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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Bond Baby Bond

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 by:

We all know breast milk is nutritious for baby, and some studies have even shown it can boost IQ and reduce the risk of SIDS. Now, new research from Yale University School of Medicine has found that breastfeeding increases the parent/infant bond.

The act of breastfeeding appears to release hormones that enhance maternal behavior. The study performed functional MRIs on mothers a month to four months after their babies were born. Mothers who breast fed had a greater brain response to their babies cries.

Why Mariah’s Baby Names Rock

Monday, May 30th, 2011 by:

Unlike some people, I happen to love the names of Mariah Carey‘s newest additions. I like a little originality when it comes to choosing your offspring’s moniker. Monroe and Moroccan (Carey twins one and two) are the right combination of cuteness and class. Still, naysayers have to scream out and plead for Carey to go with something more run-of-the-mill; something more Dick and Jane. Really? Do we want something this boring from our celebrities?

I gawked at a recent columnist who called the originality celebrities use when naming their offspring self- promoting, unorthodox and icky. (This same columnist later admitted to wanting to change the name of her own child months after she was born because it was becoming too popular. Who’s the icky one now?)

I’ll admit Carey could have kept quite about naming her son after the decor in a room of her house, but shouldn’t parents be able to name their children whatever they want? (Also, the room was where her actor’s husband Nick Cannon proposed.) Actors are artists and it only seems fitting that they would exercise a little more artistic freedom when playing the baby name game.

People tend to copy everything celebrities do from their hairstyle to the color of their footwear. For years, people have also copied celebrity baby names. Maybe uber original names are, in part, an attempt to avoid a string of copy cats. After all, if you name your baby Buddy Bear (Jamie Oliver) or Caspar (Claudia Schiffer) people will be less likely to follow your lead with their own little buddles of joy. If the said author was upset enough to call the city about changing her daughter’s name because it was becoming a little too popular, what would she do if thousands of people world wide started to copy her child’s name?

I love that celebrities tend to avoid common names and, in doing so give us something to talk about. Does the world really need another Emma?

Looks like music really can make your child smarter.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by:

We’ve heard that listening to Mozart can make your baby smarter, but there has been little research to back up these claims. Until now.

A study out of Northwestern University has linked music to improved language, speech, memory, attention and vocal emotion. Why? Learning music can enhance the brain’s ability to adapt and change. Also, neural connections made during musical training prime the brain for all other aspects of human communication. The study went so far as to say that the benefits of music on your brain are equivelent to the benefits of exercise on your body.

But if you want your child to have the true benefits of music, you’ll have to go beyond listening to a Raffi sing-a-long. To get the full benefits of music you need to encourage your child to sing and play an instrument of their own.

Simply put, children who are muscially trained are better at observing pitch changes in speech and have a better vocabulary and reading ability than children who did not receive music training.

And you thought you were just playing peek-a-boo

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 by:

You know those delicious moments when you and your child are locked into each other’s gaze–laughing, smiling or just making faces? Those moments when the rest of the world disappears and you’re the parent of the most adorable child on the planet? Few things in life can touch those times, and they are much more than just feel-good moments. These interactions are critical to the parent/child bond and to your baby’s health and development.

All that cooing, copying of your baby’s facial expressions and mimicking her sounds lets her know that she is deeply treasured and understood. We reflect that understanding back by copying and imitating our babies in a wonderful back-and-forth dance throughout our day. Babies love and crave this interaction. All this mirroring calms and soothes them and helps them to feel safe with what is happening around them.

In fact, chemicals are being released in the brain that make your baby feel wonderful and elated, which has a profound impact on her brain. Science now shows that the more pleasant experiences she has, the more her brain specializes for resilience and happiness. Most of the brain’s circuitry is developed after birth, and it is through these intimate connections that neuropathways develop and babies learn to organize and regulate emotions. These are also the building blocks for the development of empathy and social skills.

To be honest, these games of face making, cuddling, and cooing are better than any toy or video you could ever buy for your child. This is what your child craves and needs from you. (You don’t have to be in your child’s face every minute of the day, though. That would overwhelm and annoy your baby–rest assured, she will look away or fuss when she’s had enough!)

