Category Archives for Newborn

Cute and Adorable Newborn Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is probably one of your favorite holidays when you were still a kid. You remember dressing up as a ghost or even your favorite hero and collect as many candies as you can. Now even your little ones can join in the spirit of the holidays with different types of newborn Halloween costume that they can wear.

newborn Halloween costume

Costumes are Not All About Fashion

Before you can choose and buy what type of costume you think fits your little one, you should remember these few tips that I know will help you out. Remember that your baby’s costume must not just be cute and adorable but should also fit into these reminders below.

  • It should be comfortable and breathable

There is nothing worse in a newborn Halloween costume than being itchy, stiff and uncomfortable. You will end up with a fussy and crying baby for the rest of the day. So make sure that you check if the costume is:

  1. Fitting snuggly to your baby
  2. Without any tag or material that can cause itchiness
  3. Lightweight and not too thick

Having a costume with these factors in mind will make you baby enjoy his or her first Halloween event. In addition, you will get to enjoy how adorable your baby looks especially if they are well relaxed while wearing their costumes.

  • It should not be too complicated

Some costumes tend to have a very complicated design. They can have too many zippers, or ties, or ribbons, or even holes. These can make your baby uncomfortable for many reasons. But one of the major reason for their fussiness is that they are being handled too much while they are being dressed up that they get irritated because of it. So make sure to look for a costume that has the following traits:newborn Halloween costume

  1. Easy to Slip on
  2. Easy to Take off
  3. Has only one zipper, Velcro or minimal buttons
  4. Has a similar design that is comparable to a onesie

With a costume designed to have as simple and plain function when worn will surely allow your child to feel relaxed and comfortable all throughout the day. It will also be a great lifesaver when you need to change your baby’s diaper because you can easily remove and dress them up in it.

  • It should be made of good quality materials

Choosing a good quality costume must also include good quality materials. Do not buy costumes with fabrics that are too stiff that your baby can’t move as freely as they would want to. Try looking for costumes made of cotton, polyester or even corduroy that are also available of cotton fabric.

  • It should look appropriate for you baby

Look for a newborn Halloween costume that matches their age. If you are a fan of gory and weird Halloween costumes, do not add your kid in your motif. Babies should wear adorable and cute costumes because that is what fits them. In addition, having them wear a more complicated costume will bring them discomfort and irritation.

  • It should not cost too much

Costumes are indeed a tad more expensive that your usual baby clothes. The reason behind this is because they are specially designed for a particular purpose and that is to make you little ones stand out. But a pricey costume does not necessarily mean that its quality is fitting for your baby. This is where you use your keen eyesight and find a good quality costume made of “baby friendly” material that will not put a hole in your pockets because of its price.

Great Newborn Halloween Costume Designs to Choose From

Now that you have a clear idea of what to look for, your next step is to pick the costume theme you want your baby to wear. In all honestly, the list of choices are endless and they will overwhelm you. But not to worry, if your baby is celebrating their first Halloween then you need to start with a simple yet imaginative costume project. Here are some examples that you can choose from.

Knitted Costumes

Knitted costumes are such a fad nowadays and I can clearly see why. Not only is in made with lightweight material, but it also allows movement, comfort and “easy wearing” for both your little ones and yourself. You can choose from these different variations of knitted costumes.

  1. Headgear or Wig Style Caps
  2. Cute Onesies
  3. Matching Headgear, Mittens and Booties
  4. “Full Body” Knitted Costume

Animal Themed Costumes

Animal themed costumes are always a crowd pleaser. I mean, who can resist a baby wearing a penguin, bear or even a lion costume? If you are not yet decided on what animal your baby will be portraying, then you can add these suggestions to your list:

  1. Elephant
  2. Tiger
  3. Pig
  4. Worm
  5. Ladybug
  6. Rabbit
  7. Lion
  8. Penguinnewborn halloween costume hero

Heroes VS Villains Costumes

You can also try out a hero or villain costume for this Halloween. Your baby can either be the awesome hero or the naughty villain for one day. Of course, keep in mind that you should choose a “child friendly” themed costume for this option. Here are some options to choose from.

  1. Cute Marvel or DC costumes
  2. Pirate Costume
  3. Fireman, Policeman and other “real life” heroes

Twinning Themed Costumes

There are two ways that you can enjoy the twinning themed costumes. It can be a great idea for baby and parents. If you have twins, then this is the perfect choice for them as well. Let’s have a quick rundown on what you can expect for each “twinning” option.

My Baby and Me

You and your baby can make the perfect twinning tandem for your baby’s newborn Halloween costume. You can be the dynamic duo of your Halloween event. Here are some innovative ideas for thee two of you.

  1. Baker and cute cupcake
  2. Japanese Chef and a Sushi roll
  3. Mini me costume (what you wear will be your baby’s identical costume)

Twin Love

If you have twins then it is a dead giveaway that you want to dress them in matching clothes. Costumes are no exemption to this rule as well. Here are some creative ideas for your twin tykes’ newborn Halloween costume.

  1. Ketchup and Mayonnaise bottle
  2. Salt and Pepper shaker
  3. Two Peas in a Pod
  4. Mix up their usual outfits so they dress up as each other
  5. Hotdog and hotdog bun
  6. Thing 1 and Thing 2

Fairy Tale Costumes

If you want your baby to be beautiful and elegant or handsome and dashing for Halloween, then why not pick a fairy tale themed costume for them. You cannot go wrong with a prince or princess costume. Listed below are some examples of these magnificent costumes:

  1. Prince or Princess
  2. Knight
  3. Fairy or Pixie
  4. Cute Maid
  5. King or Queen
  6. Mermaid or Merman

When you decide to choose this type of costume, you need to pay particular attention to the fabric that they apparel will use. Keep in mind the tips that I mentioned beforehand and make sure that the fabric is soft, comfortable and baby friendly.

