Don’t be fooled by those perfectly filtered Instagram photos of new moms snuggling their newborns. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of not-so-glamorous stuff going on—from leaky boobs to achy everything. Bringing a baby into the world is a magical experience, but cracked nipples, postpartum hemorrhoids, and sore C-section incisions are quite the opposite.
After experiencing unexpected postpartum struggles, postpartum doula Ruth Martin-Gordon created CODDLE. This all-natural line of postpartum self-care products provides much-needed soothing, healing, and relief after delivery. Made from organic and USDA certified organic ingredients, products are vegan, gluten-free, and contain simple ingredients you can actually pronounce. From Nipple Balm to Massage Oil, Sitz Bath to Mother’s Milk Tea, items can be ordered a la carte or all together in the Postpartum Self-Care Box. (Know any expecting mamas? This kit is the gift that keeps on giving.)
My baby has a small knot in his leg after the vaccine, it showed up after his 4-month shots. It has been 2 weeks since he had them (vaccines) and the knot is still there. Why is this and is it common? Should I take him to the doctor?
What other vaccination side effects are there? Is there something else I should look for?
Common Vaccination Side Effects in Babies
Knot is Leg After Vaccine – Normal?
The lump that your son still has on his leg is quite a common side effect of the diphtheria-acellular pertussis-tetanus vaccine (DtaP). It is due to a small inflammation caused by some of the injection material in the vaccine. It is not dangerous, nor painful and it can actually take even months to disappear.
The lump usually comes right after the shot, but it can also appear a few days later. As long as it doesn’t hurt or change in size or color, there is no need to worry. It is called a DtaP granuloma, by the way.
If your son seems to be bothered by it, or if you worry that it isn’t related to the vaccine, have his health-care provider look at it.
Other Common Side Effects After Vaccination Shots
A knot or lump in the leg after vaccination is just one of all possible side effects.
A rash or some smaller bumps in the skin are another quite likely side effect of your baby’s vaccine. Some sort of rashes is a common effect and not a reason to call the Dr.
The DtaP may cause these symptoms as late as 1-2 weeks after the injection.
Some common symptoms that appear immediately are:
slight irritability for 1-2 days,
fever in the range of 101-102,
a slight rash,
slightly red eyes,
or a slight cough
(You should expect to see very little fever from any of the immunizations, but occasionally your child may experience some low-grade fever following the DTaP or Hepatitis B vaccine.)
Your baby may also be extra sleepy during up to 48 hours after the shots. One of my babies got very sleepy after her shots, and actually slept through the night for a change! 🙂
I remember that I even joked with her doctor that I wanted my baby to have shots at least once per week – that was the only time she slept well at night…
Our youngest wasn’t at all as affected. It is very individual.
Some of the more unusual side effects are seizures (jerking or staring) caused by the fever and temporary pain and stiffness in the joints.
However, most of the immunizations cause very few side effects.
How to mitigate the vaccination side effects in babies
Doctors often recommend giving Tylenol after the immunizations if your baby seems fussier than usual following the shots.
You may want to apply a warm, wet compress several times a day to the areas of the injections for a day or so following the injections.
Vaccination Side Effects – When to Call the Doctor?
You should call your baby’s pediatrician if your baby has any of the following side effects after the vaccination:
Your baby has EXTREME irritability
Your baby is fretful or irritable for more than 48 hours
The fever persists for more than 48 hours
Your baby’s fever is higher than 103F (39 C)
Your baby has seizures or something that appears to be an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Are you and your family heading to the beach this summer? Don’t leave the house without checking out our top 5 tips for making your first beach trip with baby a success!
Tip #1: Prep Ahead
If you’re planning to spend a day (or more) at the beach, do yourself a favor and start preparing the day before. Packing all the essentials ahead of time will save you from rushing around the morning of.
Have your diaper bag ready: Be sure to include wipes, diapers, sun lotion, baby powder, a change of clothes, and snacks!
Easy travel: A jogging stroller with rubber tires is a MUST. They glide easily through the sand and (bonus!) your little one might fall asleep in it for an on-the-go nap.
Pack a back-up: Having a diaper bag in the car will ensure your must haves are at the ready and sand-free for the ride home.
