What to Know About the Newest Study on SIDS

new study on sidsSwaddling is in the news again! A recent study in Pediatrics suggests that children who are swaddled during sleep are at a higher risk of SIDS. This is alarmingly contrary to what we already know about SIDS, that swaddling is one of the best preventative tools we have. So why the discrepancy?

As a Certified Infant Care Specialist with an expertise in swaddling, let me clear a few things up.

First, this study is a review of other published studies. It did not include new research.

Second, the study fails to mention how the studied children were swaddled. Throughout the world, there are many different methods of swaddling a child. Here’s what the study says:

“Swaddling is defined as close wrapping of an infant, usually with a light cloth and the head exposed, although swaddling styles vary across cultures.”

So the study doesn’t differentiate between different types of swaddling. They aren’t all equal. Further, many parents are swaddling their children in improper, unsafe ways. It’s very easy to improperly swaddle a baby using traditional blankets.

For example, many parents overdress their children and then wrap them in a swaddle. It’s a myth that babies need to be especially warm. If you keep the room at an ideal 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, you should only dress your baby in one-piece and the swaddle. Even the one-piece isn’t truly needed.

Some parents also share the same bed with their baby. This is extremely dangerous for a few reasons:

  1. You could roll on to your child and cause damage or death.
  2. Blankets or pillows could cover your child’s nose and mouth, causing suffocation.
  3. Your body heat could cause your child to overheat.

Finally, if you swaddle with blankets, those blankets could loosen and cover your baby’s face, suffocating him/her.

So just because the study claims swaddling increases the risk of SIDS, it doesn’t mean your swaddling increases the risk.

Here are the conclusions drawn by the study:

“Current advice to avoid front or side positions for sleep especially applies to infants who are swaddled. Consideration should be given to an age after which swaddling should be discouraged.”

The first part (about not letting babies sleep on their sides or tummy) is old news. We’ve known about this for years. It’s good to see more scientific research confirming it, though.

The second part is true as well, but we already know the answer to this. There’s no exact date (there never could be because every child is different), but we know that swaddling should immediately stop once baby starts rolling over. Inside the swaddle, your child may not be able to right their position and may suffocate.

And about the SIDS risk? Lead researcher Dr. Rachel Moon admitted to CBS News that she couldn’t explain the link. They could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, only a correlation, which means more information (i.e., how the children in the study were swaddled) is needed to draw any real conclusions.

I’m confident that if you removed the children from the study who were swaddled using clearly unsafe methods (too much material, not snug enough, too hot, in bed with mom and dad, etc.) we would see no statistical correlation between swaddling and SIDS.

Swaddling is most definitely safe as long as you do it properly.

You have to create the right conditions. Instead of messily wrapping blankets, it’s far safer to use a specially designed baby swaddle. We created the Woombie so parents don’t have to deal with the guesswork.

In a zip-up baby swaddle, there’s no unraveling, so no material will cover your child’s face. It offers just the right amount of resistance to make your baby feel safe without putting pressure on the hips and knees. The breathable fabric and built-in ventilation reduces the chance of your baby overheating. It also prevents face-scratching and startling, and has been proven to help babies get a better night’s sleep.

Most importantly, the Woombie keeps your baby on his/her back, which is the number one thing you can do to prevent SIDS.

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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8 Simple Ways to Help Out a New Mom

how to help a new momRemember when you were a new parent? “Exhausted” doesn’t even begin to describe it. You had no idea you could function on so little sleep.

We all got through it, but we probably had some help from other people. If you have a new mom in your life, don’t let her go through this experience alone. Here are some simple ways you can give her hand. These will make all the difference!

1. Bring her dinner – Often caring for a little one doesn’t give her time to prepare dinner for herself or her family. You don’t have to buy expensive take-out. Instead, cook something homemade, package it up, and bring it over. This way she doesn’t resort to a bowl a cereal before bed.

2. Take the kids for a few hours – You don’t have to do anything special, just occupy them somewhere else for a bit so she can do whatever she needs – whether that’s taking a nap, showering at her own pace, running errands, or just lounging around.

3. Do a couple chores – Chores pile up for every family when they’re left unattended too long. Stop by real quick to load her dishwasher, fill her washing machine, or bring her trash cans to the road. You don’t have to deep cleaning, just the regular stuff.

