Wednesday, July 27, 2011

List your Mom Blog on Essential Mama Baby.

I am now welcoming friends to list their mom blogs on my "List Your Mom Blog Here" page. Just add your link/button and start making new friends!

I would love you to follow me on GFC and to grab my button as well!

Instructions: Just below my banner you will see "List your mom blog here" next to "Home". Click there and add your link/button!Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Very Special Post!

I just received an Award!!!

Couple of days ago when checking my twitter, I found out that MJ from A Girl Named Michael had given me an Award: "The Versatile Blogger Award".

I'm very honored and thrilled about it. I started blogging about 2 months ago and I have already received an Award??? That is really amazing!

MJ's blog is funny and irreverent. She always puts a smile on my face. You should check it out!

The Rules after accepting the Versatile Blogger Award are:
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post. 
  • Share 7 things about yourself 
  • Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs. 

7 things about myself:
  1. I have been married for 12 years to a wonderful husband. 
  2. I have a 4 years old daughter. She is my world! 
  3. I couldn't have asked for a better family. I have the most loving/supporting parents in the world and my sisters and my brother are truly my best friends! 
  4. I have a very eclectic music taste. My favorite recording groups are U2, Roxette and Black Eyed Peas. But I also like Andrea Bocelli, Pavarotti, Bruce Springsteen, Cold Play and Caetano Velloso (Brazilian singer/musician) 
  5. I play piano 
  6. My favorite color is red, but I also like black very much. 
  7. I am originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.                  
I have found many great blogs to read and I have made several friends. It was very hard to pick only 15 blogs, but unfortunately, rules are rules!

Now, the 15 blogs that I have chosen to receive the Award (in alphabetic order):

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cuddle or Cry it Out?

It is very difficult for a mother to make a conscious decision about to cuddle or to let her baby cry it out (CIO) when she is sleep deprived.

I had never thought about this issue before having my daughter nor anyone came to me to talk about it. The only thing that I remember was everyone telling me how wonderful it was to have a baby and how my life would be filled with joy from that moment on. The truth is that no one tells you about painful breastfeeding or sleep deprivation when you are pregnant. Not that I think we should discourage new mothers, but maybe we should let them know they will have lots of challenges ahead and for some of them they should be prepared before the time comes.

I've read about babies sleeping through the night at 3 months old or sooner and I have friends with the same experience. That was not my case. My daughter used to take 30 minutes nap every 2 hours and wake up every 2 hours at night.  She kept waking up every 2 hours until she was 2 yeas old. I was REALLY exhausted!

I remember talking to my daughter's pediatrician about it and she recommended the CIO method. Even though it didn't sound right to me, I was willing to try anything to have some sleep.

The next night when she woke up, I started to implement the CIO technique. I tried for 10 min until I couldn't take it anymore. 10 min felt like 10 hours. When I finally picked her up, she was extremely upset like I had never seen her before and I felt like the worse mother ever. It took a very long time for her to calm down and fall asleep again. After that day, I promised myself that I would never do it again!

I am not here to support one sleep training method over another nor to judge parents for having used the CIO method. I am just saying that it didn't work for us.

One day when I was reading about this subject on a discussion forum, someone suggested the book: The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night. by Elizabeth Pantley. What a WONDERFUL book! I recommend it to every single mother and I consider it a MUST have. I wish I had read it when I was pregnant so I could start following her suggestion from the time my daughter was born. She advocates gentle techniques to avoid crying. She focus on understanding why baby is waking up and how to fix problems with routines and new associations.

After following the steps in the book, my daughter started to sleep through the night! It was unbelievable! After a few nights she was already sleeping longer stretches and I was getting more sleep as well.  The best part is, this was accomplished without one single tear!

"I've always thought that it would be wonderful to have a menu of ideas that a family could try until they hit upon a magic antidote to help their baby sleep all night. Elizabeth Pantley has created just such a menu in The No-Cry Sleep Solution. She has created a book that is clear, easy to read, and uncomplicated. The steps are set up so that even the most sleep-deprived can understand and apply the solutions. At long last, I've found a book that I can hand to weary parents with the confidence that they can learn to help their baby sleep through the night - without the baby crying it out"- William Sears, MD, Pediatrician and Author

Before reading this book, I remember thinking that I only had two options. Either let her cry it out (which wasn't an option for me) or get used to the fact that I had to wake up very often and just feel miserable.

