, Diane Bales, PhD, a brain development specialist at The University of Georgia, says that songs can shape an infant’s mood before they can understand phrases like, “Calm down.”

Why?

Because experts say music has an effect on our brains, which in turn, impacts our moods.

Dr. Bales goes on to suggest that if a baby is sleepy, you can play quieter tunes that will help to settle her down.  If you want a baby to perk up, of course Dr. Bales recommends playing more upbeat music.

Essentially, you can use music to enhance your child’s current state of mind. Over time, a familiar song can be as soothing as a blanket or favorite stuffed animal.

Three years later, my daughter is still lulled to sleep by the same goodnight songs I’ve been singing to her since she was in my tummy.

So pick a few of your favs and keep them in your musical rotation. Familiar songs will still have an affect on your child’s mood for many years to come.

 

 

 

 

Grammy Nominated Music to Add to Your Lullabelly Playlist

Posted January 23rd, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

One of my favorite award shows is coming up next month, The Grammys! The ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on February 10.

Why not create a 2013 Grammy playlist for your Lullabelly musical pregnancy belt!?! It’s a great way to mark the timeframe of your pregnancy, and year’s later, when you hear one of these songs, you’ll remember your pregnancy with a smile (and you might just break out into song and dance!).

Here are a few of our favorites to share with your little one:

Stronger by Kelly Clarkson – an instant classic from the first American Idol winner, a great “Mom” anthem to stand taller and be stronger. 

Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye – this is one of the most played songs of the year and the ultimate song about love gone bad. 

Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO –  this is a total booty shaker and will have you working out your pregnancy lady bits.

Some Nights by Fun. – if you like this one, check out the version by the Glee! Kids and enjoy this upbeat tune.

Charlie Brown by Coldplay – this one is a bit on the softer side to help relax you and baby.

I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons – who doesn’t love a little banjo picking and this catchy tune?

We Take Care of Our Own by Bruce Springsteen  – you have to introduce your baby to The Boss early on, right? It should be required listening.

Lonely Boy by The Black Keys – this band is here to stay and you and your baby will get your grooves on!

What are some of your favorite popular songs from the past year that you play on your Lullabelly pregnancy music belt?

Post-Baby: Tips for Getting Back in the Love Sack

Posted January 9th, 2013 by Lullabelly

 

 

After the birth of my first daughter, I felt so connected to my husband for bringing this beautiful child into the world with him. I could hardly wait the regulated six weeks to be romantic again.  It was slow going at first, as we wanted to be safe, but our sex life remained about the same after baby and led quickly to another pregnancy.

After the birth of our second daughter, I was a bit more hesitant to get busy again. I was older, tired from taking care of two kids and the two vaginal births I’d endured in two years had taken their toll.

I needed a little help to rekindle the fire. Here’s what I did:

Make Time: It can be really easy to skip over sex when the laundry is piling up, you’ve been nursing and changing diapers all day, and you’ve hardly had a minute to wash your hair. Being spontaneous will not be easy. Agree on a day, pick a 30-minute period of time after baby has gone down for the night and schedule a little session. 

Repeat Often: It might take a few times for you to feel that special spark again, but don’t give up after the first try. In those first few times you’re intimate after baby, there might not be that same pleasurable sensation down there, but trust me it will come back. Instead of focusing on the feeling, focus on the emotional connection with your spouse and the rest will follow.

Use Props: You’ve still got the extra baby weight you want to lose, so maybe sexy underwear is not the right choice for setting your mood, but there are other fun things you can do. Kissable dusting powder, dirty dice and other fun props are a great way to put a fun spin on your romp.

Lube: The fact is after childbirth our hormones are still regulating and you might be a bit dry down there. Using lube will make sex easier and more enjoyable for both you and your partner. There are lots of fun (and flavored) varieties on the market, so go wild! But remember not to use an oil-based lubricant if a condom is your birth control method of choice.

When your doctor gives you the go ahead, get back in the sack as soon as you feel comfortable. It’s an important way to stay connected to your partner in the hectic time post-baby.

 

Getting Dinner on the Table When You’re A New Mom

Posted December 26th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Music Belt

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the biggest challenges of being a new mom is not waking up for the 2 A.M. feeding, wiping a dirty tushie, or soothing your crying babe. The hardest part of being a new parent is having no time to get a homemade meal on the dinner table.

Hopefully your friends and family will help with mealtime by dropping off pre-made dishes for you to reheat when baby is born. But when the deliveries and offers to help stop, you don’t want to be slaving over the stove when you should be resting or tending to your newborn.

There are a few alternative ways to serve your family healthy meals without spending hours in the kitchen.

Meal Assembly Stores – Take advantage of meal assembly stores, like Dream Dinners, who do all the work for you including menu planning and prep work. You’ll spend an hour or two at the store assembling meals (with their instructions) and all you have to do is store them in your freezer at home, defrost when you are ready to eat and follow the cooking instructions. You’ll get about a month’s worth of dinners out of your efforts, just be prepared to pay for all your meals upfront.

Online Menu Planners – There are a lot of online services where you can pay a small fee to download a monthly meal plan, like 5Dinnersin1Hour. Unlike the meal assembly stores, you shop for all of the ingredients yourself and spend an hour each week in your own kitchen prepping the meals. This type of service is a bit more hands on as it requires you to shop (but you can easily use Peapod to do the shopping for you). However this type of meal planning is a bit more affordable, as you are only paying for the menu and cooking instructions and can cost compare ingredients yourself.

Meal Delivery Services – These are typically local services that will do all of the prep and cooking for you. These types of services deliver a cooler packed with prepared fresh meals directly to your door. You just follow the step-by-step cooking instructions and dinner is on the table as easy as 1-2-3.

Plan Ahead – There’s no reason you can’t make a night’s meal last for two nights, or repurpose leftovers into another meal. Also, consider taking 2 hours each Sunday to prepare all your meals for the week. A little upfront organization can shave hours off your meal prep time each week.

Now if only you could find someone to deal with all that laundry piling up.

 

Money Saving Tips for the Thrifty Mama-To-Be

Posted December 18th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Pregnancy Music Belt

There is no doubt about it, babies are expensive. However, having a newborn doesn’t have to push you over a fiscal cliff. Here are a few tips for shaving off some dollars those first few months.

Save Money on Dipes – Cloth diapering baby is always an economical (and environmentally friendly) way to go. But if a fluffy bum is not your thing, you can still find a way to save on disposables by buying generic diapers from any of the big box stores, or purchasing your stash at dollar stores.

DIY Wipes – Sure you can buy wipes in bulk and save a bit, but why not make your own wipes for even more savings. Moisten several small washcloths, towels or strips of fabric with a solution of soap and water. Fold them and store in an airtight container.

Hand-Me-Downs – Tap family and friends for hand-me-down duds and other essentials, or hit up websites and second hand shops that sell baby clothes, toys, books and other baby gear.

Enroll in Baby Clubs – If you create a registry with Target or Walmart you’ll be automatically enrolled to receive tons of coupons and product samples. Be sure to sign up for baby clubs at your local grocer, pharmacy or other retailers too for more coupon and savings opportunities.

Become a Coupon Queen – You’ve all seen Extreme Couponing and probably have been tempted to coupon yourself. Look for coupons on baby essentials like diapers, wipes, food and formula and stock up your family’s fridge with healthy, coupon’d items too.

What is your best kept money saving tip when baby makes three? Please share with the Lullabelly pregnancy music belt readers!

 

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