Newborn Nursing: Frequent, Lengthy, and Normal




I really wish that all new mothers were told that the majority of newborns want to breastfeed much more frequently than every few hours. And many even want to stay latched on, suckling for extended periods of time. This can understandably shake a new mother’s confidence and make her second guess if she’s producing enough milk to keep her nursling satisfied. Women are usually just told that their baby should nurse 'every 2-3 hours,' but frequent (and lengthy) nursing is a totally normal thing for newborns to do! It helps keep them close to mama while regulating her milk supply.

Often babies won’t have these longer stretches between feeds until they’re a little older. Even then, there are several things that could make them want to nurse more, including (but not limited to) teething, sickness, unfamiliar surroundings, or feeling tired. I can’t imagine how miserable it would be to have a fussy baby in your arms but feel like you shouldn’t breastfeed again because it’s "not time yet." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This isn’t discussed often enough and new mothers need to be reassured. If baby is gaining weight, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding more often than what you’ve been told is 'normal.' The postpartum period is all about surrendering, so cozy up with your babe and forget the clock.

--Oh Baby Nutrition



Natural Baby Bands for Hospital Birth


After hundreds of requests for a soft, stretchy, and reusable baby band for the newborn period, two are now available in cool colors (blues/purples) and warm colors (pinks/violets). Each baby band reads:

Cool Colors: 

NO Circumcision / NO Vaccines

Warm Colors: 

Keep Me By Mom / NO Vaccines

These baby bands are not "anti-vaccine" - rather, they are designed for families who must delay or forego vaccination during the immediate neonatal period for their individual baby's unique health situation. Each band will fit a baby's leg or ankle depending on baby's size. Find sizing examples by scrolling through photos at Etsy.

Baby bands are available upon request from Etsy and include standard shipping. Each band comes with intact care materials (cool colors) or with general baby care materials (warm colors). Each band also arrives to you with an oversized New Baby Visitor Guide chart for posting, hanging, or laminating (pictured below).

Purchase either Natural Baby Band (cool or warm colors) with a special request personalization note when checking out at Etsy here or by sending a message to SOS on Etsy. To forgo Etsy you can send $7 per baby band via Venmo @SavingSons with a note (your choice of band and address for shipping). 

Natural Baby Band - Cool Colors

Natural Baby Band - Warm Colors

New Baby Visitor Guide Chart






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Accessorizing Your Nursery


When you begin thinking about creating the perfect nursery for your impending arrival, it is normal to think of color schemes first. If you already know the gender of the baby you are having, you may be planning typical gender colors. If you do not know the gender, you will be considering neutral color schemes and decoration styles. 

Accessories are a must-have for any nursery, the additional little touches that will make the room your child’s room. The personal touches that you will put so much thought into will make your nursery the perfect room for your new arrival. 

However, there is more to a nursery than simply decorating. There are certain items you will be certain to need to make the room functional and safe for your baby when you arrive home. 


What are the Necessities?

The specific items will vary from home to home and will depend on the setup of the room and the needs of each individual child. Some items you will not know whether or not you will need until after your child is born. However, certain items will be necessary for every nursery, so they can be planned in advance. 

Items such as: 

  • Blackout blinds to help your child sleep at all times of the day and in every weather.

  • A crib with a safe mattress and bedding – consider safe sleeping advice for where you live and what you are comfortable with. 

  • Storage options – you will always have more of everything than you think you will, so pre-planning storage will make the early days considerably easier. 

  • A room thermometer – keeping the room at the right temperature will help to keep your baby safe. There are several brands of room thermometers that change color depending on the temperature. This makes it easier to see, especially in the dark, whether or not you need to adjust clothing and blankets.

  • A baby monitor for when you leave your sleeping baby in a different room. A wifi baby monitor will allow you to see your baby in addition to hearing them. This is helpful if they are stirring, as you can see if you need to go into the nursery to settle them or if they are able to self-settle. 