Movie Marathon Costumes

Movie characters are also a favorite among those who let their babies wear costumes. The list of these movies are endless as well. You can even choose a character from your favorite movie for your baby’s costume. All you need to do is to use your imagination so you can create a miniature size of your character’s costume so that it can fit your little ones. Some famous movie costumes are:newborn Halloween costume skeleton

  1. Star Wars Themed costumes
  2. Kiddie Movies (Disney Characters)
  3. Box Office Movies

Food Trip Costumes

Babies in a cute food costume will definitely make you hungry to hug, cuddle and kiss them. These cute costumes can also be comfortable and easy to wear because of most if it’s designs that are usually onesies or simple slip-on. Try checking these examples of famous food costumes:

  1. Sushi
  2. Cupcakes
  3. Cakes
  4. Pineapple
  5. Strawberry
  6. Apple
  7. Pie
  8. Pizza
  9. Banana
  10. Watermelon

There are definitely a lot of newborn Halloween costume that you can choose from. But you must always keep in mind that it should be stylish, imaginative and most importantly, comfortable for your baby. So before you go and buy you little one’s costume, plan beforehand. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want them to wear. This will definitely save you time, effort and added stress when picking the best costume for your baby.

Newborn Growth Spurt – Thoughts on Your Little One’s Development

When you are a parent you become more and more observant with almost everything that you see, hear and witness. This is even more so when it comes to your little ones. But this kind of mannerism that you will attain is a good thing, especially when you are to perceive your baby’s growth and development.

One of the many milestones that you will sooner or later experience with your baby is what we commonly call a newborn growth spurt. This particular milestone can be well observed, especially when you are very much attentive to your baby’s moves, routine, feeding, behavior and most especially, their physical appearance.

In addition to this milestone, there can be several other memorable moments that you baby will be experiencing. It can be as simple as longer naps or even more active “awake moments.” But always keep in mind that not all babies re the same. So you should expect the unexpected when it comes to your tiny bundle of joy.

If you are not that keen at spotting whether your baby is already undergoing this change, you need not to fret. There are other signs that can confirm that your baby is actually experiencing it. So you better take some notes as we go along this topic of ours.

How Long Do Baby Growth Spurts Lasts

This is probably the first thing that you will think of if you are observing a newborn growth spurt. Basically these growth spurts are very fast. So fast that sometimes you might not notice it and think of it as just a “not-so-good” day with your baby.

Each growth spurt length differs, depending on your baby. It can last for just one to two days. For others, it can take to as long as a week’s time. I remember when my daughter had her growth spurt, I had two totally sleepless nights with her.

I recall that she was really, really, REALLY clingy which is weird because I did not spoil her with too much carrying. Another thing is that she immediately gets hungry and for the whole two days, her feeding was so way off her usual schedule.

These are just some of the experiences I had with my daughter. And according to other moms out there, they also experienced the same thing with their little ones. So better observe for these sudden changes in your baby’s routine so that you will keep a tab on when do baby growth spurts happen.

Signs of Newborn Growth Spurt

If I could sum up all the possible signs that you can experience, I would say it would all boil down to four main categories. These are physical appearance, feeding, sleep pattern and finally behavior. Now to make it clearer, let’s talk about them one by one.

  • Physical Appearance

Do you think that your baby suddenly grew? When you carry them, did they suddenly become heavier? Did their clothes suddenly shrink? Yup, you are not imagining things. It actually is real. These are the sudden physical development of the newborn growth spurt that you thought was just you mind playing tricks on you.

  • Feedingnewborn growth spurt eat

Feeding the most common cue that your baby is experiencing growth spurt. Like what I have previously mentioned, they will have a very “un-routinely” feeding pattern. They will also become more fussy and hungry during these times.

There is also difference when it comes to baby growth spurt in formula fed babies and breastfed newborns. For breastfed ones, they will demand more feeding time from you. It can be a total of almost twice the times you usually feed them. For formula fed babies, they tend to become insatiable even after finishing their bottle.

But do not let these sudden changes lead to an overfeeding fiasco. Keep them at their usual feeding amount, and if ever they would want more, make sure that they have a short pause from feeding. You can do so by burping them or changing their soiled diaper.

  • Sleep Patternnewborn growth spurt sleep

The sleep pattern changes of your baby correlates to their increased hunger episodes. They will most probably wake up more often in the wee hours of the night to because they are hungry. Just be patient and attend to their cues and needs.

  • Behavior

A hungry plus sleep deprived baby equals a fussy and irritable baby. You will see that they become clingier and would want to be carried more often than usual. I would not blame them. I would get grumpy as well if I am always hungry or if I lack my much needed sleep.

Once again, they will probably demand for additional feeding just to “soothe” their irritability. Don’t give in to it, especially if you know that you have just fed them. You can use other methods of soothing like rocking them to sleep, cuddling them or even putting on their favorite lullabies to help send them to sleep.

Baby Growth Spurt Timeline

We cannot pinpoint exactly the specific timeline as to when you would experience these growth spurts. But what we know for sure is that all these growth spurt episodes will happen within the first year of your baby’s lives. Since each development is unique, your experience with your child’s growth spurt may differ from mine and other moms as well.

But usually, we can safely say that we can all be able to observe these in as so called “six months growth spurt” stage. This means that you can, more or less, be able to observe (for the first time) these signs within the first six months of your newborn’s life.

The most common times that your baby may experience these signs are during the first two, three, six weeks, three months and finally the sixth month. For me, my daughter had her growth spurt during the first sixth week and the third month of her first year. I also remembered that she had just two days of growth spurt for the sixth week and around three to four days on her third month.

Each growth spurt experience of hers was different from the other. The first one was purely about fussy and sleepless nights and non-stop feeding demand. I had two completely sleepless nights (and days) when she had her first growth spurt.

Her second episode was less stressful. She maintained her feeding routine but she was still waking up during late nights wanting to be fed. What I did was I only gave her a minimal amount of milk just enough to satisfy her but not too much as to overfeed her.