Protect from the rays: You can use natural baby sunscreen, but it’s best to keep them out of direct sun as much as you can.
Throw some shade: Consider a big beach umbrella or canopy. Some moms recommend a small pop-up tent for on the shore naps.
Prevent overheating: Bring along a clip-on, battery powered fan to create your own personal breeze!
Cover the cheeks: Wide brim hats and some cool baby sunglasses will help keep the sun out of baby’s eyes and off their face.
Tip #3: Know what to leave at home
Bringing all the necessities is super important – but don’t go overboard!
Pack light for easy travel: Don’t overload yourself with multiple full bags. The walk from the car will be much easier.
Load up the wagon: Along with (or in place of) your stroller, bring a pull wagon to pack coolers, beach chairs and bulky gear.
Skip the toy box: Sand toys are great for older kids, but your baby will be occupied discovering sand, shells, and waves. Digging their hands in the sand alone will keep them entertained.
Tip #4: Keep your schedule
Even a relaxing day at the beach can be exhausting. You and baby are likely to be sleepy after spending the day in the sun, so it’s more important than ever to make sure your baby is getting enough rest.
Bring along your baby’s perfect-for-summer Premier Zen Sleepwear™ so they can take their naps in the shade at their normal nap times.
Once your pregnancy has progressed to the 2nd trimester, the uterus has increased significantly in size. Laying on your back will cause it to rest on a blood vessel called the vena cava. The vena cava is the vessel through which all the blood returns from your lower body. If it is obstructed, blood has…
Once you are 28 weeks pregnant, or sometimes earlier if you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may want you to start counting your baby’s kicks. Kick counting is exactly what it sounds like: counting the number of kicks you feel from your baby. To begin, pick the same time of day to count and…
Okay, now raise your other hand if you have more than one child.
I have three kids under 4-years-old, and life can be a little chaotic, to say the least. (Why moms weren’t created with five arms is a mystery to me!)
As a work-from-home mom who thrives on a schedule, I know what a challenge it can be to keep your children’s sleep on track during the summer months—even as a professional sleep consultant.
Let’s be honest: it’s hard enough juggling one kid’s sleep schedule.Throw in another sibling home from daycare or school—plus play dates, swim, lessons, day camps, and other summer fun—and there are going to be days when you just can’t make it home for your kids’ naps.
Today, I’m sharing four ways to find a balance between summer fun and healthy sleep.
4 Ways to Balance Summer Fun and Healthy Sleep
1. Stick to routine
Children THRIVE on routine, so try to keep it in place, even when you’re on the go.
If you need to nap your baby at a new location (in a pack and play or a friend’s crib while at a play date, for example), try to bring along items to keep their routine the same—and portable cribs/Pack-n-Plays are a great way to ensure your child has a safe sleep area regardless of where you’ll be exploring that day!
Using Zen Sleepwear™ for all naps and bedtimes will signal to your baby that it is time to sleep regardless of where she is snoozing. (Remember: babies are too young to understand our words, so we need to use sleep cues–such as special clothing– to set them up for slumber time success!) The Zen Bodysuit and Zen Footie™ PJ are great to pack in the diaper bag when heading out!
2. Keep mornings free
If your baby is taking three or four naps, the first two are always the most restorative, so try to book activities for your older kids later in the afternoon. Being on the go during the third and fourth naps won’t be as impactful to your baby’s overall sleep health.
If you have a baby and toddler who still nap, make it a priority to be home for the toddler’s naptime so you can sync both kids’ naps—this will give them and you a nice break!
With older (school-age) children who don’t nap anymore, it’s still important to incorporate ‘quiet time’ in his daily routine–around 1 p.m. Being home for quiet play will allow your child to decompress and give him the steam he needs to push through the afternoon and avoid early evening crankiness.
3. Shut out for some shut eye
During the longer days of summer, the sun shining into your child’s room late at night and first thing in the morning is the perfect recipe for early mornings/late nights. Ensure you make your child’s room dark as possible; this will aid in their melatonin production (the sleep hormone) and will help send the sleep time cue.
4. Drown out the noise
Lastly, using white noise in your children’s rooms will also block out the external noise, such as other kids playing or that dang ice cream truck!