Additional Items to Consider

Depending on your child's individual needs or tastes, there are several other items you may consider purchasing: 

  • A nightlight – some children may find this helpful if they wake or stir during the night, whereas other children might find this a distraction to settling back to sleep and may be more comfortable in a naturally dark room. 

  • A mobile for the crib – as above, some children may find this to be something fun that helps them to be distracted when they first wake, while others may find this a distraction to going sleep. 

  • A soothing toy, there are numerous brands available that play soothing music, white noise, or heartbeat sounds. This type of toy can be an excellent way to transition your child into settling to sleep on their own.


Whatever products you decide you need for your nursery, we are sure you will find the perfect items to match your color and decoration schemes.

How Parents Can Take Care of Small Children and Themselves


Although we wish they could stay babies forever, children do grow up eventually. When they grow, their needs drastically change. Small children, like age 5 and up, need a lot more than they did when they were an infant. The sudden changes can be a bit jarring to get accustomed to at first, but if done carefully, it’ll become second nature. Here’s how you can take care of small children, set them up for success, and take care of yourself.

Have Your Finances Ready

You’re obviously aware of this, but small children require a bit more investment financially than babies. Items such as twin-sized beds, a chest for their toys and a new wardrobe can cost a lot of money. If you’re a family on a budget, you might have a little difficulty trying to pay for it all. Luckily, there are plenty of alternate financial methods than going through your personal savings. In this case, it’s recommended you look into taking out a personal loan to provide your child what they need while having a bit of a security blanket. Personal loans can be used to finance pretty much anything, but how much you get depends on your credit score. If you have a low score, you’ll either receive less than usual or will be denied. Make sure to check your credit report to eliminate any discrepancies and do what you can to increase your score

Use Positive Reinforcement

Taking care of children stems from more than financial obligations. You also need to know how to care for them emotionally. Children are blank slates and take almost everything to heart. Since they’re with you the most, they start taking on characteristics from the parent. You’re their role model, so you need to know how to act around them. How we act towards children will have an effect on them later on in life. If they did something they shouldn’t have, yelling and raging at them isn’t the answer. You can practice gentle discipline, and be strict while being gentle at the same time. Explain to them what they did is wrong and why they can’t do it. Positive reinforcement can go a very long way. Moreover, it’s what will instill good virtues and habits into your child.

Set Time Aside for Yourself and Don’t Feel Guilty About It

Taking care of children can be a little exhausting from time to time. Parents may have a huge responsibility, but like the rest of them, there’s no harm in taking a small break from it. You still maintain a happy and healthy home while having a life outside your children and you should be allowed to enjoy it. It doesn’t make you a bad parent for prioritizing yourself here and there. After all, parents need to be cared for as well. You need to be of sound, mind, body, and soul to be the best parent you can be. If you have any tasks that need to be done or just want a little peace and quiet, you do have options. You can leave your child in the care of another family member, a well-trusted friend or look into daycare services.

Getting Support When You Have a Child with Special Needs


Being a special needs parent can be both heartbreaking and rewarding. You have to learn to accept and treasure your child. All too often, we view kids with special needs and disabilities by what they can't do, rather than celebrating all that they're capable of and capable of becoming. With time, you'll realize that you're the lucky one. Take everything you thought you knew about parenting and throw it out the window. New strategies are needed. Life is different than what you imagined, but it's going to be okay. Determination and love will do most of the work. 

It's crucial to understand that you don't have to get through the rough patches alone. There are support groups and other parents of special needs children. If your child requires more support then expected, you can get paid to take care of them. More exactly, parents of kids with special needs who receive Medicaid benefits get access to New York State's CDPAP program. Not only can the magic of childhood be preserved, but also be amplified. As your child's primary caregiver, you'll have to handle a great many responsibilities. But if you're up for the challenge, that's perfect. 

Nobody Understands Your Family Like You Do, Especially When It Comes to Providing Essential Care  

CDPAP is an acronym, and it stands for Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program. It's a Medicaid program that extends throughout the U.S. It offers an alternative to receiving home health care services. Consumers can require assistance with activities of daily living or skilled care. As of April the 1st, 2016, it allows parents to act as personal care assistants. Therefore, a loving person can ensure a consumer's best interests. What does this all mean for families? Parents who are willing to do this for their children receive financial support to not become bankrupt.  

