Breast Milk Smoothies

Breast Milk SmoothiesOnce your baby begins eating solid foods, the door is opened to new and exciting culinary worlds. If you’re a mom-chef you’ve probably been salivating at the chance to make sophisticated fancy foodie-style baby eats for your little one. Even if you’re just a regular mom in the kitchen, starting solids is exciting and offers great new opportunities for your baby. Between the variety of foods your baby can begin to enjoy and adding in natural flavors and spices, your baby can savor new masterpieces from your kitchen daily. That includes breast milk smoothies, a terrific way to help your baby consume even more breast milk goodness and a wealth of other nutritious foods as well.

Breast milk smoothies achieve many goals at once. First, if your baby is on the newish side to solids, drinking may be more comfortable than eating. Blending food and breast milk into liquid might be the best way to familiarize your baby with new textures and flavors.

Additionally, there are some super healthy foods that your baby is probably not going to eat straight up. Kale anyone?  These are excellent foods to add to breast milk smoothies so your baby can reap the health benefits and you can check for allergies while masking the flavor with more palatable fruits…and your awesome breast milk, of course. Trust us, breast milk smoothies can be a savior for moms of picky eaters.

When your baby is teething, eating solid foods may not be her favorite activity as they may hurt her tender gums. But slurping down delicious and nutritious breast milk smoothies can save the day.  Teething and other developmental milestones may cause your little one not to want to nurse or she may go on a nursing strike for some reason. Keep her nourished with your breast milk with a smoothie instead. If your baby needs cold relief for her sore mouth, you can freeze your smoothie into a popsicle for her to suck and bite on instead.

As your baby gets older, she may be breastfeeding less. If you have breast milk stored or you still plan to pump milk for your baby or toddler, you will have plenty for breast milk smoothies. Frozen breast milk works particularly well to help the consistency of your culinary concoction.

Need to take food on-the-go? Breast milk smoothies are easy to bring along. To simplify food prep, make a batch of fresh breast milk smoothies that will last for several days. Be sure to date the container so you know how long the breast milk will last. If you use frozen milk, your baby should drink the smoothie within one day.  Do not refreeze breast milk once it has been thawed.

The sky is the limit when you’re making breast milk smoothies. You can slowly increase your ingredients list as your baby has tried more and more foods. Remember to use the same food introduction rules when making breast milk smoothies – introduce one new food every 2-5 days as recommended by your pediatrician. Be sure too keep an eye out for possible food allergies by gauging reactions including rashes, hives, respiratory trouble, congestion, digestive problems or changes in behavior.

Breast milk smoothies can include traditional ingredients like your baby’s favorite fruits and veggies and you can go wild with other nutritious foods that are harder to incorporate in your baby’s diet. Oatmeal, flax, chia seeds, tofu, kefir and beef liver are all fantastic ingredients for breast milk smoothies.

We hope your baby enjoys breast milk smoothies as she continues to discover new delicious and nutritious flavors!

Sources: Integrated Nutritional Therapies and Homemade Baby Food Recipies

Breastfeeding and Teething

It’s a common myth that you should wean your baby when he begins to cut his first teeth.  Many mothers fear that breastfeeding a baby with teeth will be painful.  However, there is no reason to wean during teething.  In fact, breastfeeding may comfort your baby during this challenging time.  Breastfeeding and teething can co-exist peacefully if you support your baby properly.

Most babies cut their first teeth at around six months of age.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months and continuing to breastfeed for a year or more even after introducing solid foods.  Therefore, medical professionals clearly advocate for breastfeeding through much of the teething phase in your baby’s life.

While teething, your baby may exhibit some unusual behavior and may show signs of discomfort on his gums.  Babies usually seek relief by gumming and biting down on objects.  And many moms fear that that need will come during breastfeeding, which could really hurt your nipples.  However, the truth is that if your baby is latched properly, his gums are far back on the areola and his tongue is covering his teeth.  While sucking, your baby cannot possible bite you.  It’s when your baby is not latched properly that biting can occur.

teething and breastfeeding__1453482979_108.89.137.58To ensure a proper latch, especially during teething, remind your baby to open his mouth wide before clamping onto the breast.  You can use a finger to help the process if necessary.  Also, ensure your baby is in a comfortable nursing position.  Sometimes teething causes nasal congestion and ear infections so different nursing positions may be necessary to help your baby breath while suckling.