While there is also nothing wrong with mobiles, smart toys, and videos, remember it’s your beautiful face your child needs most. And keep up the baby talk and silly faces with your toddler, she still needs it. These mommy love games are the best emotional nutrition you can give your child–building security, as well as emotional and intellectual intelligence.

And you thought you were just playing peek-a-boo!

Can a humidifier help prevent the flu?

Friday, February 13th, 2009 by:
A humidifer can reduce your flu risk.

A humidifier can reduce your flu risk.

A humidifier or vaporizer is one of the few ways to ease congestion in babies and toddlers. (They moisten the air and can help clear your child’s nasal passages.) Now, a new study shows that increasing humidity levels in your home may even help prevent the flu.

A recent study in Proceedings of National Academy of Science found that flu spreads better in dry air. So, when absolute humidity is low, influenza virus survival is prolonged and transmission rates go up. That’s why we see seasonal spikes in flu.

Although a humidifier can help, don’t over do it–too much humidity can lead to mold. The Mayo Clinic suggests 40 to 50 percent home humidity. To find out where you’re at, buy an inexpensive hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity levels.

Take a glimpse at what Canada has to offer

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 by:

A glimpse at what's hot for moms

In case you didn’t get everything you (or your baby) wanted for Christmas, check out glimpse. The Canadian blog was started in October 2008 by two moms with a desire to promote all things Canadian. Check out the site for little unknown treats, most of them made by moms (for moms). A few of Andrea’s (co-founder) favorites include: Eco-friendly Phat Baby Wraps, Babes in Black maternity and baby clothes, and Fenigo – a Canadian eco-friendly website.

Infant Incubator Advantage?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 by:

With my first baby, I was all about attachment parenting–when he cried I picked him up (immediately), I breast fed on demand, we spent hours a day cuddling and he fell asleep on me often. So one of my biggest worries when my second son was taken to NICU less than an hour after birth was: How will life in an incubator, with limited human touch (and no hugs from mom), affect my child in the long run?

Obviously I was excited to hear the results of a new study published in Psychiatry Research. The University of Montreal study followed 1,212 children through adulthood and found that newborns who spent time in an incubator are two to three times less likely to be depressed when they grow up. The researchers’ original hypothesis, like my own, was that early mother-baby separation could result in heightened rates of clinical depression later in life.

Why were the results so much different than expected?

Researchers aren’t sure, but it could be that incubators are controlled environments where body temperature, brain oxygenation, sound and light are adjusted to maximize neuronal development. Or, maybe we just make up for lost time after our little ones are released from NICU.

Whatever the reason, this study can help take a little stress out of a highly emotional time for moms with babies in the NICU.

Expect the Unexpected

Monday, November 24th, 2008 by:

Second time’s a charm. That’s what everyone told me. Once you’ve already had a child, you’ll be so much more relaxed with number two because you’ll know what to expect.

And on October 24, 2008 I was certain I knew what to expect.

I arrived at the hospital for my 2:00pm birth (the close proximity of my two sons, caused my doctor to caution that a VBAC would be too risky). My second son, Beckett, came into the world screaming at 3:32pm, with a perfect score on his APGAR (a simple test to evaluate newborn health based on Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration). He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. Beckett was healthy (and after the initial shock of no longer being inside my warm and cozy womb, I was certain he would also be happy). I had visions of checking out of the hospital early and going home with my new baby, confident in my bathing, nursing and comforting skills.

But, if there’s anything a parent should be confident in, it’s that we should always expect the unexpected. My, everything went according to plan birth, ended with Beckett leaving the hospital after a life-threatening 11-day stay in the NICU.

With a newborn, life is always charmed (whether it’s your first, second–or dare I say third or forth time around). But life never goes according to plan. Just when you think you know what to expect, it’s the very moment your child will turn things upside down.

As a mother of two, I look forward to sharing life’s unexpected joys, setbacks, and tribulations with you on Just The Facts, Baby’s new pareting blog. Can’t wait to hear what all you new moms have to share as well.