What I noticed on the second growth spurt was that she really grew. When I said really, I mean really grew in length, weight and size. She suddenly was unable to fit in her onesies overnight and I am not exaggerating on this. I even called my husband so that he can see as well that our baby suddenly grew. When I carried her, I also felt she got heavier. I thought it was just my arms getting too tired at first. But when I asked for my husband to substitute for me, he also felt our baby girl was heavier.

Final Thoughts on Baby Growth Spurtnewborn growth spurt irritable

These are all normal and natural changes that your baby will encounter. It is their body’s way of saying “I am growing fast and healthy”. But it does not mean that a baby who does not experience it is not health or might be sick. This is why I keep on reiterating that each and every developmental growth of a child is unique and special.

Some babies may experience all of these signs and some with no signs at all. They would just become bigger and heavier without any accompanied signs that you can observe. The best way to know that your baby is on track with their growth is your routine Pediatric checkups. There you will have concrete data that assures you’re that your baby is healthy and growing properly.

The best thing that you can use in gauging your child’s health and development is your gut instinct. Our own “mommy instinct” is always right. If you feel that your baby is as healthy as a horse even though there are no signs that manifest growth spurt, then they probably are. Just trust your “mommy senses” and you can’t go wrong.

Newborn Sleeping Schedule – Everything To Know About Newborn Sleep

Sleep is a basic need. We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. It’s that necessary. We should have enough sleeping hours for us to be refreshed, energized and well-rested. Like adults, babies (especially newborns) need a lot of sleep, and I mean A LOT.  A newborn sleeping schedule is about 14-17 hours, as opposed to adults who just need 7.5-9 hours of sleep to function normally.

newborn sleeping schedule

newborn sleeping schedule

newborn sleeping schedule

newborn sleeping schedule

It differs to parents, though. Parents are a whole different species when it comes to sleep. Rule of thumb: If you cannot sacrifice 8 hours of sleep during the night, then you’re not cut off to parenting just yet. Every mom and dad knows that being a new parent is the true meaning of sleep deprivation. Trust me, I know. I had a baby who literally wakes up every hour and just won’t agree to any trick I try to learn off books and websites. There are some things, though, that I can share to you which are generally basic even though newborn sleep is a very complex topic. Like adults, there is such a thing as newborn sleeping schedule. The sleep cycle applies to every age, though a little different through stages. Let me show you how.

Newborn Sleep Cycle

Sleeping cycles applies to just about anyone.  Normal sleeping involves two cycles:

  1. Light sleep (also called Rapid Eye Movement or REM cycle)
  2. Deep sleep (also called Non Rapid Eye Movement or NREM cycle)

Light sleep is literally what is sounds like, you are lightly asleep. During this stage, you easily wake up just by noises and movements. This is also the stage where you dream. Deep sleep, however, is more complex. 80% of our sleep is deep sleep. It is the stage where you are really beginning to rest and recharge your batteries. It is the stage of growth, healing and development. Some people are very hard to be awoken during this stage. If they are, they will feel tired and drowsy.

Every night, adults and children alike go through repeating R

newborn sleeping schedule

EM and NREM cycles. But since newborns sleep during the day, too, it’s harder to know which cycle they’re going through at a time. That’s why parents are a little confused when their babies wake up easily, but sometimes they sleep through even the loudest noise.

Believe it or not, newborn sleep is very much disorganized. While in the womb, babies’ sleep are organized based on their own mother’s physiological cues. These include mom’s activeness during the day and her calmness during the night. How it affects the baby is through maternal melatonin (mom hormones that passes through the placenta that directs the fetuses’ internal body clock. But that is not always the case since some moms feel their baby kicking mostly when they’re already sleeping or lying down to relax.

After birth, however, maternal melatonin is gone and newborns have to rely on their own body clocks. This is when newborn sleep training takes place.

Newborn Sleep Training

As proper sleep training should begin by 4-6 months, newborns can be taught to distinguish day and night starting at 2 weeks. Since newborns at this age are beginning to have “awake” times, they can sense through their environment by seeing and hearing.

Newborn Sleep Tips – Getting Newborn To Sleep

You can help your baby’s internal clock by showing them the difference between day and night. That is, by letting more light into the house during daytime. Open the windows and curtains; let natural sunshine come into the house. It also helps when you take your newborn out during sunrise for her daily dose of vitamin D. Don’t be afraid to be loud. You can do your household chores and talk around the baby. Let her know that this is the time to be awake, but don’t be too loud that they won’t get any sleep at all.

During nighttime, however, be as quiet as possible and dim the lights. If possible, turn off all the lights. This will signal your baby’s brain to produce melatonin (the sleeping hormone) that will make them sleepy. If you are a breastfeeding mom, lay down with your baby. Breastfeeding and comfort sucking helps your baby sleep for longer. By getting accustomed to this, they will get used to sleeping at longer stretches during the night. White noise machines and lullabies also work too, to get your baby into a calmer state.

As much as possible, don’t resort to rocking your baby to sleep. If you start, you won’t be able to stop. Find other ways to help her fall asleep such as playing soft music/white noise, using swaddles, cuddling or breastfeeding. Lay her down before she’s too sleepy and tired. Overtired babies take much more time to fall asleep, just like adults. Also, lay her down as soon as you see her becoming sleepy. Let her have her naps during daytime because contrary to our beliefs that the longer they’re awake during the day, they’ll make up for it during nighttime. Nope. It’s the opposite. They need naps to have a peaceful transition, thus avoiding mood swings, over-tiredness and irritability.

Baby Sleeping Patterns

Though our little ones have their unpredictable newborn sleeping schedule, it gets easier as time goes by. They develop their own sleeping patterns based off on their environment. Newborns typically sleep in 2-4 hour naps, as they will only wake up to feed. As they get older, naps will become shorter and their nighttime sleep would become longer until such time that they can sleep through the night.

Babies from 0-3 months have sleeping patterns like this, but during the 4-6 months, parents start sleep training. They do certain methods to help their babies fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Remember that every baby is different. Some may be more at ease on specific methods, while some cannot be trained at all. But as babies grow, their body clocks will eventually fall into good rhythm. You just have to be very patient and strong physically and emotionally.