Some babies love to nurse while teething because they find it comforting.  Others are fussy nursers during times of teething because they are in so much pain.  Try to ease your baby’s pain by offering cold items for your baby to chew on such as teething rings, frozen washcloths or frozen foods (if your baby is eating solids).  Try to numb your baby’s teeth with these items before nursing to help relieve the pain long enough for a good feeding.

Often a teething baby will gum your nipples for specific reasons during a feeding.  These may include general painfulness from emerging teeth, he’s full, he’s congested, milk isn’t flowing abundantly, he’s distracted, he wants your attention, or he is uninterested in eating.  Watch your baby closely to identify why your baby is gumming your breasts.  He may need a break for a cold teething toy and then is happy to return to nourishment.

If your baby does bite while breastfeeding, pull him towards you and make him unlatch.  Stop the feeding immediately and tell him that he cannot bite, biting hurts.  Repeat this process every time your baby bites to reinforce that this behavior is unacceptable.  Most babies learn quickly to stop biting.

Whether your baby gums or bites occasionally or not, your nipples may be sore when your baby is teething.  Excess saliva can lead to this nipple irritation.  If you are uncomfortable, rinse nipples with cool water or use lanolin cream to soothe them.

Teething usually happens in spurts.  Although your baby’s teething pattern may cause a little havoc, remember it is only temporary and things will get back to normal soon.  And your baby’s adorable smile will be even cuter with the addition of a few new teeth.

What You May Not Know about Teething

 

What You May Not Know about TeethingTeething is an interesting time in the life of an infant.  Being a parent to that infant may be more challenging and confusing than you ever realized.  Some babies show very few signs of teething and parents don’t even realize a tooth has erupted until they see the white mountain cap in their baby’s adorable smile.  Other parents are all too aware of every painful moment of teething their infant experiences.

Today we’re sharing some fascinating and perhaps strange things you may not know about teething:

Did you know…most babies begin to get teeth between four and seven months of age.  However, some babies are born with teeth and some babies don’t start getting teeth until around age one.  This is a perfect example of a wide range of normal.

Did you know…usually the bottom two teeth emerge first, then the top two teeth erupt.  After that, teeth on the bottom and top start sprouting, sometimes individually and sometimes in pairs.  Baby teeth tend to fall out in the same order in which they came in.

Did you know…along with drooling, fussiness, restlessness at night and biting down on anything and everything in sight, your baby can actually break a fever from teething.  Before calling the doctor about a mild fever, check your baby’s mouth to see if a new tooth is the culprit.

Did you know…diarrhea is a symptom of teething too.  You may fret that your baby ate something bad when really it’s teething that is changing his bowel movements from regular to mushy or runny.

Did you know…rashes are also common during teething.  Drooling can cause splotchiness on the chin, cheeks, neck and hands.  Due to excess acidity in diarrhea, diaper rashes may also occur more often during teething.  These rashes look fierce but will eventually subside when teething slows.

Did you know…drool isn’t just a side-effect of teething, it is actually helping your baby manage his pain.  Extra saliva is a barrier for gums that become very sensitive and irritated during teething.

Did you know…your baby may pull on his ear during teething to help relieve pain causing many parents to mistake teething for an ear infection.  What’s really happening is the nerves in your baby’s gums are connected to the ear. Tugging on the ear may ease the pain caused by these nerve endings.

Did you know…your baby may form a blister along the gum line where a tooth is soon to erupt.  When the tooth breaks through, the blister will pop and may be bloody.  It can be alarming to parents but it is normal.

Did you know…there are natural ways to help your baby manage teething pain.  All-natural teething creams are available and you can give your baby cold teething toys or washcloths to gnaw on.  Amber teething necklaces can also help – they are made out of Baltic amber that releases trace oils containing succinic acid.  When absorbed, this acid can soothe tender gums.

