6 Fun Ways to Teach Your Children New Vocabulary Words

learn vocabulary wordsOur fast-paced and competitive world requires that we prepare our children as best we can. Vocabulary is key to understanding the world and developing strong communication skills. Not only should we teach our children a vast store of words, but we must teach them how to assimilate new words into their mental warehouses quickly and effectively. Here are six fun ways you can help your kids learn new vocabulary words.

1. Designate a weekly “Cool Word.”

Each week, pick a word for your family to study and use. Write the word on a piece of paper or chalk board somewhere in your house so everyone can see it. Include the word’s definition, pronunciation and a short sentence so everyone understands its usage.

Encourage everyone to use the word in various forms as much as possible. Turn it into a little game to spur everyone to experiment often (a little competition helps). Mom and dad should use the word as well. As your family becomes more advanced, designate several weekly words. I know a family that lists 10 words each week!

2. Host a story contest.

Children are excellent imaginers, so appeal to their creative side by asking them to compete in a story contest. Give a topic (but keep it broad) and a few vocabulary words to use in their story. Give them plenty of time to brainstorm and write, then have someone judge the winning story based on how well the vocabulary words were used.

3. Keep your eyes out for the coolest new words.

Ask your family (grown-ups too, of course, it’s much easier to get kids involved when everyone is excited) to keep an eye out for new words. Record the words when they are spotted and save them for Sunday dinner, where everyone will reveal their interesting words, explain how to use them, and offer an example sentence. You can vote on who found the coolest word.

4. Act out new words.

You can switch up your teaching style by having everyone get a bit physical. Offer an interesting vocabulary word and explain its meaning and usage. Then, have your kids act out the word to demonstrate their understanding. Not only will they learn vocabulary in a different and interesting way, but you can be sure they fully understand the concept. Professional players can turn it into a Charades-like game where the players guess which word from a pool of new vocabulary words the actor is imitating.

5. Play the word game.

When you have some downtime (like car road trips, airplane flights, or time in a waiting room), play a vocabulary word game. Choose a theme like “Hollywood” or “places.” One person starts by coming up with their own word related to the theme. The next person has to think of a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. For example, player one might start with “director”. Player two would offer “Robert Pattinson”. Player three would say “Narnia” (going with the theme: “Hollywood”). Continue as long as you can.

6. Subscribe to the Cool Word Club.

The Cool Word Club is an online community of smart kids, parents and teachers that aims to increase the vocabularies of people everywhere. Subscribing to the free email newsletter gets you two new vocabulary words each week in a short blog post (includes a story using the word, the definition, pronunciation by clicking a play button, and a question to encourage creative thinking); two vocabulary practice questions; and an end-of-the-week challenge. Signing up is free and everything shows up right in your inbox. Check out their Facebook page, too!  Find Cool Word of the Week, Cool Book of the Week and more.

learn new vocabulary wordsGuest Blog Written by Tasha Mayberry, Cool Word Club Ambassador

The Cool Word Club (CWC) is an online gathering place for some of the coolest and smartest kids in the country! The Cool Word Club (CWC) can help your child enrich his/her vocabulary. The CWC is a new and unique interactive forum that allows students to participate in a lively online discussion on the meanings and usages of a wide range of vocabulary words.

Because the CWC believes that students have a lot to say and need a place to express it, on our website we also pose general questions—often related to current events—for our online discussion. On our Facebook page we post:

Cool Word of the Week
Cool Word Question of the Week
Cool Book Friday
Cool Word Quote
Cool Activities

- And all this is free!

Visit www.coolwordclub.com to become a member or to get more information.

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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7 Ideas to Teach Your Kids to Go Potty

potty training tipsLearning to use the potty is an important part of growing up. It’s exciting when your little one starts to control his body and do things for himself. The best part is that the diaper changing days are coming to an end. However, potty training can cause some tension in the family. These tips might help.

1. It’s all about the attitude.

For the same reason you and I have a hard time learning something when we’re frustrated, so do our children. It’s tough for little minds to concentrate on something new when they’re upset. You need to make potty learning sound fun and exciting, a rite of passage into big-kid-ness. If you scold and pressure, you’ll just make the process harder for everyone.