Many family members can become assistants, including siblings, grandparents, and cousins. Parents can become personal care assistants only if the child is older than 21 and they're not the legal guardians. Children who have reached 21 are no longer in a school setting, requiring attention. Caregiving means the inability to work a job, so you need all the help you can get. The amount of aid you receive from the government depends on the disability, so see what kind of support is available. If your child is younger than that age, designate someone from the family as a CDPAP caregiver. Alternatively, you can hire a personal assistant. 

What Are Some Useful Tips for Taking Care of Your Loved One? 

To help you manage the bumpy parts of the ride, we've come up with some suggestions. There's no right way to perform this (very) important job, but there are some unique challenges you might face when caring for an adult or child with special needs. As a caregiver, you should focus on the following: 

Embrace Your New Identity 

In addition to being a caregiver, you're a parent, healthcare advocate, driver, master scheduler, and the list can continue. It will take some time until you adjust to the new job. The more prepared you are, the faster you'll adjust. Caregiving is hard. Even if you plan as much as possible and have conversations beforehand, there are always unforeseen circumstances that can force you to make difficult decisions. For instance, you may have to impose restrictions, such as forbidding driving. Take part in caregiver training conducted by a nurse or therapist. This will equip you with the practical skills you need to care for your child.  

Work With a Medical Professional to Develop a Care Plan

You'll most likely see a variety of doctors, specialists, and therapists. It's strongly recommended to work with a medical professional to develop a care plan. The physician will determine if the child has a disease that requires special attention, such as tuberculosis. Being able to access healthcare services can address their specific needs, better manage healthcare conditions, and decrease the development of preventable diseases. Medicine is rapidly evolving, so make sure your child benefits. Do your homework and make sure they get the attention they deserve. 

Celebrate Successes 

You and your kid deserve to celebrate. Take pride in the little wins. The journey towards achievement is sometimes more important than the end goal. Pause and savor the sweet moments, like when your child is able to transition to an activity without a meltdown. A simple way to track accomplishments is to write them down in a journal. Celebrating successes, both big and small, is an effective way of reducing stress. When you feel discouraged or defeated, review your wins. Keeping a journal takes very little of your time. 

A Personal Care Assistant Can Offer Much-Needed Help to Families with Special Needs Children 

The most important thing to understand is that you're not alone. If you feel hopeless or you're struggling to keep going, consider the possibility of hiring a personal care assistant. Caring for a child with special needs is a big responsibility, and it's more than a full-time job. A personal care assistant can help with day-to-day tasks, whether eating or bathing. To put it simply, they're a lifesaver. In the state of New York, Medicaid recipients can request personal care services through their managed care health plan. It's the organization's responsibility to carry out the evaluation and recommend a certain number of hours. 

If you're looking for someone with a lot of work experience, reach out to a nursing agency. If this aspect isn't important to you, place an ad online and in local newspapers.  Maybe you're not ready to become your child's caregiver. That's alright. There's a big learning curve in gaining experience and new skills, not to mention that tough decisions have to be made. The reality of caregiving is unpredictable. What if dad isn't there to help? Even if you're able to handle daily responsibilities, you still need a backup plan. When you play the role of the family caregiver, you can't also be the one to administer plan B. 

Make no mistake: there's nothing easy about becoming your child's caregiver.


Your Happy Baby in a Natural Habitat: Carry Mammals

Such a beautiful and perfect explanation. 💕 Humans are carry mammals, and babies instinctively need to be cared for as such, for their baseline level of well-being and development. 

Images via @jojofordillustration









How to Care for Your Intact Son



The number one reason for problems of the penis is unnecessary infant circumcision (and the consequences of this surgical removal of the prepuce organ). The second reason for penile problems and complications is well-meaning adults who retract, over-clean, and 'mess with' intact boys' foreskins before they retract naturally and completely on their own. Sometimes this natural, gentle retraction does not occur until the pre-teen years. This is 100% normal. In fact, a recent Dutch study shows that the average age for retraction among boys is 10.6 years of age. Some retract (on their own) before this time, some later.