Did you know…your baby is not possessed when he becomes uncontrollable during teething.  Cutting new teeth is very painful for babies and they often let you know.  Be patient and spend lots of extra time loving and cuddling your baby.  You will both make it through and you’ll be stronger and pack a meaner bite (figuratively and literally, in the case of your baby) than ever before.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is becoming the new must-have for moms and babies! Due to its unique richness of fatty acids it’s proven to be one of the best superfoods. Just like breast milk, coconut oil contains lauric acid, a healthy saturated fat, and with that comes many positive health benefits including better brain function, weight loss, and protection against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. People who eat a lot of coconut during their lives are considered to be some of the healthiest people on the planet!

Coconut oil has even better benefits for breastfeeding moms and their babies. Feeding your child coconut oil can help their bodies grow up healthy and strong. It can help get rid of lice, ease the pain and itching of bug bites, it’s great for controlling wild hair, particularly curly hair, and it’s perfect to put in the tub for calming bath time. Here are five different ways moms and their babies can benefit from using coconut oil on a daily basis:

For Moms

  1. Breastfeeding Moms: Coconut oil is the best solution for mom’s cracked or sore nipples from breastfeeding. It can be used as a lubricant during breast pumping, and as an anti-itch cream while your belly grows during pregnancy. You can also increase your milk supply by ingesting coconut oil a few times a day.
  2. Beauty: Coconut oil will be your new best friend! Not only can it get rid of your unwanted acne, it’s the perfect moisturizer for your hair and body, a great makeup remover, and it can also help with the appearance of wrinkles! Plus, you can use it as a substitute for regular shaving cream and make your legs feel extra soft and sexy.
  3. Skin: Coconut oil has deep moisturizing abilities so it’s great for eczema and psoriasis along with reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.
  4. Cooking: Not only can cooking with coconut oil give you amazing nutrients, but it also brings a delicious Mediterranean style. And because coconut oil is a natural energizer you will feel fuller longer and will always be ready to take on the day!
  5. Immune System: Consuming coconut oil helps your body numerously. It’s great for people with digestive problems, and it helps control bad bacteria to help women who struggle from yeast infections. Coconut oil also relieves heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and it has anti-viral properties so it’s great for healing scrapes, bruises, and burns without contracting infections.

For Babies

  1. Pain Reliever: Teething can be a very painful process for your baby. Wipe some coconut oil on their gums to relieve the pain.
  2. Skin: Coconut oil is really great for cradle cap and strengthening your baby’s soft spot. It also will warm and turn into a liquid when rubbing it together with your hands so it’s perfect for infant massages, sunscreen, and works well with baby acne.
  3. Immune System: Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-itch, and anti-inflammatory properties and can help with baby allergies, reducing fever, soothing chicken pox, constipation, and getting rid of Thrush.
  4. Diaper Changing: Coconut oil is great for soothing diaper rash and getting rid of stubborn meconium your baby might have during the first few days.
  5. Cooking: Feeding your baby coconut oil will broaden their tasting experience by trying new flavors. It’s also rich in lauric acid just like breast milk so it’s super healthy!

You will love the health benefits coconut oil will give you and your baby! If you’re concerned about allergies or your baby ingesting coconut oil, or other products, make sure to always speak with your doctor or lactation consultant before trying new foods. Also, before you go out and buy coconut oil make sure you are educated on what kind to purchase. Extra virgin coconut oil is all natural and contains no preservatives or harmful ingredients; therefore it’s the best one to buy!

 

 

 

Benefits of Infant Massage

Benefits of Infant MassageDid you know that the sense of touch is your baby’s most developed sensation at birth? Touch gives babies and their loved ones the ability to connect. During the first year, or at least before they are able to speak, touch is their primary way of communication between you and your baby. When your baby begins to cry you usually pick them up and bring them to your shoulder, sometimes gently caressing their back as you soothe them. When they are hungry you bring them to your breast creating skin on skin contact as you breastfeed. Both of these are important communication situations where touch is used to make your baby feel both calm and secure. As they begin to grow they use their sense of touch to learn by feeling and observing objects, and their environment. This is where parents use phrases like “hot” or “cold” to describe certain things that could be harmful.

