Night Nanny Care

Swaddling: A common practice under fire

Swaddled babyAre parents and caregivers possibly hurting babies when they swaddle them? Swaddling infants has been used for centuries as a way to sooth babies and recreate the womb environment they are used to.  Often babies sleep better and more soundly while swaddled and it makes putting a baby to sleep on their back a more comfortable position for them. However, when it isn’t done correctly (too tight, too loose, or too thick and warm of blanket) it can have negative effects. I specifically have met with each nanny on my team to ensure that they are confident in the correct swaddling technique and we also teach parents of newborns correct swaddle technique. MMEZ has successfully swaddled dozens of babies.  After two  California caregivers were arraigned on child abuse charges for improper swaddling, the topic is receiving some negative press. It is worth noting that “Social services discovered the inappropriate swaddling, along with multiple licensing violations, during an unannounced visit” to the facility where they were working.

However, as even the American Academy of Pediatrics will state : “when done correctly swaddling can help calm babies and help them sleep better.” So lets teach ourselves, and others how to do it CORRECTLY instead of tossing the whole idea out altogether. There are any number of baby gadgets, equipment, and toys that we use for our infants which come with directions, or a number to call for questions so that it can use used properly and safely…this is no different.

Read the entire article here!

Night Nanny Care

Simple Steps for Safe Sleep that could reduce SIDS, Colic, Child Abuse, Postpartum Depression and Infant Suffocation

It is every parent and caregiver’s worst fear: to come upon an infant that isn’t breathing.  Unfortunately it happens hundreds of times each year and while some babies are able to be revived, others aren’t.  There are various causes for why this may happen, some are known, others are not. “Sleep deaths (from SIDS and suffocation) continue to be the #1 infant killer (between 1-12 months).”

Dr. Harvey Karp is well known for his work in the area of newborn and toddler care. His work is well respected and something that Multiples Made EZ, LLC practices and teaches willing parents about.  I have witness first hand the impact his teachings can have on newborns and their tired parents. In this article Dr. Karp addresses the simple steps that parents can take to make sure their infant is as safe as possible while sleeping.

Please Click Here to read the entire article.

Health and Nutrition

The Health Tip You May Not Know About

In recent weeks my attention has come back around to the topic of probiotics. Commonly infant constipation, diarrhea or suspected formula sensitivity is what prompts the conversation and this case was no different. In working with many families over the years I am always surprised at the lack of information given to parents about probiotics for use in the whole family.  Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in the digestive track naturally and help keep various functions of your body in balance. Commonly people hear probiotics and think yogurt which is true but there is more to it than yogurt.
Probiotics in food products or baby formula are good but should be thought of as a bonus, not your primary source. The amounts are often far too small to make an impact and lose potency during transport (almost all probiotic supplements must be kept refrigerated to maintain potency but there are a few that are shelf stable).  I encourage all adults and parents to consider adding a probiotic supplement to your families’ health regime. It helps the immune system and can be a great preventative measure to help your body fight off sickness especially during fall and winter.

A couple of general guidelines when shopping for a quality probiotic are:
1. Multiple strains of bacteria (never purchase a probiotic with less than 4 strains)
2. Check the label to see if it includes a FOS. (Prebiotic)
3. Check that a serving contains at least:   3 billion CFU for infants, 3 billion for children, 5 billion or more for adults

The more strains and the more CFU (colony forming units) per serving the more it will cost but depending on your current health and other factors it may be worthwhile. Expect to pay around $15-30 for most probiotics.
Adult probiotics are usually a capsule you take orally , children’s are generally a chewable or powder, and infants are a powder that dissolves in milk or baby food.
           
There is a variety of products available and while I am happy to give you suggestions about what I have personally used I do not exclusively endorse any brand.  While very few medical doctors will suggest a probiotic I have rarely come across those who are against their  use. It is always good to discuss specific health concerns with a qualified health professional if you are unsure.

Please click here to read the article from Parents Magazine and learn more about probiotics.

Please note: The contents of this commentary are that of the author and are meant to be educational. The author does not intend to diagnose, prescribe for or cure any condition.

Night Nanny Care

Tired toddlers at risk for growing up grumpy?

Many people will acknowledge the need for proper feeding and sleeping schedules for infants but often they overlook the true sleep needs of a toddler. Sleep is a somewhat individualized requirement but there are certainly guidelines to follow and better yet, results to consider.  It’s common that I have moms of babies I have worked with tell me that their baby is like a new child after they implemented an age appropriate nap and sleep schedule.  Often babies who develop good sleep habits and patterns turn into toddlers who have the same. Some parents think that their infant who doesn’t sleep well will mysteriously turn into an older infant or toddler who will…this isn’t usually the case. Of course there are the fortunate few who have their child’s sleep issues resolve with no real effort on their part but this is the rare case and not the usual sequence of events.

If you have a baby right now or are about to I encourage you to start early working with your infant to meet their sleep needs. If your baby has already turned into a young toddler it isn’t too late but it can be a bit more challenging to change the habits and patterns of a toddler than to guide an infant to an age appropriate sleep schedule.

Click to view this article which references a study done looking at tired toddlers and their moods.