Among both boys and girls, before natural retraction, the prepuce (foreskin/hood) is tightly adhered to the glans (head) of the penis/clitoris, in the same way your fingernail is tightly adhered to your finger. If you stick things under your fingernail, try to pull it back, or otherwise 'mess' with it, you are bound to not only be in pain, but also fester irritation and/or infection. The same is true with the prepuce organ (the clitoral hood in girls and the foreskin in boys).

In addition, the prepuce serves the function of protection over the glans in much the same way your eye lids protect your eye balls. The temperature, moisture, pH balance, enzyme level, antivirals, and more are all regulated because the glans is meant to be an internal organ - just as our eyeballs are also internal organs. We'd never scrub under our eyelids and not expect some severe and painful (possibly infectious) consequences.

Remember: INTACT=DON'T RETRACT! ONLY CLEAN WHAT IS SEEN!

One friend, a pediatrician, tells parents, "The ONLY thing you need to care for your intact son's penis is a ruler -- to slap the hand of anyone who attempts to touch his foreskin."

Below are additional resources for parents of intact boys. Know the myths, and be informed enough to protect your son and his genital integrity.

If you're a pro-intact physician, PA or midwife willing to field an occasional question,
write to SavingSons@gmail.com to join the MedPro advisory board. 

RETRACTION

Should My Baby's Foreskin Be Retracted? Dr. Antier Responds
DrMomma.org/2012/08/should-babys-foreskin-be-retracted.html

Hands Off My Foreskin! Dr. Martin Winckler on the Care of Baby Boys
DrMomma.org/2013/02/hands-off-my-foreskin-dr-martin.html

Forced Retraction: Don't Let it Happen to Your Son
DrMomma.org/2010/11/forced-retraction-dont-let-it-happen-to.html

Forced Retraction: Now What?
DrMomma.org/2009/12/forced-retraction-what-now.html

Don't Retract Clinician Pack (for physicians and medical staff; includes links to the AAP, RCH and CPS organization care statements):
SavingSons.org/2015/07/retracting-clinician-information-pack.html

Using a Catheter Without Retraction: My Nurse Did It and So Can Yours!
SavingSons.org/2013/01/using-catheter-without-retraction-my.html

Only Clean What is Seen: Reversing the Epidemic of Forced Retraction:
DrMomma.org/2009/09/only-clean-what-is-seen-reversing.html

Medical Testing: Do Not Retract:
DrMomma.org/2009/09/uti-testing-on-boys-do-not-retract.html

Doctors Opposing Circumcision Statement for Physicians and Nurses on
Forced Retraction:
Doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/info-forcedretraction.html

Forced Retraction: Ask the Experts
DrMomma.org/2009/09/ask-experts-forced-foreskin-retraction.html

The Forced Retraction of My Son [One Parent's Story]
DrMomma.org/2011/07/forced-retraction-of-my-son.html

Medical Organization Statements on Intact Care (and Physician 'Do Not Retract' Packs):
SavingSons.org/2015/07/retracting-clinician-information-pack.html

Hospital Intact Care Packs ($3):
https://www.etsy.com/listing/526265909/hospital-stay-packet?ref=shop_home_active_4

Baby Bands (soft and stretchy for the hospital or care providers):
https://www.etsy.com/listing/502616895/do-not-retract-do-not-circumcise-baby?ref=listing-shop-header-3

Intact care stickers and cards available at Etsy.