2. Switch teachers.

If one parent is doing the majority of the teaching, switch it up. Have the other parent take a shot at it the next time. This has a tendency of lifting some of the child’s stress since the same person isn’t looming over any more. It also adds a bit of healthy social pressure. They’re more likely to make it happen if they feel several people expect it.

3. Get the timing right.

Using the potty is a big lifestyle change. That means your kid has to want to use the potty. If you feel like your child hasn’t learned to use the potty soon enough, don’t worry. Your child won’t be in diapers forever. However, this means you have to capitalize on those moments when your kid is interested. Don’t put pressure on you or your baby because other people are telling you it’s time. Only you know when your baby is ready.

4. Figure out what’s frightening.

Some kids are afraid of using the toilet for various reasons. It’s unfamiliar, they don’t like the bathroom, it cold and hard, etc. You need to figure out exactly what feeling is pushing against your motivation and deal with it accordingly.

5. Load on the praise.

Children learn far better from positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement. Praise any action that brings you closer to potty usage, like informing you than he needs to go, or even informing you right after he just went. Compliment the action, not the child. Instead of “You’re such a good boy” make sure to include the behavior, like “It’s so good of you to tell me when you have to go.”

6. Find the right bribe.

Since potty learning is a skill and not something abstract (like hard work or commitment), bribing is quite alright. You’ll have to find that item that’s cheap enough to dole out frequently, but it has to be something your kid likes. Simple gifts like M&Ms and Cheerios often work because you can present them in a fashion that makes them feellike a gift, but some kids might need stickers or marbles, or whatever gets them excited.

eco-friendly green laundry detergentGuest Blog by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap

Finally it’s cool to be GREEN! Rockin’ Green is made for families that care about taking care of themselves and the Earth. As a mom Kim was fed up with the empty promises of “green” cleaning products that were not delivering what they promised… So she invented Rockin’ Green! We can all do our part for the environment while doing something good for ourselves. All of our organic cleaning products are biodegradable, and gluten and vegan friendly. They don’t contain phosphates, SLS, Parabens, or optical brighteners. All of our packaging is made from recycled materials.

Visit www.rockingreensoap.com for more information.

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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7 Benefits of Mommy & Me Classes

benefits of mommy and me classesYou might be anxious to get back to your pre-pregnancy body, but many moms find it hard to get in a workout after the arrival of their new baby. We often put the demands of our children before our own. The simplest solution, then, is to take care of both needs at the same time.

At a mommy & me class, you can play with your baby (an important part of learning) and get some exercise at the same time, all under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Here are some of the benefits of taking a class with your baby.

1. They’re great for socialization.

When your baby is less than two or one year old, it can be hard to find opportunities for them to socialize with other babies. In fact, the same is true for moms who often feel isolated and stuck in the home. Both can meet other moms and babies to interact and socialize with.

2. Mommy & me classes combat postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is a very real problem many women face. Close, dedicated bonding is one of the ways to stave it off. Mommy & me classes provide an uninterrupted opportunity for moms to bond closely with their babies and promote the self-esteem of both.

3. They teach baby about healthy exercise.

Mommy & me classes usually involve a lot of movement and activity. Your baby learns that playtime can be healthy and exercise is fun. You can model lots of movement and teach your baby how much you enjoy exercise.

4. It’s a workout you can get motivated for.

Even when we’re paying for a gym membership, it can be hard to find the motivation to put in a workout. But when we have a little one who benefits as well, suddenly it’s a lot easier to get yourself to class. It’s all for your baby.

5. Mommy & me classes come in many forms.

No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a mommy & me class for you. You might have to search and drive a bit, but they’re out there. You can do yoga, Pilates, and even outdoor stroller workouts. Or if you prefer baby-focused classes, there are plenty of classes that play all sorts of developmentally meaningful games.

6. You have an instructor who understands a post-pregnancy body.

Ideally, your fitness leader should know what a mom’s body has gone through during pregnancy and be able to create an activity routine that meets your needs without exacerbating anything. You’ll need to regain the strength in pregnancy-affected areas.

7. Leaving the house can feel refreshing.

It’s easy to feel cooped up in the house. You might not even realize what’s making you feel anxious or lonely. Simply putting something regular outside the home can make you feel like a person again, not just a feeding-bathing-diaper-changing-soothing machine.