Newborn Sleep Habits

Newborns are interesting little people. They do the strangest (but most adorable) things. But the same as adults, they also form sleeping habits that they take comfort in. Let me show you some examples:

  • Newborn grunting in sleep – When I was a first time mom with my son, I just thought that everything is plain weird. I keep on researching online his every actions; if he’s eating right, sleeping right. Then came this phase when he started grunting and sort of stretching while he’s asleep. Sometimes, he’s even doing this in every few minutes and he grunts loudly and stretches so hard. What’s weirder is that when he stretches too hard, he’ll end up crying. I searched online for the meaning of this and guess what, he may – or may not – be gassy. I was on the fence until now because it’s not yet a proven fact but very possible. Babies can’t talk and say if they are in pain or uncomfortable, they just show it actions and noises. That phase passed, thankfully. But if ever this happens to your baby, try some gas drops, burping and massages. This is normal and this happened to my baby girl too, though not as alarming as with my first.
  • Newborn sleep with pacifier – This may be one of the most newborn sleeping schedulecommon sleeping habits of a newborn. Sleeping with a pacifier can last until toddler years (or longer!) so be careful in letting your baby get the hang of pacifiers. Babies have a strong need to suck and some cannot be satisfied by breast and bottle-feeding alone. They sometimes resort to thumb-sucking, but some but parents let them have their own pacifiers. This habit soothes and comforts fussy babies and it’s a great relief for moms and dads, too.

Newborn Sleep Positions

Newborn babies aren’t really mobile yet. They grew in a tight space of liquid wherein they can just swim around to find their comfortable position. Do you have any other options when it comes to their positions? Let’s find out.

Can Newborn Sleep On Side?

The answer is, yes and no. During my research a few years ago, I learned that getting your baby in side position while sleeping is a no-no. Pediatricians are concerned that a baby in a side position may roll over onto her stomach, thus being the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Personally, though, it can be done. Being on your back for long periods is also not healthy. You may or may not have noticed that being in this position can cause your back to heat up. What I do with my newborn baby is that I put a small pillow to serve as a wedge to tilt her a little. This will cause air to circulate to avoid overheating.

Newborn Sleep On Stomachnewborn sleeping schedule

This is, without question, a no-no, unless you’re doing it for just a few minutes with intense supervision. Do not put your baby at risk by not following simple guidelines. Sleeping on your stomach can cause shortness of breath and may totally cut off your air supply. It’s worse for newborns because they can’t maneuver their own bodies if they’re beginning to feel uncomfortable.

One exception to this rule is if the newborn sleeps on his mom/dad. Newborns need warmth to regulate their own body temperatures, and being closer to a parent is both soothing and comfortable.

What Should Newborn Sleep In

Babies wouldn’t have a good night’s sleep if they’re wearing uncomfortable clothes. As a parent, you have to be sensitive with your baby’s needs especially when it comes to clothing. If your baby is one of the more overly sensitive ones, then you need to focus more on smaller details. This includes the texture and type of cloth, the coverage, the tags, and the right fit. Be more attentive and see to it that the clothes are very comfortable, like they’re wearing nothing. First, choose the softer and smoother fabrics. This includes cotton, polyester or cotton/polyester blends. More unique fabrics include fleece, cashmere and bamboo. Choose fabrics that is perfect for the season. Remove all tags and unnecessary inserts before putting it on your baby. Last but not the least, choose the right size. If possible, choose a larger size than your baby’s for comfort and air circulation.

Newborn Sleep Gowns

Newborn sleep gowns are one of the most comfortable choices for your little one. It is form fitting on top and looser on the bottom part. The bottom part is loose so that newborns can still move their legs comfortably. It’s also has an easy access for diaper changing in the night.

Breastfeeding Schedule For Newbornnewborn breastfeeding

When it comes to breastfeeding, there is no specific schedule. The beauty about breastfeeding is that you can give it on demand, without worrying about overfeeding. Overfeeding doesn’t really happen during breastfeeding because the baby eats what he can, whenever he wants it. If your baby is a deep sleeper, though, or not very hungry, general rule is breastfeeding every 2-3 hours. Newborn babies get quite hungry faster because they have small stomachs, so see to it that you feed them within the right hours. Newborn feeding schedule week by week doesn’t differ very much because the schedule only changes after a few months, though growth spurt can be a great factor.

For exclusively pumping moms, their babies should consume breastmilk within the “1-1.5 oz. rule”. This rule means feeding your baby 1-1.5 ounce of milk times the number of hours of interval. For example, if it has been 3 hours since his last feeding, then you should give him 3-4.5 ounce of milk. This rule applies to pumping moms who are either working or who just wants to exclusively pump.

The newborn feeding schedule for formula fed babies are different, though. They have a specific feeding schedule to follow to ensure that they’re receiving the right amount of milk. Formula fed newborns need to feed every 3-4 hours. So keeping in track with your feeding can greatly help in figuring out your own newborn sleeping schedule.