INTACT CARE

How to Care for Your Intact Son [Homepage]
DrMomma.org/2009/06/how-to-care-for-intact-penis-protect.html

Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole [Facebook Group]
FB.com/groups/IntactHealthy

Basic Care of the Intact Child:
DrMomma.org/2010/01/basic-care-of-intact-child.html

Protect Your Intact Son: Medical Advice for Parents When Your Doctor Says to Circumcise:
DrMomma.org/2009/08/protect-your-uncircumcised-son-expert.html

The Functions of the Foreskin:
DrMomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

Natural Foreskin Retraction in Intact Children and Teens
DrMomma.org/2008/04/natural-foreskin-retraction-in-intact.html

Adult Intact Penis Care:
SavingSons.org/2015/09/adult-intact-penis-care.html

Phony Phimosis Diagnosis:
DrMomma.org/2010/01/phony-phimosis-diagnosis.html

Urine Sampling and Catheter Insertion for the Intact Boy
DrMomma.org/2011/12/urine-samples-and-catheter-insertion.html

Using a Catheter without Retraction: My Nurse Did It, Yours Can Too:
SavingSons.org/2013/01/using-catheter-without-retraction-my.html

Deep, dark, red, purple or blue: the normal glans in the intact child:
DrMomma.org/2014/12/deep-dark-red-purple-or-blue-normal.html

UTI (Urinary Tract Infections) Resource Page: SavingSons.org/2014/11/uti-resource-page.html

Yeast, Rash and Redness: Breastmilk Spurs Yeast Overgrowth, Neosporin Alters Microflora; What to Do Instead:
DrMomma.org/2014/04/yeast-rash-and-redness-breastmilk-spurs.html

Swimming, Suits and Mesh: Cut the Lining of Your Child's Suit to Decrease Irritation Potential: DrMomma.org/2014/06/swimming-suits-mesh-cut-lining-of-your.html

Intact Care (and No Retraction) Agreement (Parents to Clinicians): DrMomma.org/2014/10/intact-care-and-no-retraction-agreement.html

Raising Intact Sons:
DrMomma.org/2009/11/raising-intact-sons.html

Foreskin: It's Not 'Icky':
DrMomma.org/2010/12/foreskin-its-not-icky.html

How the Foreskin Protects Against UTI:
DrMomma.org/2009/12/how-foreskin-protects-against-uti.html

Painful Urination During Prepuce Separation
DrMomma.org/2010/01/painful-urination-during-prepuce.html

Ballooning in the Intact Child:

Questions Regarding Normal Separation of the Prepuce:
DrMomma.org/2010/01/common-questions-regarding-normal.html

Hypospadias: Surgery and Circumcision:
DrMomma.org/2010/04/hypospadias-surgery-and-circumcision.html

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers - care of the intact penis:
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/4pam.pdf

Penile Hygiene for Intact Males (Circumcision Information Resource Pages):
http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Care of the Intact Child
http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/pages/Care-for-an-Uncircumcised-Penis.aspx

Medical Organization Statements on Intact Care (and Physician Packs):
SavingSons.org/2015/07/retracting-clinician-information-pack.html

Hospital Intact Care Packs ($3):
https://www.etsy.com/listing/526265909/hospital-stay-packet?ref=shop_home_active_4

Baby Bands (soft and stretchy for the hospital or care providers):
https://www.etsy.com/listing/502616895/do-not-retract-do-not-circumcise-baby?ref=listing-shop-header-3

Expecting a Boy? Stickers and Postcards to share at Etsy.

CIRCUMCISION CARE

Cloth Diapering Your Baby After Circumcision: DrMomma.org/2016/04/cloth-diapering-your-baby-after.html

Circumcision Care (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers): http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet5.html

Note regarding the recommendation of 6 months jelly for post-circumcision care:

In summary, this RCT demonstrated that an easy, safe, cheap, widely available intervention (petroleum jelly) reduces some of early and late complications of circumcision. It is prudent to apply the petroleum jelly on glans and meatal area of circumcised boys after each diaper change for 6 months post-circumcision.

Bazmamoun, H., Ghorbanpour, M., and Mousavi-Bahar, S. H. (2008). Lubrication of circumcision site for prevention of meatal stenosis in children younger than 2 years old. Urology journal, 5(4), 233-236.

Full Text: http://urologyjournal.org/index.php/uj/article/viewFile/30/29

Similar articles:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830142/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9539919

Intact Info Cards in English or Spanish available at Etsy.