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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Ways for Parents To Help Kids Learn To Feed Themselves

teach self-feedingFeeding your child is a wonderful experience, but it becomes tedious after a while. Eventually you’ll long to have to have your own meal time back. You can tell when your child is ready to feed herself when she’s, well, trying to do it! She’ll grab the spoon before you and dig her hands into her food. When this starts to happen, you should give your child as many chances as you can using these tips.

1. Use the right bowl.

You’ll need to pick out the right kind of bowl so your baby is more inclined to feed herself. Some bowls have suction cups on the bottom so it sticks firmly to the high chair or table. This lets your baby concentrate on scooping out the food without using the other hand to steady the bowl. You’ll also want a child-sized spoon so she isn’t using something clumsy.

2. Give it time.

Self-feeding won’t happen overnight. It may take a few meals before your child even learns what you want him to do. She will inevitably play with her food; let her. Don’t forget that she’s very new at all of this and has to explore and experiment in her own way. Also, don’t try to force self-feeding when you’re in a rush. If you have somewhere to be, feed your baby yourself. A stressed mom or dad doesn’t make a great teacher.

3. Eat right alongside baby.

Your baby takes most of her cues from her parents. If her parents do something, she’ll want to do it too. At dinner time, set your plates down right next to baby and eat as a family. When she seems her favorite people feeding themselves, she’ll want part of the action.

4. Give baby a chance!

Every journey begins with the first step. Don’t insist on feeding your baby because you think she can’t do it. Give her a chance to try. Sure, she’ll be terrible at it and make a mess the first few times, but she’ll get better. If she’s interested in feeding herself, leave her to it. Her enthusiasm will help her get through the tough parts. If you feed her forever, eventually she’ll lose interesting in doing it herself.

5. Offer finger foods first.

Don’t worry about utensils right away. First, help baby master the art of moving food from her bowl to her mouth. Cheerios are a good start, so is finely chopped fruit and cheese. Just avoid anything that can make her choke. Remember: she’s new at chewing and swallowing solids too. Soups and stews aren’t very practical for self-feeding.

6. Help with pincer grasp.

The finger-to-thumb method of picking things up is the hardest part for most kids. You can help your child learn the pincer by place a single item of food in the bowl at a time. This lets her isolate what she wants rather than trying to grab it all. If she struggles with this, hold the item in your hand in the pincer to demonstrate.

transition baby from swaddleGuest Blog by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family’s reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker’s daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

For more information, visit sleepingbaby.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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4 Tips on Finding the Right Child Care

fidning the right child careWhen it comes to finding a child care provider, finding the best one is not an option, it’s a must. Your child always comes first, and you want to make sure that the person you are leaving them with every day is kind and watching them closely. It can be hard to make such a huge decision, and trust me, every parent struggles with leaving their child with someone else. Know that the first day that you leave your kids will be hard, but as long as you have done your homework and found the right childcare provider for your child, they will be okay and in good hands. Here are four tips on finding the right child care:

1. Watch interactions.

Whenever you are looking at a child care facility, watch how the staff interacts with the kids. Are they playing with the kids? Do they interact and speak with them? Or are they just watching them. It is important that the child care provider you choose interacts with the children and plays with them. You should want more than a set of eyes watching your child all day, so make sure that you watch to see how each center interacts.

2. Find someone who is committed.

Finding someone who is committed is especially important if you are bringing someone into your home to watch your child. You want someone to be committed to taking care of your child, so see if they are willing to sign a contract for a few months. This way you know they are committed to your child, and you don’t have to worry about the little one having too many changes if the child care provider you hired decides to leave.

3. Make sure it fits your standards.

Even if all of your friends recommended this place, you need to go and see it for yourself. Stop by and see what toys the kids are planning with, and if they are clean and safe. Ask what their policies on lunch, naps and TVs time are. If it isn’t what you were wanting for your child, now you know. You have to follow your own standards and listen to your gut on what is best for your child and your family.

4. Ask about communication.

If your child cannot talk yet this is extremely important. You want to make sure that whatever childcare provider you choose is going to be communicating with you how their day went. Find out if the caregiver normally relays what happened during the day to parents, or if they give updates. Based on their answer you can decide if that is sufficient enough for your child.

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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How to Keep a Fussy Baby Feeling Calm

how to calm a fussy babyBabies cry. A lot. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why. This is especially true for new parents who are still getting the hang of things. However, babies are often pretty simple during their first years. Here’s how to keep a fussy baby calm.