Respecting your child’s sleep needs is not always easy, nor is it often convenient. Structure tends to become more relaxed during the summer months, but embrace it, because this is what summer is all about! And remember, babies are only babies for such a short time. By next summer, their wake times will be much longer.
When you have a baby, you feel like you’ve instantly turned into a superhuman who can do several things at the same time or carry multiple items while also carrying your baby.
Remember how many times each day you’re able to cook meals and prepare milk in bottles with one hand? Think about those moments you carried grocery bags in one hand and your baby in the other.
It’s just amazing. But sometimes, these things could still be challenging—how you wish you have four sets of arms and hands to do all your tasks at the same time you’re carrying around your baby. However, it’s only possible to get those extra pairs of hands working for you by asking your husband and other people for assistance. You know, that solid support system you can have at home.
That’s not always the case though. A typical scenario is that one parent works at the office the whole day while the other is left at home. Alone. So, the mom is left with no choice but to multitask even when it’s not possible to put her baby in its crib. Think about it as mom’s version of strength-training workout at home.
Good thing, baby carriers are made so that moms can somehow carry their baby around hands-free. With a good baby carrier, you can go about your day, accomplish your chores and even accept a home-based job. You might also want to read the valuable tips from this article.
In recent years, manufacturers have found a way to come up with various kinds of this essential item. First-time parents might have a hard time choosing the best one for them since there are numerous options available. We totally understand. This is why we came up with several tips that can help you out.
Know the Options You can Choose from
As mentioned, there are different kinds of baby carriers. Before buying one, you need to be familiar with each one of them. They are made from different materials—each with its own unique design made for varying needs and purposes.
Here are the most common types:
These are lightweight fabrics that you can bring anywhere without any hassle and bulk. They come in a variety of colors and styles. You wear it sash-like over your shoulder while the baby is placed in front of you. It can be multi-purpose—a carrier plus a cover when you need to breast-feed outdoors. Thus, this is great for newborn babies.
You just need to be careful when positioning your baby in it as it may slip off the bottom of the sling if not done properly.
Wraps look a lot like slings. They are also made of fabric. Its name is essentially how you use it—you wrap the fabric around your body and your baby and that’s pretty much what it’s all about. It’s perfect for newborns because its design provides a familiar feeling of comfort inside a mother’s womb.
These are good for toddlers who are already capable to keep their balance for their upper body. A baby who’s not yet able to keep its head upright isn’t suitable for a front pack. Either a wrap or sling would be a better choice if that’s the case.
Front packs are also lightweight and portable. It’s easy to bring anywhere, especially when you’re out and about. Many designs available in the market allow you to carry your baby facing towards you or opposite your body. This versatility allows your baby to explore the scenes surrounding them. A fun learning experience indeed when you’re doing your strolls.
Because they are designed to carry your baby like a literal backpack, they are made to be super secure and durable. It would be super easy to do your weekly grocery shopping even when you take your baby with you. Back Packs are great for older toddlers who love piggyback rides.
It would be fun for them to be carried in this way. It provides them a comfortable position that enables them to explore sights and sounds. For the parent itself, carrying the baby in a backpack is comfortable and convenient.
Define Your Needs
How old is your baby? What is he able to do? Can he keep his balance already? Or is he a newborn? The four common choices of the best baby carriers we included in the list above could cater to varying ages and needs. For example, a wrap wouldn’t be comfortable for a one-year-old baby while a backpack isn’t surely suitable for a three-month-old.
You also need to consider where and when you’re going to use it often. If you need to use it outdoors most of the time, it should be made of lightweight material and it should be super portable. It must also be comfortable for both of your baby and you. Otherwise, you might experience some serious body aches at the end of the day or your baby might throw tantrums the whole time.
What’s the usual climate like in your town? Is it warm and humid? In this kind of weather, you’ll prefer using lightweight and breathable fabrics. On the other hand, materials like heavy knits would be great for colder seasons. It’s good to have both of these kinds so you can use the right one for a particular weather.
Durability is an important factor to consider. First of all, a durable baby carrier would give you a sense of security that your baby is fine even when you’re not directly holding him. It’s common sense though to check on him every once in a while, to determine whether he’s tightly and comfortably secured around your body.