This book made me realize that there is a third option, a gently way to teach my daughter how to sleep without crying. If I had read this book sooner I wouldn't have gone through all the sleep deprivation I went through. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

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

Image source:  Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

What is the best sunscreen?

I love summertime! It is great to be outdoors enjoying beautiful days at the beach, pool and water parks. I feel a good mood in the air!

Even though we should apply sunscreen on every day, it is especially important during summer.

According to World Heath Organization (WHO) kids are at higher risk of suffering UV damage than adults, requiring special protection. They say that skin cancer risk significantly increase with a single sunburn in childhood, which could be prevented by adopting simple precautions.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that unprotected skin can be damaged by UV rays in as little as 15 minutes and the WHO says that tanned skin is damage skin. Any change in the color of your child's skin after time outside - whether sunburn or suntan - indicates damage from UV rays.

For better protection, WHO and the CDC recommend to stay out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. during summer, to cover up your child's skin with clothes and hats that protect against UV rays and to apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors on the parts of the body that remain exposed , like the face and hands. They also say that sunscreen should never be used to prolong the duration of sun exposure and that it is important to reapply it every 2 hours specially after your child swims or exercise ( and this apply to "water resistant" and "waterproof" as well).

According to Patricia Treadwell, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis " The sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least 15, but you generally don't need to go higher than 30: Over than that and you're getting smaller and smaller amounts of added protection - which, in a chemical sunscreen means a higher dose of unwanted chemicals."

Today there is a large variety of sunscreens on the pharmacy's shelves, but which one is the best?

Consumer Reports Health identifies tree "CR Best Buys:"

1 - Up & Up Sport SPF 30 (Target) - Spray

2 - No-Ad with Aloe and Vitamin E SPF 45 - Lotion

3 - Equate Baby SPF 50 - Lotion

All three products provide "Excellent" protection against UVB (which causes sunburn) and "Very Good" protection against UVA (penetrates deeper than UVB causing tanning and aging of the skin).

Good thing to know is that you don't have to pay to much to get a very good sunscreen. Some very expensive ones scored lower overall comparing to a less expensive.

So, let's protect ourselves and enjoy the summer!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Restaurant high chairs dirtier than toilet seat!

We all know that there are germs everywhere we go but how harmful are they and what should we do about it?

The first thing to come to mind when thinking about germs, is public restrooms. Surprisingly, there are places more infected with harmful germs than public restrooms. According to Dr. Kelly Reynolds, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health in Tucson, "Restrooms tend to get disinfected often". On the other hand, playgrounds, doctor's waiting rooms and restaurant high chairs are not disinfected as often as they should.

Every time I take my daughter to the park I see at least 2 or 3 sick kids (coughing and/or runny nose) playing there and the kids are sharing toys and touching everything (all kids do) spreading their germs to others. Have you ever seen someone disinfecting the playground equipment? I haven't and according to Dr. Reynolds "Playground equipment almost never gets cleaned"
Recommendation: Teach your child not to touch his mouth while at the park and always clean their hands with disinfectant wipes or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Doctor's waiting rooms are very often filled with sick kids and even tough it may look clean, it's not. The kids are always playing with the toys, touching the chairs, door knobs, books, magazines,.... and once again, spreading their germs. Most offices have their waiting rooms cleaned by the end of the day or in the morning before opening, but never during business hours. According to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, waiting rooms of pediatricians' offices are second only to restrooms regarding germs. "It makes sense when you think about why all the kids are there". "Pediatricians are not versed in public health and sanitation", he says.
Recommendation: Bring your own toys and always disinfect your child's hand when you leave the office.

According to the University of Arizona, when they swabbed high chairs they found bacteria counts much higher than those the average public toilet seat. "Coliform bacteria, which are usually associated with fecal matter, we found on over half the high chairs. And on about one in five of the high chairs we found Ecoli which definitely come from fecal material. And in about 10 percent of the high chairs we found MRSA." says Gerba. Most restaurants don't clean the high chairs and even the ones that do it, don't do it right. "We've found that the cloths that they wipe up in the restaurants-almost half of them contained Ecoli, believe it or not". He says, "You just think about a kid in a high chair, how many times he's putting his fingers to his nose, mouth or putting some object into his mouth. That's more than once a minute."
Recommendation: Always disinfect the high chairs with disinfectant wipes and wipe your child's hand clean before and after the meal. You can also use a clean seat cover and wipe hands clean.

Image source: Dream Design

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