Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Potty Trained by 2 years old!

All mothers know that potty training is not easy. My daughter became completely potty trained (day and night) by the age of 2. My case is not the average and many have to wait longer to see it happen. Once we started the process, it took my daughter and I approximately 4 months for her to reach her potty 'independence' and be completely diaper-free. It was a long and often times trying process. I had to be consistent and remind her every 30 min that she needed to go potty. One technique that worked for me and is advocated by many pediatricians is that of positive reinforcement. I always made a big deal whenever she used the potty. I gave her stickers, we sang funny songs and did the "potty dance"! "The most important way to keep a child interested in being diaper-free is to provide loads of encouragement and positive reinforcement for even small steps on the right direction", says Andrew Garner, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.

Some kids get potty trained very fast and early and others may take a very long time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "most children start to show interest between the ages of 18 months and 24 months and some children are not ready until they are 2 1/2 years old". "As a general rule of thumb, children are developmentally ready to use the potty around the age of 3. However, remember that children develop at different rates and that not all children are ready at the age of 3." says Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., FAAP, editor-in-chief of the book, The Wonder Years: Helping your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate The Major Developmental Milestones.

Before we started the process, I took my daughter with me to the store to buy a new potty and told her that it was a very special potty only used by big girls. She was very happy and proud of herself. She knew that she was going to use the potty and was no longer a baby.

In addition to the new potty I also bought her "Elmo's Potty Time" DVD which WE absolutely love. It is very educational and encouraging with a lot of cute songs. It discusses diapers, training pants, kids underwear, having accidents (it is ok), wiping, flushing and washing up, all in a very gentle and fun way. It also mentions that it takes time and requires lots of practice. At the end, all characters and actors sing together a nice song that makes you sing along saying that everybody goes: mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, brothers, doctors, teachers,... and that they do it every day. Very, very cute. I recommend it!

I believe that the key for a successful potty training process is to be consistent and patient and if you get frustrated (which is normal), try not to show it!

Note: I haven't received any monetary compensation to write this post. It is my personal experience and opinion.

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When should a mother avoid breastfeeding?

"Health professionals agree that human milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for infants, including premature and sick newborns. However, there are rare exceptions when human milk is not recommended. Under certain circumstances, a physician will need to make a case-by-case assessment to determine whether a woman's environmental exposure or her own medical condition warrants her to interrupt or stop breastfeeding."

Read More: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/disease/

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Breastfeeding and Vitamin D Supplementation

"While breastfeeding is the recommended method of infant feeding and provides infants with necessary nutrients and immune factors, breast milk alone does not provide infants with an adequate intake of vitamin D. Most breastfed infants are able to synthesize additional vitamin D through routine sunlight exposure. However, published reports of cases of vitamin D deficiency rickets among breastfed infants in the Unitied States caused researchers to take another look at whether all breastfed infants were getting adequate vitamin D."

Read More: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/vitamin_D.htm

Source: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Breastfeeding and Flu Season

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines for both the seasonal flu and Influenza A (H1N1) are considered safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
They also recommend breastfeeding as an important way to safeguard infant health during flu season.

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Breastfeeding and plugged milk ducts

It happened 4 years ago, but I still remember how painful it was to have plugged milk ducts. It happened to me frequently (sometimes as often as every other day) and I didn't know what caused it. In addition to the pain and discomfort, I also felt very frustrated thinking I should give up and just get used to it. As much as I looked for answers I didn't find one that satisfied me and offered a simple solution for the problem. Although many online forums and blogs offered suggestions on how to address the problem, all solutions I found were only temporary and the problem soon returned. After a long search for a solution I finally found a wonderful breastfeeding class at "Bright Beginnings and Beyond" in Redondo Beach, CA where I learned the proper 'latching' technique. From that point forward my daughter's breast feeding sessions became painless and only our most enjoyable and intimate moment (it was an amazing feeling!).

One day in the beginning of one of the breastfeeding classes as I was getting ready to start, one of the consultants approached me and asked why I was wearing a underwired bra. At first I didn't understand her question. She then proceeded to explain that it is generally not recommended for a nursing mother to wear an underwired bra because they have a tendency to cause PLUGGED DUCTS!!!!! Who would have thought it? Definitely, not me .

After that day, I never put them on again and never got a plugged duct again !

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Educational Toy

Which of your child's educational toys is the one that first comes to mind?

The first one that comes to my mind is a very cute caterpillar that my daughter has had since she was 2 years old. It's from LeapFrog and named Alphabet Pal. It has 26 colorful legs, each one representing one letter of the alphabet and it has 4 different learning modes: letter, sound of the letters, colors and music. It is very educational and my daughter learned the sound of each letter on her own just playing with this toy.

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About Essential Mama Baby

It has been a while since I first thought about having a blog where I could write about being a mom for the very first time and to get feedback from other moms who where going through the same things I was going through.

I want to share my thoughts and experiences from frustration to achievement, from sadness to happiness, from having a full time job to being a staying home mom, from breastfeeding to solid food, from very long nights without sleep to sleeping through the night, from diapers to potty training, from tummy time to walking/running, from babbling to talking,... I want to give suggestions and share great mommy/baby products that I absolutely love and that have worked for me.

Most of all, I want to connect to other moms and to talk about the best experience of all: Motherhood.

Essential Mama Baby is more than a name, is more than a blog, it is FROM ONE MOTHER TO ANOTHER!

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