Newborn Sleeping FAQ’s

  • How long should a newborn sleep during the day?
    • Newborns sleep in short bursts of 2-3 hours a day and they wake up only to feed. Some newborns can stay awake for a few minutes before dozing off again. Also, have some expectations that a newborn sleep all day and cry all night. This might happen if your baby is overwhelmed by her new environment where it’s too quiet (inside the womb is a very loud place), or if she’s a little gassy.
  • Where should a newborn sleep during the day?
    • In most cultures, babies have their own cribs from birth until toddler years. But in other homes, co-sleeping is becoming more common so babies sleep on the bed. They can also have their own bassinet or rocker for ease of travel.
  • Is my newborn sleeping too much?
    • Some newborn babies tend to be a deep sleeper. Moms who have babies like these are mostly confused as to why or what they should do. This is fairly normal. But watch out for other signs because excessive sleep can be a symptom of jaundice. Jaundice it a condition wherein there is excessive bilirubin levels in a baby’s blood. This is a normal condition but should also be treated before getting worse. If you think you’re baby’s a little too drowsy, ask a pediatrician.
    • A newborn’s internal clock is not yet in rhythm. It is normal for a newborn to sleep all day and be up all night. But don’t fret, everything will come into the right timing soon.
  • When do babies sleep through the night without feeding?newborn sleeping schedule
    • Believe it or not, this depends entirely on your baby. Some may start as early as 4 months, while some can last until 3 years of age. 4 months, though, is too early, because you have to continue feeding your baby through the night to make sure she’s not hungry. Babies who can sleep through the night at this age without feeding might be a heavy sleeper and can cause malnourishment if not fed continuously.
  • What is considered sleeping through the night?
    • It is considered sleeping through the night when your baby starts sleeping continuously during nighttime (internal clock is already correct & crying or making sounds only for feeding.
  • When do babies start sleeping longer than 3 hours?
    • This also depends entirely on your baby. Some babies are light sleepers, and others are deep sleepers. Deep sleepers can sleep at 4-5 hours per nap, but this commonly starts at 2 months when they can feel fullness for longer.
  • How much do two-week old babies sleep?
    • Newborn babies until 3-4 months of age have the same total sleeping hours of 14-17. 8-9 hours during nighttime and 7-9 total number of hours (divided into 3-5 naps) during daytime.
  • When do babies sleep through the night naturally?
    • Again, this depends on the baby’s newborn sleeping schedule. Some babies can start as early as 6 weeks (waking up only to feed), but these are rarer cases. Expect your baby to naturally sleep during the night at the 3-4/5-6 month mark.

 

Why Do Newborns Get Hiccups – Reasons Why Your Babies Hiccup

There was a lot of worrisome things that I have encountered with my daughter when she was just a few months old. But hiccups would probably rank my top five fears. If you are not attentive enough to observe their hiccups and prevent it, your baby might endanger themselves.

One of the most common questions newbie moms tend to ask is “why do newborns get hiccups.” If you are one of those moms, rest assured, you are not the only one confused. But hiccups are inevitable. It will eventually happen to your baby. It’s up to us to prevent and stop it.

The most common cause of a hiccup for a baby is when they are eating. Regardless if they are bottle fed, breast fed, or even starting their solids. There are many triggers that can end in your baby suffering a hiccup episode. So better take note of each trigger factor. Because once you pinpoint the culprit, the solution will be easier to execute.

Newborn Hiccups After Breastfeeding

The first food that your baby takes in is your breastmilk. Now along with that comes proper latching, adequate amount of breastmilk to be given and, most importantly, burping after feeding. This three factors are the key triggers to your breastfeeding baby if not done properly.

1. Latching

Proper latching with you little one is the crucial elements in preventing hiccups. Usually you will be given a quick lesson on how to properly make you child latch. This is done before you are sent home from the hospital. Make sure you double check that no air is engulfed by your baby while they feed.

2. Feeding timewhy do newborns get hiccups

Keep in mind that you baby’s stomach cannot handle too much milk capacity. If they are overfed, their diaphragm will be triggered and will create spasms. This will cause the hiccups to appear. The best thing you can do is to feed in demand. If your baby is a big milk feeder (which some babies are) feed them twice as often but with half as much content.

This can be done by pausing during feeding.  A good example is when your baby has finished sucking from your right breast and still wants more. What you do is you carry them and burp them before you proceed to the left breast. This will slow down the feeding and at the same time allow your baby’s tummy to get ready for round two.

The abovementioned principle can also be applied to bottle fed babies. You have to take note of the amount of milk they are taking in. When the bottle’s content is halfway consumed, you carry and burp the baby.

3. Burping

This is the best way on how to stop baby hiccups after eating. Burping removes the excess air that your child might swallow during their feeding. Remember that when your baby’s stomach suddenly gets full and expands too quickly, it will cause the muscles of their diaphragm to spasm. So make sure to burp your baby in between and after feeding.

Baby Hiccups During Pregnancy

Baby hiccups can start at the very early stages of your child’s lives. You have probably experienced a kind of rhythmic, twitching in your belly almost like a jerking motion. These are usually experienced during the stretch of your second to third trimester. Yes, these are called “fetal hiccups.”

You should not be worried about this because fetal hiccups are normal. Just take note that these hiccups will happen a few times a day. For some mothers, they don’t experience it at all. As long as it is not prolonged per episode, you do not need to worry.

So if you are worried that hiccups might harm your baby, you should not. Hiccups are harmless and does not give any painful feeling to your baby. The reason that they cry or get fussy is because they get startled because of it. Just make sure that you do the necessary precautions while feeding to prevent your child from swallowing milk into their lungs instead of their stomach.

 

Why Do Babies Smile – Reason Behind Their Adorable Smiles

Everyone loves and adores babies, especially when they smile and giggle at you. But sometimes, they smile in very unconventional situations. I have had my fair share of weird smiling moments with my daughter.

Sometimes it even makes my heart skip a beat because she suddenly smiles and giggles hard at something. But when I look to the direction she is looking at, there was nothing there. There was even a time when I asked myself what does it mean when babies smile in their sleep.  It made me think do they see something we don’t? Or is it just coincidental?

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Angels and Babies

I was born and raised in a Christian family who believes in angels, saints and many other religious figures. But before my daughter was born, I had a firm belief that these figures (angels in particular) do not show themselves at all.

During the time I was pregnant, I had a very difficult pregnancy.  It was so risky that it made me succumb to bedrest starting from my second trimester until I gave birth. Thankfully, my mom was there to support me and help me all the way. Two months after I gave birth, we found out that my mom had stage 4 Cancer. Six months after that, she passed away.

I remembered that my mom sang to my daughter when was inconsolable. Instantly, my baby would sober down and giggle and smile at my mother’s voice. That was one of the things that I will never forget.

When my daughter got bigger, I observed that she is becoming more active, attentive and curious of the things around her. Even during her sleep, she smiles and giggles. This made me think, when babies smile in their sleep, do they see angels?