4. Buy her a coffee – She’s exhausted. She’s been running on caffeine for a while now and will be for a while. She’d love a premium coffee. Actually, she’d love any coffee.

5. Give her your hand-me-downs – If you’re a parent, you probably have a bag or box of old baby and kids’ clothing in your basement or attic. Even if her kids don’t fit in them just yet, consider handing them over. Kids go through clothing so quickly during the first couple years that there’s really no reason to buy things new.

6. Pick up some groceries – She’ll probably insist on paying you back and that’s OK, but call her up before you get to the store. Ask her if she needs anything while you’re out to save her the trip. Packing up a few kids for a car ride can be arduous.

7. Exercise together – Exercising is important for all of us, but it’s often the first thing to go when we’re super busy. Encourage the new mom to get back into light activity so her body (and body image) returns to normal quickly.

8. Listen to her – It’s tough, as a new parent, to vent to veteran parents. They often give you that “oh let me tell you…” lecture. It can be condescending sometimes. The best thing you can do for her is to let her vent her frustrations and tell you how tired she is. Don’t be judgmental or critical; just listen.

Do you have any ways to help new parents? When you were a new parent, how did you wish people helped you?

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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The 10 Most Popular Bedtime Rituals for Kids

Most Popular Bedtime Rituals for KidsWe know that a bedtime routine is a great way to get a child ready for sleep. It helps cue their brain to the idea that sleep is coming, so get prepared!

While every family’s bedtime routine can be different, a lot of them invoke the same ritual activities. Here are some of the most popular pre-bedtime activities that you could build into your child’s bedtime routine.

1. Turn the TV off – TVs and other electronic devices can capture and stimulate your child’s mind. You’ll want to remove these devices from the entire routine.

2. Start with a bath – A bath is often the first step in the routine. A lot of kids play extensively in the tub, so you want this to be the first step. It helps them burn off some remaining energy. Plus, warm water clams everyone down.

3. Brush those teeth – Brushing doesn’t help your child fall asleep, but it’s important. Over time, the repetition of doing it at the same time will move them toward sleep mode.

4. Pick out pajamas – Giving kids a sense of ownership over things it a great way to convince them to do them without a fight. If your child feels like he/she has a stake in the bedtime routine, they will be more likely to comply. Have them pick out their own sleep clothing (within reason).

5. Pick out books – Here’s another place to let your child take the lead. Books are a great way for quiet, gentle activity too.

6. Talking quietly – Encourage everyone to use quiet, indoor voices and hushed tones. No shouting or yelling. Have a conversation about sleep, like asking what they will dream about that night.

7. Sing lullabies – Singing quietly is rhythm and soothing. It’s a good way to relax together in a chair or in bed. Sing something that’s low and slow, not fast-paced.

8. Snuggling – Sit or lay down with your child. They may fidget and move around at first, but if you stay close and take slow, even breaths, they will eventually mimic you.

9. Keep the room dim – Maintaining a dark room helps your body produce melatonin, which is essential for sleep. On the same token, keep rooms bright when it’s play time to encourage activity.

10. Cool off – The ideal sleeping temperature for people (adults and babies) is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Our bodies are designed to prefer a temperature dip.

Always keep in mind that whatever the routine includes, you need to do it the same way at the same time every evening!

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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5 Developmental Milestones to Watch For in Babies

Developmental Milestones to Watch For in BabiesParents of new babies eagerly look forward to the developmental milestones that their children will experience in the coming months. As a new parent, you probably look forward to seeing your child crawl or sit up for the first time. Though babies grow and develop at different rates, here are some milestones you may see in the next few months:

Head Control

One of the first developmental milestones you will notice is when your baby lifts his or head for the first time. This milestone is often reached around three months of age, but it can take several additional months before those children can support their heads for an extended period of time. A great way to encourage your baby to reach this milestone is to emphasize Tummy Time every day.

Vision Focus

Babies as young as one or two months may begin moving their heads and watching people and objects moving around the room. It isn’t until the third month that they actually develop a smoother method of tracking objects or people moving in front of them.

Crawling

Though all children develop at different rates, most will begin crawling between the ages of nine and 12 months. Those who develop faster may actually attempt to walk by the age of one. Some kids will also start pulling themselves up from the floor and trying to stand on their own just a few days or weeks after crawling.

