Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sometimes I wish pregnancy required a license

In this horrible case, 5 month-old Christopher was shaken so hard by his father that he suffered significant brain damage. The part that truly disgusts me is the mother saying that it was an abusive relationship, and the father abused her and the baby. She says "I should have got out sooner." Um, yeah...you think? If you don't have an ounce of self-preservation, you should at least have some understanding of the danger your baby is in when you stay in that type of situation. Apparently it was so bad that a neighbor had called child protective services on multiple occasions. Domestic violence advocates can flame me all you want, but the fact is that this baby would still be safe and healthy if the mother had some sense. I pray that her parental rights are taken away and he is cared for by a good, loving family who understands the responsibility of a parent to protect a child.

Friday, January 20, 2012

It only takes one...

This hearwarming article gives hope to the many couples who struggle with male infertility. (’Miracle’ baby born from single frozen sperm) Despite having a husband with a low sperm count, Jennifer Schiraldi was able to carry a healthy baby to term. The miracle lies in the fact that this baby was conceived not just through IVF - but with only 1 single viable sperm. Truly amazing!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Car Seat Expiration Dates

This article on Expiring Car Seats should help you to understand why that little date stamped on the bottom of your child's carseat is important. Pay attention - this is a safety issue!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your baby products may be toxic!

I was shocked to read this article and the corresponding report: Report Finds Toxins In Popular Baby Products. Though a small sample of baby items were tested, many contained a toxic flame retardant. Where are the FDA and CDC on this? How can toxic chemicals possibly be allowed to touch babies' skin?

Great changes coming to McDonald's Happy Meals

My kids love McDonald's (OK, so I do too), but unlike most parents we don't usually get the traditional Happy Meal. We order the kids chicken nugget or hamburger Happy Meals, but we always request apples instead of french fries and milk for their drinks. (I have my kids convinced that soda is only for grown-ups.) I had read previous articles a while back stating that McDonalds is changing to make it's kids meals healthier, even gaining the praise of Michelle Obama. However, it wasn't until recently that I saw a sign at our local restaurant advertising that all Happy Meals will soon be served with apples. This might seem like a minor change, but it will have a significant impact on some kids. Rather than automatically associating McDonald's with nuggets and fries, they will instead associate it with apple slices. Now if they would only get rid of the caramel dipping sauce in the Happy Meals...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stay at home moms are lazy? Or are working moms just angry?

I don't usually watch Anderson Cooper, but this debate caught my interest. There is nothing new here- much of the same stay-at-home vs. working mother debate that has been happening for decades. But it really has people fired up on both sides. One thing is certain- whether moms work or stay home, raising a child does not give you much of an option to be lazy. Infants and toddlers especially are little dictators, expecting mommy to drop everything and cater to them. Mothers on both sides of the debate should respect the fact that all moms have their work cut out for them as soon as their baby is born.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Really, Beyonce and Jay-Z?

I was ready to skewer Beyonce and Jay-Z over their awful choice of name for their baby girl (Blue? Why not Green or Yellow?). Then I read this article and was even more incensed. Apparently the fame has really gone to their heads. Who in their right mind thinks it is OK to seal off a hospital ward and prevent access to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)? Aside from the obvious moral deficits shown by Beyonce's security team, one can also place blame on hospital administration. If the story is true, and Jay-Z really gave the hospital a $1.3 million donation in exchange for this complete intrusion into the lives of other new parents, someone should be fired. A hospital should not prevent access to fragile newborn babies by their parents just because some famous person spends a lot of money. I will be watching this story closely to see if heads roll at the hospital. Having a child in the NICU is one of the most difficult things emotionally and financially for a parent. In some cases, infants are transferred to hospitals far away from their homes to receive a higher level of care. These parents must travel long distances each day or live in hotels to be able to spend time with their critically ill children. I can't imagine them being denied access for any reason. This is awful.

Hopefully this public relations nightmare will result in a sincere apology from these 2. Surprise, Beyonce- you are not the only woman who gave birth that day! Instead of selling pictures of baby Blue Ivy to the magazines for a profit, perhaps you should sell the pictures as a benefit for an organization that supports the care of premature or sick infants. And at the very least, send these families that your staff inconvenienced a nice apology note and a gift for their children.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teen mom who shot intruder will not be arrested

I was happy to read No charges for teen widow who killed intruder. An Oklahoma teenage mother shot and killed an armed man who was trying to break into her home. She barricaded herself in a room with her 3 month old son and shot the man when he barged through the door. Good for her! Even at 18 years old, she is a mama bear protecting her little cub. The truly sad part of the story is that this young 18 year-old bride's husband died of cancer on Christmas day, so she is a recent widow. The creepy part is that she is 18 and he was 56. Does that count as a marriage or borderline abuse?

Repost for safety: Keeping your baby safe from older siblings

One of the most frightening parts of bringing a new baby home is the fear of the response of older siblings. How will they react? What if they hate the baby? What if they love the baby too much and smother her? How will I keep my baby safe from older siblings? These are all valid fears. After all, children - especially very young ones - have a limited understanding of danger and risks to newborn babies.

Depending on your other child(ren)'s age(s), you can take some precautions and safety measures to help ease the transition (and your mind). Here I will share some ideas that have worked for myself and friends who have been through the adjustment of adding to their broods. Some may be more appropriate for preschoolers and school-age children, who have a better cognitive understanding, while others may be useful for all ages. So, here goes:

The Spoiled Little Baby List of Suggestions to Keep Your Baby Safe From Older Siblings

  1. Teach your child this rule: "Only grown-ups pick up babies."

  2. Talk to your child about touching the baby, and explain that everyone has germs that can make little babies sick. This is why we need this rule: "Only touch the covered parts." This is easy for even a 2 year old to remember (worked for mine, with occasional reminders), and will help to keep their hands off of the baby's hands, face, etc.

  3. Consider installing a baby gate on your baby's door (once he or she is sleeping in a crib) or on your own door if baby will be sleeping in your room. This is appropriate if you are worried about your child sneaking in unsupervised and possibly picking up or harming baby.

  4. Keep all balls and other toys that your child typically throws or kicks in the garage. This will eliminate any potential for baby to accidentally be hit by an errant throw.

  5. Teach your child this rule: "Babies only drink milk. They have no teeth so they can't eat." This will help to discourage your child from trying to share food or drink with his or her sibling.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bugaboo Bee Strollers Recalled by Bugaboo Americas Due to Fall Hazard

Do you have a Bugaboo Bee stroller? If so, you need to read this recent recall notice: Bugaboo Bee Strollers Recalled by Bugaboo Americas Due to Fall Hazard. It came out just before Christmas, so many moms may have missed it. Stop using your stroller immediately and follow the instructions given by the CPSC. Recalls happen for a reason - don't ignore this one and put your baby's safety at risk.

Enfamil determined to be safe - maybe?

In case the recent rash of bacterial infections in infants had you afraid of using Enfamil, this report may help to put you at ease. However, CDC and FDA scientists found bacterial contamination in one unopened can of Enfamil. They don't seem concerned about this, but I am! Even one can being contaminated with a potentially lethal bacteria is one too many. I know that breast milk is best for infants, but in some cases women can't breastfeed for various reasons. Why should they have to take a risk on harming their babies? I hope that the recent outbreak of infections has caused Enfamil management to review safety procedures during production.