Touch is more than a comfort and a learning process; it can also help with your baby’s developmental progression by strengthening their body and their mind. Infant massages have amazing developmental benefits that can help your baby in many ways. Many professionals encourage mothers and care givers to practice infant massage with their baby almost every day to help boost and support their bodies. Here are just a few things infant massage can do for your little one:

 

Emotional Health Benefits

Infant massages are great for a baby’s overall health. Studies have proven that a daily massage has impacted an infant’s emotional health in such a positive way. Because touch is a baby’s first sense, massages can help them relax, and when a baby is comfortable and relaxed their body releases the “happy” hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin in turn lowers stress levels, decreases the feeling of fear and fussiness, and it enhances the feelings of love and security. When a baby or toddler feels safe they are able to feel more comfortable in their surroundings, which helps their ability to fall asleep faster and for longer periods of time. Infant massages also give the baby and their caregiver the chance to spend precious moments together they can both look forward to at the end of the day.

 

Developmental Health Benefits

Touch is the only way a baby is able to learn about their body and help themselves become developmentally strong. When a baby begins to recognize their legs and feet they will start trying to use them more and more, and soon learn how to control their muscle coordination. As you massage your infant you will play with their legs and feet stimulating their brain’s knowledge of their lower bodies and promoting their want to crawl and walk quicker. Infant massages also have huge benefits for babies who were born premature or those who are mentally fragile. Massage can help them become more alert and active, and for premature babies it can help them gain weight by strengthening their digestive, circulatory, and gastrointestinal systems.

 

Immune System Benefits

As your baby grows one of the things you will worry about is whether or not they have a healthy immune system. As stated above, infant massage can increase your baby’s overall health by strengthening their digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems. It can increase an infant’s resistance to infections and enhance their body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas. Massage improves relaxation and decreases stress levels while their bodies produce more of the oxytocin hormone. It can also ease pain and increase a baby’s pain tolerance once they begin teething, or if they become injured or ill. Facial massages, just like adults, can help with sinus and head tension as well.

 

Mother and Baby Bonding Benefits

Bonding with your baby is very important. It increases a parent’s self-esteem and makes them feel they are really doing their best to love and provide for their little one. Through infant massage parents will be able to give their baby more attention they need to feel secure and loved. Many parents have found infant massage has made them more aware of their baby’s wants and needs and are able to tell certain cues apart and be more attentive of how to comfort them and ease their fussiness. Infant massage isn’t just time for mommy and baby but also a great way for dads, partners, and other loved ones to spend precious moments with their baby and strengthen their bond as well.

 

Practicing infant massages with your baby is a very smart and fun thing to do. However, if you are thinking about trying it out and are unsure where to begin, or what’s safe for your baby, make sure you search for trained professionals in your area that teach infant massage. Babies are delicate and the best way to care for them is to be 100% sure you know what you are doing, especially when it comes to massage.

 

 

Teething Symptoms

So your little one has started teething?

Teething SymptomsCongratulations! This is an exciting milestone in their young life so make sure you take as many adorable pictures as you can!

Despite the utter cuteness of teeth buds sprouting through, many parents worry about the uncomfortable symptoms their child may be experiencing. Some even believe teething causes physical illnesses such as fever and diarrhea, although this hasn’t been proven. If your child is ill, make sure you take them to their pediatrician immediately.

 

There are a few traditional symptoms you can expect to see when your child begins teething.

 

These include:

  • Biting
  • Drooling
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Declining food
  • Swelling, sensitive gums

 

To help with these irritating symptoms, parents can give their child something safe to chew on, such as a teething ring of even a cold washcloth. If your child seems to be in harmful discomfort, take them to their pediatrician and discuss further options.

 

Remember to set up regular appointments with your children’s doctor and discuss any questions you may have. Every child is unique and specific recommendations and steps may be recommended for their safety and health.

When do Babies Start Teething?

 

When do Babies Start Teething?Have you been wondering when your little one’s teeth will start to show?