During one of my religion class, we were taught that babies are like angels. They are free from sin and innocent. This gives them the advantage of seeing angels as well. We were even told that each baby has their own guardian angel with them all the time to protect them.

When these babies reach the milestone of “talking” that is the time their angels would slowly detach from them and become invisible. I strongly believe that my baby’s guardian anger is her grandmother, my mom. I know that she always visits her grandchild while she sleeps.

What Does it Mean When a Baby Smiles All the Time

As you baby grows from a newborn to their first few months, their bodily stimulus and function also develops. During the first two months of their lives, they will become more and more responsive to environmental stimuli.baby smiling

This means that they can now react to sound, figures and most especially your face. But once they hear their mother’s or father’s voice, they usually are responsive and might even smile.

When your child reaches the age of three months, they tend to smile at you while looking directly at you. Use this moment to interact with them more. Baby reacts more if they see the movements, thus making them easily laugh.

As they get older, they become more attentive and reactive to whatever they see. Sometimes, they tend to smile and laugh just by looking at an electric fan. This I swear was my daughter’s obsession when she was just a few months old. I don’t know if it was because of the air or the movement, I just know that the fan really cracked her up and made her laugh hard.

Why Do Babies Smile When They Poop?

For me a smiling baby after pooping is way better that having an inconsolable and fussy baby after a bowel release. This means that your baby had a smooth “number two” moment. They are probably happy that they did not get to strain, push or even get hurt as they poo.

Smiles are definitely a gift that you carry forever. But make sure that you don’t overdo it with your baby. Keep in mind that smiling for them can also be tiring at times. Don’t force their smiles and just enjoy the “in the moment” grins, giggles and toothless beams that they will give.

 

It’s All About Your Baby’s Needs

Feeding

Food is one of every human being’s basic needs. But for a newborn baby with a tiny and sensitive stomach that could digest only small amounts in liquid form, it is our duty, as parents, to give them what is right and what the baby needs. Breastfeeding or formula feeding? When you become a mom, unsolicited advice can be heard from almost anyone around you. The never-ending debate between breastfeeding and formula-feeding are always a hot topic between parents, family members, social media and even strangers. But it is up to you, and you alone, what to feed your child. Here is a detailed guide to breastfeeding and formula feeding, breastmilk or formula milk, and its respective pros and cons.

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Breastmilk: The Liquid Gold

Breastmilk is definitely the best for babies for all the right reasons. It is the primary source of nutrition for 0-6 months of a baby’s life. At the 6th month, solid foods are introduced which will start a baby’s weaning, but breastfeeding is still encouraged until 2 years of age and beyond. Let’s take a look at why breastmilk is inarguably the number one baby needs.

Benefits of Breastmilk

  1. Breastmilk is made by the human body especially for human babies. The body starts producing breastmilk during pregnancy so that after birth, colostrum will be ready for the newborn. Colostrum is the thick, creamy, yellow liquid full of antibodies and immunoglobulins which will protect the newborn from certain kinds of viruses and bacteria. It also gives a laxative effect for the newborn to expel wastes his digestive system accumulated while being in the womb. It is called a baby’s first immunization because of a number of antibodies it contains. Colostrum will last for 3-4 days before the “transitional” milk comes in.
  2. Breastmilk contains leukocytes. Leukocytes are living cells that can only be found in breastmilk, as well as antibodies, enzymes, and hormones that all together gives a strong protection for your baby.
  3. Breastmilk has the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, fat and protein for your little one.
  4. Breastmilk adapts to your baby’s nutritional needs. Unlike formula with their standard constitution, the human body produces milk depending on the baby’s age and health. When a baby is sick, the breasts becomes a vacuum for the baby’s saliva, and if it detects something that isn’t right, the body will actually change the milk’s composition, making it fit for the baby’s needs. Some even say that breastmilk changes depending on the environment’s temperature. If the weather is hot, breastmilk will become a little cooler and will produce more water to prevent dehydration, and if the weather is cold, breastmilk will become a little warmer.
  5. Breastmilk is more easily digested than formula, which lessens a baby’s chance of having constipation or gas.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

  1. Mother and baby bonding – More than the closeness, intimacy and time spent in breastfeeding that bonds the baby and mommy, research proves that breastfeeding releases the “love hormone”, Oxytocin, which gives the feeling of trust and affection.
  2. It’s free! – Let’s face it, formula milk is expensive. But with breastfeeding, you can save the extra money to buy other necessities.
  3. Less work – With formula, there are bottles and nipples to clean to be used every day, plus the mixing of formula 2-3 times at night is a hassle. You will also be waiting until your baby finishes off the milk before you can go back to sleep. Milk aspiration is possible with bottle-fed babies because the flow’s milk is continuous, unlike when you are breastfeeding, you can just offer your breast and sleep while breastfeeding because they can control the milk flow through nursing.
  4. Faster recovery after childbirth – The Oxytocin released during breastfeeding causes uterine contraction, which helps reduce the postpartum blood loss.
  5. Higher IQ for breastfed babies – Studies show that breastfed babies have higher levels of cognitive functioning.
  6. Breastfed babies are less likely to have serious illnesses later in life – Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, leukemia, and ear infections.