Teeth

Kids often start teething around the age of four months, but that doesn’t mean that your child’s first tooth will come in right away. You may see a small numb of a new tooth when your child reaches the age of six months. Some kids do not have any teeth come in until they are eight months old or older. As your baby gets more teeth, you’ll want to make an appointment with a qualified dentist such as Dr. Daniel Bade DDS. Usually toddlers first visit the dentist at around 18 months of age.

First Words

The biggest milestone many parents can’t wait to see is when they children start talking. Though it may take months for them to put sentences together or speak full words, some babies say their first word between the ages of 10 and 12 months.

Watching out for developmental milestones lets you know whether your child is on par with others in his or her age group. As babies develop at different rates, you may notice these milestones in your child at a younger or older age.

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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The Cry-It-Out Method Explained

what is the cry it out method sleep trainingThe Cry It Out method has gotten a lot of bad press over the last few years. It was coined by Dr. Richard Ferber, the director of The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, in his book, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.

There’s been a lot of controversy about Dr. Ferber’s methods. The funny thing is that Dr. Ferber never referred to his method as “cry it out.” He most certainly does not advocate you leave your child to cry endlessly in their crib at night. That’s a quick path to emotion damage and it erodes the parental bond; your child will learn to stop trusting that you’ll always be there.

Like all sleep training methods, Cry It Out seeks to break any sleep associations and get your child to fall asleep on their own, without mom or dad’s help. This will help your baby fall asleep initially at night and fall back asleep when they inevitably wake up in the middle of the night (everyone does – there’s no avoiding it).

What exactly is the Ferber method?

First, we have to understand that your baby can only learn to soothe himself to sleep when he is emotionally and physically ready. This happens between three and five months, but can take longer for some babies. Don’t push your child until he’s ready.

Second, he recommends a quiet and relaxed bedtime routine and putting your baby to sleep awake. If your child fall asleep on you, you’ve reinforced the sleep association.

Ferber’s “controlled consoling” method requires you to leave your child alone in the crib for progressively longer periods of time. There may be some crying, but you don’t want to let your child cry until he’s screaming, anxious and vomiting.

After each predetermined set of time, you’ll return to the room and comfort your child without picking him out of the crib or giving a feeding.

How long you should wait during each interval is up to you. It depends on your comfort with the method, how long you’ve been doing it, and how many times you’ve checked on your child already that evening.

Many parents start out with a 10 minute interval and increase it by five minutes each time. So you’ll lay your baby down, wait 10 minutes, then comfort him for a few minutes (without taking him out of the crib) to remind him that you haven’t abandoned him. Leave, wait 15 minutes, then return. Then 20 minutes, return, 25 minutes, etc.

Eventually your child learns that crying out doesn’t get them out of the crib, it only gets them a brief appearance of mom or dad. They aren’t happy about the situation, but this doesn’t leave them feeling alone and abandoned because they know mom or dad is just a couple minutes away.

This is not an easy method for anyone. Parents hate hearing their children cry and it’s definitely tough on the kids, but the program works in a few days to a week. Then, everyone gets their regular rest.

What method did you use to teach your child how to self-soothe?

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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6 Reasons Your Baby or Child Absolutely Needs Sleep

why does a baby need sleepOther than eating, sleep is the most important part of your baby’s development. When it comes to sleep, there’s no such thing as “too much.” If your baby dozes off, let him, even if it’s not his usual time. Look for the sleep cues, like slow responses and eye rubbing to whisk your child off to bed.

So we know sleep is important. But have you ever wondered why? What exactly happens when your child gets the right amount of sleep?

1. Sleep makes your baby grow

Growth hormones that make your baby bigger are primarily created and used at night, specifically right after your child goes to bed. It’s a simple correlation: more time sleeping means more time growing. This is why newborns spend 50-70% of their time sleeping during the first few months, so they can put on weight as quickly as possible.

2. Sleep helps babies and kids gain weight

A child who sleeps a lot isn’t being lazy, they’re just growing. You may think your child will sleep better after a full meal, but it’s actually the other way around: good sleep creates good eating habits.