Bands available at Etsy


Foreskin Facts





Stickers arrive with baby bands or hospital packs.

Diaper Rash or Red Foreskin Care
The perfect bath for healing and soothing

Hospital packs come with a variety of intact care materials, as well as a pediatric organization statement on care sheet to share with your doctor.

For discussions with fellow parents raising intact sons, you are welcome to join any or all of these groups: 

The INTACT Network: Facebook.com/groups/TINFamily

Saving Our Sons: Facebook.com/groups/SavingOurSons
Peaceful Parenting: Facebook.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting
It's A Boy! Facebook.com/groups/OhJoyItsABoy


What if your son is retracting his own foreskin? Boys will tug and play - and it's okay! The foreskin will begin its natural separation process during this early exploration time for most boys. This is normal. Make hand washing fun! If irritation occurs, apply Calmoseptine to the outside of the penis to soothe. No retraction, unless by a boy himself. Further information also at: IntactHealth.orgSavingSons.org
Intact men in America have historically been cared for improperly. It is not the fact that they have foreskin that is sending them into urology offices. It is the fact that their foreskin had been torn away from the glans as infants, causing scar tissue that led to an injury, preventing the foreskin from functioning normally. As long as we are not damaging babies by retracting and tearing the foreskin, this will not be an issue. -Jennifer D'Jamoos, CCCE, Founder, IntactNetwork.orgMedical Professionals for Genital Autonomy


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Turn Your Crib into a CoSleeper





Thank you to Jennifer Coias for her helpful video!

For more on the monumental benefits of sharing sleep with your baby, see the articles on this page: CoSleeping Review of Research, at the Safe CoSleeping Page on Facebook, or in the CoSleeping group. Dr. Sears on CoSleeping: https://www.AskDrSears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping

Note: Cosleeping can take the form of bedsharing (sleeping on the same safe surface) or nearby sleep sharing (within an arm's reach of baby on different surfaces). Both have physiological benefits for baby and mom, both foster a more effective breastfeeding relationship, improve milk supply, and both protect from SIDS risks during the first year of life by regulating respiration, cardiovascular function and hormone levels. At our home we use beds (on the floor) that are pushed together for ample, comfortable, safe sleeping space (first photo below). Like many others, we've never used a crib. However, if you already have a crib that you'd like to make use of, turning it into a cosleeper is a very useful idea. In any baby sleep situation, being aware of the humidity level in the room, and knowing what the ideal humidity level is for healthy sleep is an important thing to consider.

King and Queen together on floor

Photo examples of how parents have turned their crib into a side car cosleeper.
To submit your photo, send to ContactDrMomma (at) gmail.com
Further resources at the Safe CoSleeping community on Facebook.







J.C.'s cosleeping set-up

Jennifer's cosleeping set-up

Nina's cosleeping set-up

Lacey's set up - mattress sets together on floor.

one couple's 'family bed'

Bonnie's side-car set up

Tara's mattress sets together on the floor set up (King & Twin)

Carrie's cosleeping set up created by her MIL while on vacation

Kristen's side-car set up

Samantha's side-car set up

Laura's side-car set up

Missy's cosleeping set-up (side-car; set up for cosleeping with 3 year old and new baby)

Maria cosleeping mattress sets together on floor (crib has become a night stand ;) )

Angela's mattress sets together for giant cosleeping surface

Ebony's cosleeping set up (Queen and Single XL)

Jo's side car set up

Brianna's mattress sets together on floor set up

Karlee's cosleeping set up (two King mattress sets together on floor)

Heather's cosleeping set-up: Queen and Full together on floor

Leigh's DYI giant bed: 2 Queens together, Ikea frames clamped together, homemade headboard. Leigh sewed sheet sets together for this bed.

Ariel's cosleeping set up - two queens together; bedspread is 2 king spreads sewn together sideways

Laura's cosleeping set-up: King and Single together

CoSleeping Discussion Group:
FB.com/groups/CoSleeping

Public Safe CoSleeping Page:
FB.com/CoSleeping

Peaceful Parenting Group:
FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting


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