Breastfeeding problems you might encounter

  1. Latching problems – This is very common especially for first-time moms because they do not know yet how to guide their newborns to proper latching. Sometimes, babies also have difficulty latching due to different factors (lip-tie, tongue-tie) and should be evaluated while still at the hospital. Proper latching can be established with the help of proper breastfeeding positions and lots of practice.
  2. Painful latching – There will come a time that you have properly latched your newborn, and yet it still hurts. Some moms even go through cracked and bleeding nipples, but in a month it will go away and will be more like a second nature to you and your baby.
  3. Sleepy baby while nursing – Some babies fall asleep fast during nursing and you might think this will affect his feeding and nutrition. If your little one is falling asleep during feeding, stroke his chin or cheek gently to stimulate sucking.
  4. Engorgement – Engorgement happens in the first few weeks while you are still establishing your milk supply. It is the fullness or tenderness of the breast because of overproduction of milk. Try reducing your milk supply through hand expressing for a few minutes without fully draining your breast, so that it will signal your brain to lessen the milk production. Breastmilk is strictly demand and supply. It should be demanded for it to be produced, and the amount of milk depends on how strong or how weak the demand is.
  5. Constant nursing – Your baby constantly nursing is not a sign that you have a low milk supply. Breastfeeding is not just about feeding your baby, but it is also a feeling of comfort and security for your little one. Some babies also nurse far more than others, and that is perfectly normal, too. Let your baby nurse for how much or how long he wants.
  6. Foremilk-hindmilk Imbalance/Oversupply – Breastmilk (while nursing) is made up of two parts. Foremilk is the first part that the baby gets at the start of nursing. It is more watery and contains more lactose and less fat content, while the hind milk is the creamier milk located higher up in the breast which has a higher fat content. If you have an oversupply, your milk will be too much to the point wherein your baby will get full with just the foremilk, and not getting the hindmilk. This will make your baby gassier, his poop will have a green color to it and in some worse cases, your baby will have colic symptoms which include crying spells for up to 3 hours a day, 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Your best solution for oversupply is to offer only one breast during a feeding or two. Let your baby drain your breast so that he can get to the hind milk more effectively. Pump the other breast to lessen the engorgement and to also reduce the demand for the milk supply.
  7. Plugged ducts – If you have a tender area somewhere in your breast, that could be due to a plugged duct. The tender area is accumulated milk due to the duct having a blockage. Plugged ducts happen because of oversupply, engorgement and improper latch or positioning. Try massaging the area or applying a hot compress to help the milk flow.
  8. Milk blister/Milk bleb – Milk blisters can be the primary cause of plugged ducts. Milk blisters happen when a piece of skin overlaps the milk ducts, therefore blocking the flow of milk. This could be very painful during feeding but letting your little one nurse could actually help remove the milk blister. If this doesn’t go away or it is beginning to be a hindrance to your breastfeeding, there are some ways to open up the blister such as rubbing gently with a washcloth or gently scraping the side with your clean fingernail. If all else fails, get a sterile needle and slowly poke the blister. It is better if you can get an experienced doctor or nurse to do it for you.

 

Formula milk

There are different kinds of formula milk. But basically, formula milk is an alternate for breastmilk which is usually made up of cow’s milk treated to be more suitable for baby needs.

Unfortunately, some mothers cannot produce enough milk for their little ones, and some have health problems that will make them unsuitable for breastfeeding, so they resort to infant formula.

Forms of Formula Milk

  1. Powdered Formula – This form of formula milk is the most common, most popular, most economical and most environmentally-friendly. However, this formula needs more work and takes up more time to prepare. Instructions should be strictly followed as well.
  2. Ready-to-use Formula – Moms choose this formula because it is the most convenient. It doesn’t require water, measuring and mixing. It is convenient for night feedings because it is already prepared. You don’t have to worry about the water safety, too.
  3. Liquid Concentrate – This formula requires mixing equal parts of water with the content. You should also follow strict instructions with this formula. It is cheaper than ready-to-use formula but more expensive than powdered formula.

Main Types of Formula Milk

  1. Cow’s Milk Formula – This is the most common type of formula, due to the fact that most babies react well with cow’s milk. This formula is easily digested by a baby’s digestive system because of the right balance of nutrients it has. Some babies are allergic to the proteins in cow’s milk, so they will need another type of formula.
  2. Soy-based Milk Formula – Soy-based formulas are ideal if you want to exclude animal proteins from his/her diet. This can be an option for babies that are allergic to animal proteins.
  3. Hydrolyzed-protein Formula – If your little one cannot tolerate cow’s milk or soy-based milk formula, then this is the ideal option. The proteins in this formula have been broken down partially or extensively into smaller pieces, making them unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

Benefits of Formula-feeding

  1. Convenience – One of the perks of formula-feeding is that it can be done by anyone. Whether you have a caretaker or partner with you at home, anyone can take turns with you for the feeding. It will give you an opportunity to rest especially after giving birth while you are still recovering, or during the night when you had a long day.
  2. Flexibility – You can now entrust the feedings to others while you are away (i.e. working or doing errands) and you will not worry that your baby is getting hungry. Feeding in public is also less of a hassle as you do not have to find a breastfeeding station to feed your baby.
  3. The frequency of feedings – The frequency of feedings is reduced since formula milk takes more time to be digested.
  4. Diet – Moms who formula feed doesn’t have to watch out for whatever they are eating that can affect their breastmilk. You can also go back to weight-loss diet plans without worrying that your milk supply is going low.
  5. The amount of formula is spot on – You have the exact measurement of how much your baby drinks the entire day, thus knowing if you are on the right track of feeding him by his age.

Formula feeding problems you might encounter

  1. Formula milk will always be inferior – This is formula’s biggest disadvantage. Even though infant formula companies are trying their best to modify formula to resemble breastmilk as much as possible, formula will never have the antibodies, hormones and antibacterial properties that breastmilk naturally contains.
  2. Preparing a bottle is a hassle – If you are alone with your baby, preparing a bottle is time-consuming, and it will also affect your sleep because you have to make a bottle every 3-4 hours at night.
  3. Formula milk is expensive – Not only are you going to buy formula after formula, but also the bottles, teats, bottle brushes, racks and sterilizing equipment. Not to mention that regular cleaning is also time-consuming.

Starting solids

As your baby hits the 6th month, it is advisable to start introducing solid foods. Baby cereal is considered to be the traditional first food for babies in America and in other parts of the world, but starting off with indigenous food like vegetables or fruits are also highly recommended to accommodate baby needs.

Signs of readiness

Check for the signs of readiness in you baby, and make sure that everything checks out before you start the feeding.