Last but not least, consider your budget. Shop around for good deals. You’ll surely find more affordable choices if you don’t hurry.
Who says you can’t be productive in your other tasks if you have a baby? A great baby carrier can make that possible!
Like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears… babies are notorious for wanting their bottle “just right.” And all new parents know exactly what happens when they don’t deliver on that perfect bottle.
The Baby’s Brew is a genius little device that takes the guesswork out of bottle warming. It’s the only portable bottle warmer that’s battery powered and allows you to choose a specific temperature. Created by parents who liked to travel and be active, they became increasingly frustrated when their young daughter would only drink warmed bottles. When they could find someone to help warm water, their options were often scalding hot from the coffee machine or waiting for what felt like an eternity with a crying, hungry baby. And so they set out to find a better solution.
Whether heating breastmilk or formula, you can warm with ease, knowing it’s reached a safe temperature. Any liquid can be heated up in just five to ten minutes (even less time if your liquid is already at room temp). The slow-heat mechanism ensures there are no hot spots and that the nutrition from breastmilk is preserved.
Small enough to toss in the diaper bag, it holds a charge really well and is a cinch to use with both formula and breastmilk. The Baby’s Brew fits most wide neck bottles and there are adapters if your bottle is not compatible. This sleek, leak-proof wonder is dishwasher safe, too.
If your baby is beyond the bottle stage, file The Baby Brew under “go-to shower gift” and help other new parents become bottle warming pros. Because we all need some daily wins, #amiright?
You know the phrase “to sleep like a baby”, indicating to sleep deeply and peacefully.
A complete lie!
Any parent will tell you that sleeping like a baby is hard work! And taking care of someone who “sleeps like a baby”, is even worse. Welcome to parenthood! 🙂
Knowing what to expect regarding your baby’s sleep pattern really helps!
Let’s take a look at young babies’ true sleep pattern
They spend 50% of their sleep in active Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is relatively light and often filled with dreams. Adults spend some 20% of their sleep in REM sleep.
Their sleep cycles are very short compared to adults.
With short sleep cycles and lots of light sleep, babies tend to wake up often.
When they wake up, they have generally no clue how to go back to sleep on their own.
Add to this, tiny tummies and an enormous growth rate and it is easy to understand why some babies tend to wake up very often around the clock.
All this means lots of disrupted sleep both for the baby and for you. For the baby, this is natural (more or less), but for an adult – not so much.
BUT things do get better over time, as this post will show you. And it is not hopeless – you can impact how fast the situation will improve!
Is your baby’s sleep pattern similar to what it was when he or she was in your stomach?
When I was pregnant with my daughter, she was a very active baby. Already in pregnancy week 23, I woke up almost every night because she kicked me so hard. During the first 10 months of her life, she continued to wake up every second hour to feed almost every night.
I know science tells a different story, but with my babies the old wives’ tale is true. My youngest boy didn’t wake me up even once while in my womb – and he has always slept better at night than his sister did at the same age. I suppose some babies simply need more sleep help than others.
In any case, it’s good to know a bit about how babies sleep in general. Their sleep pattern changes quite a bit during their first year.
Your Baby’s Sleep Pattern by Month During Their First Year
In this article…
Newborn Baby Sleep Pattern – Lots of Sleep, But Not on Their Own
Newborn babies tend to sleep a lot, some as much as 20 hours a day. This usually does not mean, though, that Mom and Dad have a lot of spare time.
The baby’s sleep cycle, especially during its first month, is a lot shorter than an adult’s. Actually, babies have twice as many periods of light sleep as adults and thus have ample opportunities to wake up.
It is hard work to sleep like a baby! 🙂
Also, there is absolutely no guarantee that the newborn’s longest period of unbroken sleep will occur at night.
Since newborn babies are used to falling back to sleep by being rocked in the warm water inside the womb, the baby might not at all be able to go to sleep on his or her own once born. So even if he or she sleeps most of the day, your baby might very well spend a lot of that time in your arms or at least with your help in some way.
A Swedish child expert, Anna Wahlgren, describes the 2-week-old baby as going through its second birth. Before that, most newborn babies really don’t do much more than sleep and eat. You might not even see them with their eyes open very often. After two weeks, the newborn baby’s sleep pattern starts to change as they slowly start to open up to the world outside the womb. At six weeks, many infants have started to sleep more at night than during the day.