When we have eaten enough, or fat cells create leptin, which is a hormone that signals our brain to stop eating. But there’s evidence that this hormone can be disrupted by sleep deprivation, so your child’s brain never gets the message to stop eating.

Further, if your child is exhausted, they are more likely to prefer high carb (which is essentially sugar) foods to immediately replenish their stomachs, instead of high protein and high fat foods which are better for long term growth and energy.

3. More sleep means a healthier heart

Sleeping protects us against vascular damage to the heart’s tissue. When children have sleep disorders, their brains are in a constant state of arousal when they do get some sleep. Their blood glucose and cortisol levels stay high the entire time. It’s like triggering the fight-or-flight response over and over. This can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

4. Sleep makes it easier to focus

Every year, countless kids are misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD. In reality, many are chronically sleep deprived. This is because the systems of attention disorders are very similar to sleep disorders: distractibility, lack of focus, and impulsivity. That’s why doctors will usually rule out sleep issues before they diagnose your child with ADD or ADHD.

Sometimes as little as thirty more minutes of sleep is all that’s needed to boost your child’s focus during the day.

5. Sleep helps fight illnesses

When we sleep, our bodies make proteins call cytokines. These are essential substances we need to fight infections, illnesses and even stress. When there’s less sleep, there are fewer cytokines to battle illness. We’re more likely to develop an illness when we’re sleep deprived and that illness is harder to fend off. Now consider how delicate a baby’s immune system is. Those cytokines are really important.

Interesting: cytokines also make us drowsy, which is why we sometimes feel fatigued when we’re ill.

6. Sleep encourages learning

During sleep, a baby’s brain works in overdrive to produce more neuro connections to accommodate all the new information that’s coming in during the day. You need to couple plenty of stimulation with plenty of sleep so that learning is cemented in place.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts founds that children who nap during the day are far more likely to remember what they learned that morning. Sleep actually helped them retain the new information.

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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6 Tips to Transition Back to Work after Being a Stay at Home Mom

how to transition back to work after babyIf you decided to stay home with the kids, there will probably be a time when you decide to go back to work. This happens to a lot of moms. Once the kids are school, you look around an empty house and wonder what you’re supposed to do. Some moms find it tough to make the transition back to work, so hopefully these tips help.

1. Assess your situation

Make sure you understand why you are going back to work. If you don’t have a goal in mind, you won’t be sure if the choice is fulfilling. Do you need the money? Do you want your career back? Do you just want adult conversation? All of those are find reasons, but understanding why will help you find a new job that meets your needs.

2. Look for mom-friendly jobs

You might need something other than the typical 9-5 to meet the needs of your family. Part time work might be for you, or perhaps you can find something that allows you to work from home. Seek out employers that are especially friendly to families.

3. Practice interviewing

Like anything else, interviewing takes training. Keep in mind that at this time in your life, you can’t accept just any job. It has to fit your life, whether that means a certain compensation, certain benefits, certain schedule, etc. So an interview is just as much for them as it is for you. Bring a list of questions with you to the interview so you can make sure it’s right for you.

4. Be flexible with position and compensation

Keep in mind that being out of the workforce for a while will take a toll on your career. You’ll understandably be behind in a few ways. You won’t be able to jump back into your old job. Accept that you might have to take a lesser position for a while until you acclimate yourself. Don’t be ashamed of taking a simpler job; all honest work is good.

5. Cut your obligations

Even if you’re only introducing a part time job, you have to cut back some of the extra things you do every week so you don’t run yourself too thin. You may have to leave the PTA or stop being the basketball coach. You might have to leave your book club or start preparing some less elaborate meals. Don’t feel like you have to keep the same pace.

6. Hold a trial run

It can be a big change for the family when mom has to be out of the house in the morning. Arrange a trail run a few weeks before you go back that simulates the experience so you can iron out any kinks before you really have somewhere to be. Set your alarm and get everyone through their morning routine as if you have to go to work. Even drop them off with the babysitter for a while. You don’t have to disappear all day, but this will give you the option to solve problems before they become big problems.

How did you adjust when you went back to work?

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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Treating Infant Torticollis

Treating Infant TorticollisDoes my baby have Torticollis?

Torticollis is a common condition among infants. Don’t worry, there are many different ways to prevent and correct this issue.