It is not well known that tooth buds actually begin developing in the womb, although your child’s teeth won’t begin to sprout through the gums until some months after birth. Generally (but not in every case) the bottom two middle teeth will be the first to break through, followed by the top two middle teeth.

 

Children that develop early may see the emergence of their first tooth around 3 months, but most will begin teething from month 4 to month 7. By their third birthday they should have all twenty baby teeth! Don’t panic if they don’t come in straight – they will eventually be replaced by their permanent teeth, around age six.

 

The sprouting of your baby’s first tooth is an exciting and memorable time so make sure you take all kinds of adorable pictures and mark the date to look back with them and smile (with all of their permanent teeth!)

Learn Common Biting and Teething Signs During Breastfeeding

Learn Common Biting and Teething Signs During Breastfeeding Now that your infant’s teeth are beginning to appear, are you worried about how their presence will affect your breastfeeding routine? Most moms experience temporary biting issues during breastfeeding, but they do not derail the journey altogether. With gentle persistence and careful attention to your baby’s moods during nursing, you’ll be able to find the source of biting and stop the habit before it forms.

If you notice a change during your breastfeeding sessions now that your little one’s teeth have started to come in, the emerging nibbling issue will most likely have to do with teething pains. To avoid your infant using your nipple as a teething relief, keep teething rings and other distractions on hand while nursing. Your infant’s sucking motions might slow down before the biting begins; because of how the tongue naturally covers the lower set of teeth, you baby will not be able to bite you in the middle of a proper latch. If your baby seems irritated or distracted while nursing, try disengaging and replacing your nipple with a cool teething ring or suitable substitute.

Disinterest during breastfeeding is a clue that your baby might be biting out of boredom. If you feel as though your child is biting out of a reason not including teething, immediately end the nursing session once the biting begins. Calmly but firmly unlatch your little one from your nipple without a big fuss. When you lead by calm example your baby will not get the satisfaction of getting a rise out of you. Do not reward biting with a dramatic gesture; simply end the nursing session firmly but without forcible words or actions. You want to avoid giving into your little one’s desire for a reaction because it is possible that your little will continue biting others to continue receiving attention. Remember, if you set the tone that biting is not acceptable during breastfeeding your little one will respond appropriately.

To continue avoiding biting, make sure to avoid play fighting or “love bites” so your little one is not confused by your actions. If you want to truly avoid the habit, engaging in playful biting only confuses your child as to what is appropriate. Make clear boundaries concerning biting others with your little one to avoid bad behavior inside or outside your home. Just because your little one is biting during breastfeeding does not mean that it is necessarily time to end nursing; be patient and usually you will be able to resolve this minor issue with attention to your baby’s actions and moods.

 

Teething: Breastfeeding and Baby’s First Tooth

Breastfeeding can offer a lot of sweet cuddle time with your infant, especially in the very early months when baby is all gums.  But once teething begins and baby’s first tooth arrives, you may be nervous about biting while breastfeeding.  From what I’ve heard, this is a common worry among new moms, but if baby does bite while teething, it can be resolved rather easily.

Teething:  Breastfeeding and Baby’s First ToothTaylor started getting her first tooth the day before she turned 5 months.  I must say, she has been very even tempered while teething.  I was expecting many sleepless nights and lots of crying, but she’s handled it like a champ.  The second tooth made its debut just three weeks later.

Taylor chews on anything and everything we put in front of her.  We have been giving her frozen teething rings, which seem to help.  But, oh the drool!  Who knew a little baby could produce so much saliva?!  I use it as an excuse to put her in a different cute outfit!

Taylor did try to bite me while breastfeeding one time and luckily she has not tried it again.  What I’ve learned is that I should be vigilant about when she’s wrapping up a feed and break the suction when she is done so she isn’t tempted to start chewing to soothe her aching gums.  Also, I’ve been told that if your baby bites while breastfeeding, you can take her off the breast, sternly say “don’t bite” or “don’t hurt mommy,” to teach her that breastfeeding will be interrupted if you bite.

Most importantly, enjoy your breastfeeding bonding sessions and your baby’s soon to be toothy grin!

Danah Bordner
New Mom, LPGA Professional Golfer and Loving Moments Spokesmom

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