But it might take longer. With my youngest boy, my impression is that he more or less just slept during his first 2.5 months – at least compared to his older sister.
Baby Sleep Pattern At 3 Months – Longer Sleep Cycles, But still Wakes Up
As your child grows older, your baby’s sleep pattern will become more similar to that of adults.
At the age of three months, babies sleep some 13-15 hours a day, and usually most of this at night. Still, this does not have to mean undisturbed sleep for you. Most babies wake up at least once or twice every night.
If your baby wakes up often and if you have the energy to think long-term, take some time to try making your baby go to sleep without feeding, by giving him or her a pacifier, rocking gently, or whatever you would do at daytime to make your child fall asleep. Chances are he or she is not at all hungry, but still needs some help.
If it’s been a tough night or day and you’re really tired – prioritize your own sleep. Feed your baby and head back to your bed. Or feed in your bed. Don’t play hero or supermom; make your life as easy as possible!
At some point around or after three months, you should be able to guide your baby towards three naps a day. One in the morning, one after lunch and one in the afternoon. Try to keep the baby asleep for over an hour each time. If the baby has slept for over an hour, he should be able to stay awake 1.5 to 2 hours before taking another nap. Life suddenly becomes more predictable!
This way, your baby will go to bed quite early in the evening at around say 8 or 9 pm and should, after a while, consider it to be night until around 7 am. Mmm, some grown-up time in the evening!
Baby Sleep At 6 Months And Up – Less Need to Feed at Night
Between 6 and 12 months, babies’ daily sleep will gradually fall to 12 to 14 hours a day. According to my experience, your baby’s sleep pattern will remain at that amount of sleep for quite some time. By this time, if your child is healthy he doesn’t need to eat at night anymore. What he wants may, of course, be another story…
The number of naps is usually reduced from 3 to 2 at some point during the baby’s second half-year, one before lunch and one in the afternoon.
My babies’ healthcare provider means that babies heading for their first birthday should not sleep after 3 pm to help them be really tired in the evening. That did not work at all with my kids, but it hasn’t been super-important either. But I tried to make them fall asleep before 3 pm for their last nap.
As you welcome your newborn into your family you may have noticed you’ve had more opportunities to bond with baby than your partner. Perhaps because of breastfeeding, or having a better understanding of all the new baby products in your home—whatever the case, it’s normal for your husband to feel lost (and overwhelmed) in his role as he adjusts into fatherhood.
Encouraging dad and giving him opportunities to take an active role is so important in helping him create his own special bond with baby. But it’s important for you, too. By getting dad more involved, you’ll be able to take some of the responsibility off your own shoulders.
Here are 6 ways to give dad opportunities to become confident in his new role.
1. Bottle feeding
There is such a special bond that happens when you feed your newborn. Giving dad the opportunity to experience that too will strengthen his bond with your new little one.
Whether formula or breastmilk, having dad in charge of a feeding or two a day means an extra few hours of sleep or being able to get out of the house for a few hours on your own, which helps you with the physical and mental load of new motherhood and helps dad get closer to baby.
2. Diaper duty
Don’t let dad talk his way out of this one! This is a great way for dads to help out and get some one-on-one time with baby. Plus, in the first few weeks of motherhood, you have your own diapers to change.
Have dad in charge of nighttime bath routine. They’ll have fun in the suds listening to some tunes and it’ll help them both get relaxed before bedtime.
Here’s another tip that will benefit you both. If you’re always running point on the bedtime routine, you might get stuck as the only one that can get your baby to sleep. Getting dad involved in the bedtime routine from the start will help them bond and ensure that their both comfortable getting to bed without you, so you can sneak off to get some rest for yourself.
Find a local Daddy & Me weekly get together – you can find these at the local brewery, library, or playground meet ups. It gives dad a chance to meet other fathers, build bonds, and gain support.
Remember that no matter how Dad decides to get involved, it’s important to give him space in these activities to really grow into his role—which means you can pour a glass of wine and take a relaxing bath knowing that dad and baby are busy developing a bond that will last forever.