Choking is a common cause of injury and death in children, but it doesn't have to be. Parents and caregivers can prevent situations that may cause choking in infants by ensuring that:
1. bottle fed babies are monitored and using proper flow on the nipple
2. only developmentally appropriate foods are offered
3. small items that can fit in the mouth are never in baby's reach
Whether from the breast or bottle, it's important to continually keep an eye on baby to be sure s/he's feeding well and comfortably. When baby is bottle feeding however, we need to be sure the correct size nipple is being used. There are many brands of bottles but the nipples on each bottle are typically standard with a flow rate of 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Level 1 indicates the smallest hole in the nipple, making it the slowest and most appropriate for newborns and very young babies. Level's 2, 3 and 4 are used as baby gets older. There is no specific date when bottle levels should be increased; this is one of those things baby will show you as they become more efficient at each level.
The other crucial thing to remember when bottle feeding is not to prop the bottle up to feed baby; don't use a rolled up towel or other device to feed baby. When a bottle is propped it can slip, or continue to drip or pour fluid into baby's mouth causing fluid to pool in the back of he mouth and throat. Not only can this quickly lead to choking but it can also lead to tooth decay, ear infections and decreased bonding.
When baby begins eating solid foods, purees and smooth foods should be the only things offered. As more foods and textures are introduced, it's important not to offer foods considered high risk. Even when solid-food feeding is established, babies' airways may become constricted when they take in foods that are too big, not easy to chew or easily swallowed.
The following foods are not recommended for children age 4 and under (AAP):
No matter your baby's age, these items should always be kept out of baby's reach (from the AAP). It can be challenging especially when there are toddlers and older children around but these are all choking hazards:
Like most things in newborn and infant care, prevention and knowledge are the key to health and safety. To learn what to do if baby is actually choking, visit and print this .pdf.
Dad's have a reputation for being pretty fun parents, so we decided to lean-in on that and share our favorite gifts for new dads for the holidays! Of course there are all kinds of parents but we hope you'll find this list helpful for the special new or expecting dad on your list.
The team at Let Mommy Sleep really wants Daddy to sleep too, so the "Let's Play Cars on Dad" shirt is #1 on our holiday list. Kids play while Dad takes a break- genius!- and a little toy car comes free with each purchase.
Shirts are also only $15 and come in a variety of colors.
In keeping with our sleep theme, we recommend investing in a
cozy new robe that will get use for years to come.
Easy to pull on when getting out of bed, large pockets and fleece lining give fathers the important message of "You deserve to relax!" These robes also come in 6 different colors and go from small to 4XL so there's a style for every father.
On a serious note, don't forget that Dad's can also experience postpartum mood disorders and even if they aren't clinically diagnosed, it's vital to remember that a Dad was born at the same time baby was born too. Rest and compassion can help new dads adjust to life with a newborn.
Even when we've done our very best to let dad rest, he still may need a boost of energy but not be able to stop and drink a cup of coffee. That's why we love M.E.G - Military Energy Gum!
M.E.G won the US Army's Greatest Invention of the Year Award for 2005. Originally made for our troops, M.E.G. is now available to the general public. Each piece of gum has 100mg of caffeine, about the same as a small cup of coffee, and the caffeine effect happens within 15 minutes.
This gum should be kept out of the reach of children of course but adults can use it as a quick and low calorie coffee or soda alternative.
The GoPRO HERO4 is billed as the "most advanced GoPRO ever"
with its ultra high-resolution, high frame rate video. This camera is also waterproof, offers a super slow motion option and has a Smart Remote that can be controlled from Dad's phone from up to 600 feet away.
As technologically advanced as this camera is, it's real value comes from remembering what it's really for- capturing memories of family adventures and time together...the true spirit of the holiday season.
You can see our full list of Dad gifts on Amazon! If there's anything you think we should add, let us know on Twitter or Insta!
As an expecting parent or postpartum caregiver, you may have heard the term “lying-in”or “lying in period.” This is the practice of giving mothers time to spend undisturbed with their newborn for anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months. The purpose is to give mother time to heal physically and mentally from childbirth, encourage mother/baby bonding, allow a healthy breastfeeding relationship to develop and promote overall recuperation and postnatal wellness. Benefits to mom and baby are tremendous as Rachel Wolf, RN of Let Mommy Sleep notes: “Lying in means better sleep and higher immune systems for moms, and decreased exposure to germs and illnesses for infants.” Additionally the mental health benefits of allowing mom to recuperate properly have been demonstrated over and over.
If you haven’t heard of lying in, it’s probably because it’s not practiced much here in the US, where undisturbed time is becoming more and more rare. Families tend to be spread out and job and childcare responsibilities of parents, grandparents, neighbors and relatives tend to mean that postpartum moms (or any parent, really!) simply don't have an opportunity to get extended periods of rest. So how can we help mothers, babies and ultimately entire families stay healthy during this vulnerable perinatal time?
In addition to fair maternity leave practices and follow-up visits with the primary care physician, it’s vital that new mothers have a support network. “The most important thing we can do is ensure that every mom has the help and support she needs, should she end up struggling with postpartum depression or baby blues,” Wolf says. If new parents don’t have family support, they’ll need to get a little creative. Moms Clubs, church communities, neighbors and even local Facebook groups can organize meals and blocks of time to help with housework or allow mom to sleep.