1. Offer the “mute button.”

While long-term pacifier use isn’t something you want to get in the habit of, they have their uses, like when you’re out in public and you really need your kid to quiet down. Carry at least one around with you all the time (a few, maybe, in case baby throws it on the ground) even if your child doesn’t normally use it.

2. Swaddle your baby.

The swaddle is an excellent tool, even when your child isn’t going to sleep. The instant comfort, safety and security they feel usually calms them right down. The effect may even be strong enough to make your baby drowsy. Any blanket will do, but a specially made swaddle is best.

3. Meet baby’s need.

It goes without saying that if your child is crying, he probably wants something. Infants don’t cry to spite you and they shouldn’t be allowed to cry indefinitely. When the crying starts, quick check the diaper for wetness, give a change if necessary, and then offer a feeding. Sometimes baby just wants a little love.

4. Keep yourself calm.

Children (even infants) can pick up when mom and dad are stressed. The worst thing you can do is get frustrated and begin arguing with your significant other. Take deep breaths and speak soothingly so your baby picks up on your calmness and relaxes.

5. Turn on a soothing sound.

A white noise machine is a worthwhile investment. For the same reason a swaddle makes your baby feel secure, so does a little bit of noise. He heard all sorts of external and internal sounds when he was in the womb, so silence can be uncomfortable. If you don’t have a machine, turn on some music or whisper softly until your baby calms down.

6. Use an online tool for help.

If you’ve tried everything you can think of and nothing is working, The Fussy Baby Site is a great source of guidance for cranky and colicky babies. They offer all sort of tips for moms dealing with agitated little ones.

7. Sway or rock your baby.

When your child was in the womb, he was constantly being rocked to sleep. Even when you were still, baby could feel your breathing. Movement is soothing to him, so pick him up and rock him a bit in your arms, or put him in a swing. Even laying him in the car seat or stroller and rocking it with your foot should quiet baby right down.

8. Keep a diary.

This is especially helpful if a number of people care for your child throughout the week. If your time with your baby is limited, it might take a while to recognize a pattern of fussiness. Keep a diary (nothing fancy, just a notebook page will do) that records the time your baby was cranky and how you solved it. Your may find that your baby finds something especially irritating.

baby headrestGuest Blog by Alicia Overby – Founder & President of Baby Elephant Ears

Alicia is wife, mother, and creator of Baby Elephant Ears. Baby Elephant Ears was created out of parental concern, not financial desire. In 2005, when their second child was an infant, he cried all the time and just couldn’t seem to get comfortable.

After seeking advice and suggestion from the medical community and alternative medicine, they eventually ended up in the chiropractors office where their baby was successfully treated for asubluxation, discomfort most likely the result of the strain during labor, which was now being exacerbated by the normal lack of infant neck strength. Only proper neck, head, and back alignment would offer him relief. When they couldn’t find a product to give their baby the necessary support, Alicia took matters into her own hands and crafted her own infant support pillow. The first Baby Elephant Ears was born!

For more information, visit www.babyelephantears.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 Signs That You Should be Introducing Solid Foods

introducing baby to solid foodsI always love watching little ones try food for the first time. Their expressions are priceless! If you can manage, have someone video your baby’s reaction when he tries something new.

While breast milk the best source of nutrition for a baby less than a year old, there’s no harm in introducing your little one to solid foods. A smooth, gradual transition is always the easiest for babies.

Introducing healthy foods early in life is key to creating healthy habits, so be sure to offer exceptionally healthy foods to steer his preferences in that direction. Here are the tell-tale signs that your baby is ready to try solid foods.

1. He is holding his head up.

If your little one is holding his head up regularly than he probably has the throat, neck and chest muscles to swallow his food without incident. He’ll need to be able to hold up his head for at least 10 or 15 minutes while he eats. If your baby starts to slouch or lean his head over during feeding, discontinue offering solid food because he is too tired.

2. He sits well unsupported.

While this isn’t entirely necessary, your baby should be able to sit up on his own without support for at least a couple minutes. This signifies that he has the necessary muscle control to eat on his own. His highchair will hold his torso in place for the most part, but he will have to manage the upper chest, arms, and neck work.