  1. Sitting unsupported – Make sure that your baby can now sit very well unsupported. This will help him sit comfortably in a high chair, as well as making digestion easier, as food will go down more easily while sitting up.
  2. Tongue-thrust reflex is now gone – A baby’s natural reflex of sticking out his tongue when his cheek is touched should be already gone, In turn, the baby can receive the food in his mouth and swallow it effectively.
  3. Significant weight gain – Your little one should have doubled his birth weight before starting solids.
  4. Curiosity and interest in food – See if your baby is already showing interest in food, whether looking at you while you are eating, or looking at the food you are eating. Also, try to offer him food with a spoon and see if he will open his mouth to receive it.

Appropriate introductory foods

  • 6 months: Mix the food with your breastmilk or formula milk so that your baby will not be overwhelmed by the new taste. Try pureed or mashed vegetables first, and use only one vegetable for 3 days to see any food reaction. Offer fruits after a week. Choose a fruit that is not so sweet or flavorful so that the baby will not be accustomed by strong flavors. Avocado is an ideal choice. Avoid offering instant baby food as much as you can because it contains preservatives. You can also try small amounts of unsweetened yogurt, porridge, and oats.
  • 7 months: Meat can now be introduced at this month. Please stick to one type for a few days and observe if there will be a reaction.
  • 8-10 months: You can now introduce other types of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, and soft bread. When giving an egg, only give the yolk. The egg white will only be given after the first year because it can cause allergic reactions. Keep your baby’s meals interesting. Mix and match food groups and add spices for new flavors. When offering cheese, avoid soft cheeses. You can now stop feeding purees and transition to chunkier textures. Mash fruits and vegetables and chop pieces of meat finely to encourage his ability to chew. Chewing is the precursor to talking.
  • 10-12 months: Fish is an excellent source of protein, but be careful in choosing your meat. Choose only the white-fleshed fish. Baked or steamed fish is a great dinner for your baby. Your little one has now a wide variety of foods to try. Do not be afraid of offering them different kinds of food each day. Make sure that what you are offering are fresh, clean and nutritious.

How much?

                Trust your instinct with this. Start by offering 1 teaspoon a day for a few days. Transition to 1 tablespoon a day for a few days. Increase the amount gradually, and observe your baby for the amount that he/she really needs and can digest.

Baby’s Health

Immunization

                Immunization is the process wherein a baby, child or teen is made immune to a specific illness or disease. This process uses vaccines to stimulate the body’s own immune system to build a shield for future illnesses. Make sure that you bring your baby to his/her pediatrician for the proper immunization by month.

What to do when your baby is sick?

  • Relax, but act fast – As a mom, you have to keep your cool to avoid over analyzing things and going overboard with your little one. Sometimes doing too much is actually making situations worse than before. So keep calm, research a bit, and if it is a serious illness, please go to the emergency room immediately, and don’t wait for answers on social media. Trust your mommy instincts.
  • Have patience – Your baby might be very clingy, expect that already. He is going through an uncomfortable or maybe painful time, so give him all the care and cuddles that he needs to get well.
  • Get help – Not the doctors, but someone that could help you. Call your partner or maybe a relative to take shifts in watching over your little one so that you can take a rest or eat a healthy meal. You have to be strong and alert during these times.

Proper Bathing

  • Choose the right bathtub – Some bathtubs are made for newborns and they can still be used until they are toddlers. There are also bathtubs made with soft materials such as cloth or inflatable plastic to serve as a cushion for the baby’s delicate spine. Whatever it is that you prefer, make sure that your little one is comfortable and the equipment will make bathing easier and more convenient.
  • Prepare your bathing essentials – Choose bathing essentials that are specifically made for babies. Hygienic products for adults are too strong for a baby’s skin. Make it a habit to check the label and ingredients, too, and look for ingredients that you are not comfortable with. If you are very sensitive, look for soaps and shampoos that are fragrance-free, chemical-free and contains natural ingredients.
  • For a newborn, everyday bathing is not necessary – Newborns do not get dirty and smelly very often. They just need a bath to regulate their temperature and to freshen up. But if you skipped a day, it is perfectly fine. Plus, other doctors don’t recommend an everyday bath because bathing strips off the natural oils in a baby’s skin. If your baby is already very active, a full bath once a day is a must.

Safety

  • Baby-proofing the house – If it is possible, give your baby a spacious room for himself, with all the flooring covered in play mat, carpet or any soft cover. Attach corner and edge guards to furniture. Make sure that appliances, hazardous objects and important, personal things are kept away. Give him lots of toys and learning materials around him to keep him busy and away from other rooms or objects. Do not leave him unattended when he is in one of his baby gears or when playing with a toy that can cause harm such as hard wooden blocks.
  • Pets – If your pet is being aggressive or hostile towards the baby, it is better to have your pet away or to reprimand him. Animals are smart in many ways and can understand you. When your baby is still a newborn, prevent your pets from licking or lying down beside your little one, as newborns are still very sensitive. But as they grow and their immune systems get stronger, especially when living with a furry one, they can play and have fun with the pets without having any bad reactions.

Baby Essentials Checklist

  1. Clothing such as onesies, jackets, pajama pairs, mittens, socks/booties, bonnets/hats, and blankets.
  2. The nursery which includes a crib/bassinet, baby mattress/comforter, rocking chair/armchair/couch (beneficial for breastfeeding), baby monitor, nightlight and dresser.
  3. Bedding such as crib mattress pads, crib sheets, light blankets and heavier blankets for colder climates.
  4. Diapering – changing table/changing pad, diaper pail, diaper bag, rash cream, cotton balls, clean water, unscented baby wipes, soft washcloths, and your choice of disposable or cloth diapers.
  5. Bath which includes baby bathtub, soap, shampoo, hooded towels and baby hairbrush.
  6. Feeding – bottles and nipples, bottle warmer, sterilizer, bottle brush, burp cloths, formula milk; if breastfeeding: pump, milk storage bags/cups, nursing pads.
  7. Baby basic care – baby nail clippers, baby thermometer, petroleum jelly and first aid kit
  8. Gear – car seat, stroller/baby carrier, swing/bouncy chair, high chair

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