Night Nannies or Registered Nurse visits can also be a great resource for new parents, especially during the first week after childbirth. This week is a critical time for assessing mental health of both parents, performing physical assessments of mother and baby and providing evidence-based education in newborn care. Evidence shows the benefits of postpartum visits are numerous and as Wolf notes, “mothers would not be readmitted to the hospital at the numbers they are, if someone was there in the family home early enough to identify those mothers who are either physical or psychological risk for postpartum complications.”
Whatever a new mother's situation, it's important to prepare for life after baby *before* baby arrives. Get those volunteers lined up, join a local support network, organize family members' time off and research professional caregivers just in case they might be needed. While we may not be able to have months of time off, parents can build their support network to maximize lying-in for a healthy mom, baby and family.
A tip-over injury or fatality means that a child has been injured or killed by pulling over dressers, televisions, bookshelves or other furniture. About 70 percent of tip-over fatalities involve children ages 1 1/2 to 3 years old, but these accidents are preventable.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Anchor It! Campaign shows parents and caregivers that anchoring is simple, inexpensive and important.
Here are their tips:
- Anchor all furniture to the wall. These videos show how to properly anchor to drywall and to brick walls.
Refer to the Anchor It poster here for correct installation of anchors, and for more babyproofing info please visit How to Create a Safe Nursery.
Did you know postpartum mental health issues are the most common complication of pregnancy? Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Anxiety in mothers is finally getting talked about, but postpartum depression in men, called Paternal PostNatal Depression, or PPND, is just as common.
With the arrival of another royal baby, we're taking a break from our usual educational blogs to share our favorite fun, safe and slightly over the top nursery items on Amazon!
Circular Crib - Nothing says Baby Prince or Princess quite like a circular crib or bassinet. Dreamy bedding and draping fabrics make baby's sleep area unique and timeless. Remember not to use the crib bumpers that may come with crib bedding as it is a SIDS risk; opt for a breathable mesh bumper instead.
<---This Macrame and wooden chair and swing
This adorable swing can be mounted indoors or outside and is as sturdy as it is cute. It's recommended for babies age 6 - 30 months and can become a family heirloom, handed down to siblings and cousins for years.
Diaper Pail - in Gold! - If you're going to have a diaper pail in baby's room, why not get the one that has won the most awards and is FANCY?!
A Rocking...Unicorn - Any baby can have a rocking horse for baby's first ride on toy, but a Rocking Unicorn? That's a stand-out gift item! We like this toy because it has plush back support for the littlest riders. It also comes in a variety of colors.
Our full list of unique, safe nursery decor is in our Amazon shopwww.amazon.com/shop/letmommysleep?listId=2LUTHG65XVOAF but we'd love to hear about your favorite baby items below!
Night nurses, doulas and newborn care providers are a little different than daytime nannies since we concentrate on caring for families in the postpartum phase.
Our team made a list of items that you may find helpful to have in your overnight care bag. The full list of recommended items is on Amazon and includes:
To see the full list, please visit our verified shop on Amazon, and if there's anything you would like to see included let us know below!
Adapted guest post by Jeanne Faulkner, Registered Nurse and author of the book "Common Sense Pregnancy"
I just launched my new book, Common Sense Pregnancy (Random House/Ten Speed Press, June 2015) about pregnancy and parenthood. Common Sense Pregnancy is part medical guide (I’m a registered nurse with decades of maternal health experience), part advice column (I write Fit Pregnancy’s Ask The Labor Nurse blog and I’m Senior Writer for EveryMotherCounts.org), and part memoir (I’m the mother of four and lived to write about it).
Most of my book is about pregnancy, prenatal care, labor and birth, but I also discuss sleep deprivation. I write about it in Chapter 15 and I’ll share an excerpt here:
You’re in for a bit of a shock. Babies rule the night. They’re totally clueless about circadian rhythms and not the least bit concerned about waking you up at all hours to make you do things for them. This goes on for months and months – sometimes even years. Everyone will tell you: Sleep when the baby sleeps. That’s excellent advice the first week or so but not so great after that, because few of us have the privilege of putting everything in life on hold while we take a nap.
We each react differently to interrupted and reduced sleep. Some can suck it up and function fairly well: others fall apart completely. They can’t think, can’t deal and can’t function at all. These parents have to create coping strategies to keep from losing their minds.
First, consider this: while it may seem like you’re never getting to sleep, the reality is you’re almost certainly getting some. Even if your baby is an every-two-hour feeder, that gorgeous hour and a half between feedings might drop you into the deepest sleep of your life. The body is amazing in its ability to grab what it needs, and once you get into a nighttime groove, you’ll find the experience of having bizarre wake-sleep cycles less jolting.
If the fatigue is too extreme, then you and your partner need to make some changes – like alternating nights where one of you gets to sleep all night in a room away from the baby while the other handles night duties. If you’re breastfeeding, this could involve your partner giving the baby a bottle of pumped milk or having dad bring baby in for a quick nighttime feeding, then scooping her back up and away while you go back to sleep.
For some women, sleep deprivation leads to serious changes in mental health – aka postpartum depression and even psychosis. This is serious business and must be addressed by professionals – your doctor or midwife plus a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional with experience dealing with postpartum mothers.
Support Resources for New Parents:
Mental Health resources: Postpartum Support International or their primary care physician, New parent groups such
New Parent Support Groups: MomsClub.org, Parents of Multiples
In-Home Postpartum Care: LetMommySleep.com
Let Mommy Sleep's staff of Registered Nurses & Newborn Care Providers