3. He can chew.

Even if your baby doesn’t have teeth, he should still be able to repetitively apply jaw pressure to mush and gnaw food. He’ll need the tongue and jaw dexterity to move food from the front of his mouth to the back so he can swallow. If food is falling out of his mouth every time or you find it necessary to push the spoon way back, he isn’t ready.

4. He has gained weight.

By around six months your baby should have doubled his body weight. If he hasn’t gained a healthy amount of weight, he may need to continue filling up on breast milk to make sure he’s getting the healthiest nutrients. (If you feel your baby is significantly lighter or smaller than he should be, please consult your doctor.)

5. He wants the solid foods.

At some point, your baby will be captivated by the foods you’re eating. He’ll see you putting things in your mouth and want some of it! If the food is safe for him to eat, feel free to indulge him. This is a sign that he is mentally ready for solid foods. You’ll have an easier time during the transition and teaching him how if he is enthusiastic about it.

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 Tips to Handle Being Pregnant in the Summer

how to survive a summer pregnancyWhen we were little, being pregnant was the best time of the year. It’s still a lot of fun… unless you’re pregnant. The heat can be uncomfortable when you’re carrying some extra weight around. As unbearable as the summer may seem, there are some ways to make it more comfortable. Here’s how:

1. Cool off

It may be obvious, but the best way to survive your summer pregnancy is to keep cool. Do whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable; after all, you are the one carrying a baby! Always have cold water on hand and take a dip in the pool when feeling overheated. If you don’t have air conditioning, take a cold shower or two during the day. If you are still feeling too hot, put a cold washcloth over your forehead and take a nap.

2. Relax

If you are one of those women who can’t stop moving, it is now time for you to learn how to relax. You’re pregnant; you deserve to take care of your body and rest. Even if you feel like there is tons to do around the house, take an hour to kick back, relax and watch your favorite TV show.

3. Put down the salt shaker

One thing you can do to make yourself feel less swollen and more comfortable is to reduce your amount of sodium intake. As you probably know, salt makes you swell. You are already feeling extra bloated from the heat and the pregnancy, so try to limit salty foods. Just make sure you aren’t completely cutting it out of your diet.

4. Find the coolest places

Literally. Places like the movie theatre and the mall are always very cold. If you are sitting at home, hot and bored, take a trip to the mall and get some baby shopping done. Find reasons to spend time in air conditioned spaces. You will feel accomplished having gotten some things off your checklist, and you will feel nice and cool for a few hours.

5. Find good maternity clothes

Finding good maternity clothes for the summer months is so important. It could be the difference from being comfortable and being uncomfortable. The best pregnancy attire for the summer is light and comfy. Opt for light dresses over jeans. This helps keep you from overheating and allows sweat to evaporate.

transition baby from swaddleGuest Blog by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family’s reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker’s daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

For more information, visit sleepingbaby.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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Fertility Alternatives: 5 Ways Your In Vitro Pregnancy Will Differ from a Typical Pregnancy

in vitro pregnancy versus traditional pregnancyEvery pregnancy is a little bit different, but a successful in vitro pregnancy can be different from natural pregnancies in a myriad of ways. While your pregnancy can be just as successful and end with a healthy new baby, you will experience things along the way that aren’t always part of a typical pregnancy. It’s important to know what to expect during your pregnancy after in vitro so that you know what abnormalities are dangerous, and which ones are just a part of the process. To get an idea of how your pregnancy will differ from a traditional pregnancy, read on to learn more about the major differences between the two, and what to watch for.

You’ll Have More Information about Your Future Child

When you use IVF to start a healthy pregnancy, you get much more information about the embryos you implant than a standard pregnancy provides. Your doctor will be able to test each embryo to make sure it is healthy and viable. During this process, you’ll be able to check for genetic conditions that may have led to your infertility issues in the first place and ensure that these conditions aren’t passed on to the child. This process gives you and the doctor an inside look that will provide an advantage when it comes to the baby’s health and safety.

The Ability to Choose Your Baby’s Gender

When you use IVF to implant an embryo, there are methods for selecting the gender of your baby by choosing the gender of the embryos you implant. Your doctor will usually implant at least two embryos in order to ensure the greatest chance of successful pregnancy. While the amount of eggs gathered before insemination can vary from woman to woman, there will probably be enough there to allow you to choose the future gender of your child by picking viable embryos of the gender of your choice. Obviously, this choice isn’t available to those who get pregnant without IVF.