Torticollis can basically cause an infant to hold her head tilted and/or turned to one side instead of centered in the middle. Due to the tight neck muscles forming and resting in that same position in the womb with limited space. Another case could be how the baby is positioned at home. This results in muscle development at a different rate than surrounding muscles. In any case, it is important to correct the problem early.

How to know if your baby is diagnosed with Torticollis?

You may not need a CAT scan or x-ray. Simply take your baby to the pediatrician if you feel your child is having difficult turning his head.  Your family health care provider can complete a quick routine check to see if your baby has Torticollis.

The quick routine check consist of moving  your baby’s head from side to side, feeling the muscles in his neck, and monitoring  your baby while laying down or in your lap.

Why is treating Torticollis so important?

Early treatment is highly recommended for any baby assumed to have Torticollis. It could affect the appearance of the baby’s head or body long-term if not treated in the early stages. Torticollis could even affect their learning process.

For example if left untreated a baby is at risk for learning to move with his head tilted causing a child to use one side of his body more than the other which may show a delay in their motor skills. Torticollis could also cause your baby to have a flattened head on one side or grow to have a curve in their spine as an adult.

That’s why it is crucial to treat the issue as young as possible.  As your child grows older, it becomes more difficult to correct and the muscle tightness is permanent.

How to treat and prevent Torticollis 

Torticollis treatment is a series of stretching techniques and lengthening exercises to help relieve the tight muscles in your baby’s neck. Your doctor may recommend that you try placing your baby on her side and moving her back to the other side in a rolling motion to move and stretch the body.

Be mindful of the way you support the neck when carrying the baby, always reposition the head and never leave the child in a swing or car seat too long. This will ensure the baby is using correct muscles to hold up his head. When you lay your baby down remember to reposition your baby away from the object of interest (like a toy) so she has to use her neck muscles to move and see it. This will strengthen her muscles. Lastly, rest the baby on your stomach to lay and play throughout the day.

Keep in mind

  • Remember to put baby back on his or her back for sleep
  • Expect your baby to cry during stretching activities. You are not hurting your baby
  • Your child will be finished with treatment when your child is keeping his head in the middle

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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Different Sleeping Positions Benefits for Pregnant Moms

Motherhood reinvents a woman. It opens up a whole new chapter of her life where her world is no longer hers alone. This life journey is not without hardships and challenges. American actress and mother Ricki Lake sums up motherhood perfectly: “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”

The struggles start during pregnancy. Johns Hopkins Medicine warns that the first trimester of pregnancy is critical to the health of the mother and her unborn child. It is important that both receive adequate nutrition and rest. As the pregnancy progresses, so do a mother’s sleeping problems.

Most pregnant moms experience fragmented sleep and insomnia. Many struggle falling asleep, staying asleep and getting enough rest. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center suggest correlation between a mother’s quality of sleep and complications at birth. There are also alarming evidence that point to the impact of sleep and depression to the mother and her unborn child’s immune health.

Sleeping problems among pregnant women are primarily attributed to the larger abdomen, back pain, heartburn, shortness of breath and insomnia. All these factors add up to the fact that there are certain sleeping positions that should be avoided at least during the latter part of the pregnancy.

Here are facts you should know to help pregnant women sleep better.

Different sleeping positions to avoid

Different sleeping positions to avoid

To know what sleeping positions work for pregnant moms, you should understand the basic changes in your body during this crucial period. Back sleeping causes the weight of your uterus to press on your spine and major blood vessels, resulting to back pains and decreased blood flow. Mothers who lie flat on their back complain of muscle aches, hemorrhoids and swelling. They also suffer from dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Dr. Vera Stucky from the University of California – San Diego Medical Center says, “If you sleep on your back, the enlarged uterus presses against the inferior vena cava, the vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart.”

If you were used to sleeping on your stomach, this sleeping position is virtually impossible during your pregnancy. This will press down your stomach on your expanding uterus. Additionally, your ballooning breasts are extra sensitive during this period.

Pregnant sleeping position: the SOS

Pregnant sleeping position

SOS or “sleep on side” is recommended by doctors to help expectant mothers get better rest at night. This position keeps the unborn child’s weight from applying pressure to the the mom’s  inferior vena cava that carries blood back to the heart from the lower part of the body.