There will be More Early Monitoring

IVF pregnancies due to infertility are difficult to attempt over and over due to the cost. Because of the cost and any existing fertility issues that have led to IVF, your doctor will probably order extra monitoring to make sure your pregnancy is proceeding normally. You’ll get blood tests to check your HGC levels, progesterone levels and estrogen levels and make sure all of them are exactly where they should be. If your doctor notices a problem, the early monitoring may help catch a problem before it results in the loss of the pregnancy.

The Need for Progesterone Treatment

In many cases, your IVF doctor will have you take progesterone early in the pregnancy to make sure your hormone levels stay where they need to be in order to give your baby the best chance of making it to term. This treatment may not continue very long if low progesterone isn’t part of the reason for your infertility, but most infertility specialists still start with it in order to increase your chance of a healthy pregnancy.

You Have a Greater Chance of Multiples

Generally, mothers treated with IVF have two to four eggs inserted in order to increase the chance that a healthy pregnancy will come from the treatment. Because of the extra eggs, IVF has a greater than average chance of implanting more than one egg and producing a pregnancy that results in twins or higher order multiples. Your doctor should talk to you during the implantation phase of your IVF about the risks of implanting multiple eggs. If during an early ultrasound you are carrying more than one baby, your doctor will work with you to decide how to proceed depending on your individual circumstances.

No matter how complex and difficult getting pregnant through IVF was at the time, the resulting pregnancy should still result in a healthy baby in most cases. You’ll be monitored more often, and have the chance to know more about your future baby more than most do, but your embryo should develop just like any other. Both natural and IVF pregnancy can be a wonderful time for any future mother, and while the pregnancy period may differ, the end goal is to have a happy, healthy baby.

Dixie Somers, Freelance WriterGuest Blog by Dixie Somers, Freelance Writer/Blogger

Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women’s interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing.

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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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7 Ear Infection Symptoms to Look Out For

ear infection symptomsEar infections are a common problem that young children face. The canal that connects the middle ear to the throat is a breeding ground for bacteria. In a small area (like a baby’s head), fluid collects and transfers bacteria around. As a baby grows, her inner parts enlarge and bacteria can’t traverse as easily.

As a parent, there’s nothing worse than listening to your child moan in pain. Some children are prone to ear infections more than others, and every family has a story of one child who needed tubes in their ears to keep the infections at bay. Here are the signs of ear infections so you can take action right away.

1. Crying and Irritability

It goes without saying that when your baby isn’t feeling well, she’ll get cranky and fussy. She doesn’t have the regulating skills or patience to calmly bear her illness. Her ears hurt, but she can’t tell you. Because sucking and swallowing create pressure changes in the middle ear, you may notice she cries more during or just after feedings.

2. Difficult Lying Flat

The pressure in the middle ear rises when your child is lying down, which irritates the sensitive area. You’ll notice your child will have a hard time falling asleep because the pain will wake her up, and will wake up often throughout the night.

3. Cold Symptoms

“Ear infections are almost always preceded by a cold,” says Dr. Sears. “Often a clear runny nose will turn yellow or green before an ear infection sets in.” It’s unlikely your child has an ear infection if she didn’t have a cold recently. However, infections without colds can be a pattern in some children, so it’s worth looking out for.

4. Fever

Fever is also a sign of an ear infection. It’s the body’s attempt to burn out the invaders. Usually these fevers are mild, around 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Often you wouldn’t notice a fever is present unless you were looking for it. It’s possible, however, for ear infections to be present without a fever or a higher fever.

5. Tugging on the Ears

Ear tugging isn’t a definite sign, but it might mean there’s an ear infection, but only if your child is more than a year old. Infants less than a year can’t localize pain, so she wouldn’t know it’s coming from her ears. Babies may also pull at their ears during teething or as a self-sooth mechanism when they’re tired.

6.  Ear Drainage

If you see blood-tinged or a milky pus draining from your child’s ear, it’s likely an ear infection, but one that has ruptured the eardrum. The liquid may have a foul odor. That sounds worse than it is. Usually these ruptures heal just fine. When the rupture happens, pressure is released, so the pain

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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