For a comfortable SOS position, lay on one side and put a pillow between your bent legs. You can also place a pillow under your abdomen to ease any back discomfort. This can help prevent you from rolling to your stomach or back.

Rotating positions throughout the night is fine. Don’t panic if you find yourself on your back in the middle of the night. Just return to your side and go back to sleep.

Pregnant sleeping position: the left side

Pregnant sleeping position

There is no scientific evidence that explicitly tells the better side to sleep on. However, caregivers recommend the left side as the safest for your baby.

This sleeping position will increase the amount of blood and nutrients in the placenta, allowing blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. Sleeping on your left side also keeps your weight from pushing down too hard on your liver.

Pregnant sleeping position: the half-sitting position

Pregnant sleeping position 3

Adequate rest is vital for expectant mothers. Finding a comfortable sleeping position is one of the effective ways for pregnant women to get better sleep. You may lie on your back in a half-sitting position with soft pillows against your back. Resting in this position on a soft bed can be helpful in keeping stomach acids down and prevent heartburn.

Create a conducive sleeping environment

Create a conducive sleeping environment

Sleeping during pregnancy can be tough given the many discomforts you feel inside your body. Apart from finding a safe and comfortable sleeping position, it is important to turn your bedroom into an optimal resting environment.

Get a new bed, mattress and a set of pillows, if necessary. A firmer mattress, especially a memory foam mattress, can help ease aches on your torso and limbs. Invest in good pillows as these can offer good bed support. If you experience shortness of breath, put a pillow under your side to raise your upper body. It is also advisable to place a pillow at the small of your back when on a half-sitting position to relieve some pressure. A full-body pillow behind your back when you’re on a side-sleeping position can reduce back pains.

One of the sleeping position benefits for pregnant moms is better rest. An early research found that mothers who slept fewer than six hours per night had longer labors. They were also 4.5 times more likely to have a Cesarean delivery. Make sure you get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. By the time your baby arrives, you’d have to prepare for sleepless nights, fatigues and stress. Oh, the wonders of parenthood!

Guest Blog by Emily Harper

Emily Harper is an Environment/Sustainability/Health and Women Advocate. She is also fond of analyzing home structure and design and has been a Home Stylist and Consultant. She is also an active community member, concerning community improvement and security. She loves to write as much as she loves to cook and bake cupcakes for her two little kids.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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5 Signs That Your Toddler Can Handle a Big Kid Bed

when is toddler ready for a bedMoving your child into their own bed is a big step for every family. Even the best transitions involve a couple sleepless nights of walking your child back to bed. It’s inevitable.

However, it can be tough to judge when your child is ready. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself. I don’t recommend selling off your crib until you’re sure that your child can handle a toddler bed. Sometimes you have to take a step back and that’s OK.

Here are some signs that your child is ready for a big kid bed.

1. Your child is climbing out of the crib

Kids climb out of the crib at different ages, but when it starts to happen, you have to worry about safety. There are some other things you can do, like install bulky bumpers on top of the rail to prevent your child from gaining purchase, but the easiest solution is to give them their own bed.

2. Your child can play unsupervised

If your child sleeps in a bed, they are more than capable of getting up at night and wandering around your house while everyone else is asleep. You have to make sure the thought of that doesn’t scare you. Even if your home is childproofed, you have to consider their skill level. What can they get into?

3. Your child doesn’t like the crib

Many kids are ready to move to their own bed when they display negative feelings toward they crib. They think it’s for babies because their old siblings and parents don’t sleep in one. It’s important to entertain the idea of a toddler bed at this point because you don’t want your child to develop a negative association with sleep, or they’ll refuse to go to bed.

4. Your child understands “boundaries”

You need to be able to impress upon your child imaginary boundaries. They need to know that it’s important to stay in bed during sleep time, or you’ll spend hours every night waiting with them while they fall asleep. If your kid immediately jumps out of bed, then the crib bars are still necessary to ensure they get to sleep.

5. Your child wants a bed

The best time to move into a new phase in your child’s life is when they are most ready, so if your child is asking for a toddler bed, jump on the opportunity. Children are much more likely to embrace something on their own terms.

How did you know your child was ready?

baby swaddleWritten by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Woombie? Send your topic idea to pr@woombie.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Woombie makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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