Happy Travels: Best Kids' Tablet for Less Stress Travel with Children

By Danelle Day


Pre-kids I believed I would never allow my children to watch screens until they were at least 5 years old or more... and then for a very limited amount of time. My own mother limited our screens to no more than 30 minutes/day as children, and while I hated it at the time, I grew to appreciate that this forced us into other activities. So my intentions were good. They were rooted in what I wanted for my kids -- the best!

Then life happened. 

And mothering happened.

And my husband was deployed for many months at a time, and to see him (or any family) I often had to travel cross-country with children and a baby by myself. To do so (long car rides or on flights) I had to keep the kids HAPPY. And to do so, screens -- Baby Einstein, Baby Signing Time, Wonder Pets, Thomas the Train, Paw Patrol, Blues Clues, and everything in between -- came into our lives. I learned that having a happy, calm toddler is more important than rigidly attending to my no-screens desire. The 'lesser evil' is Baby Einstein if the alternative is a crying, stressed, unhappy, cortisol-spiked traveling tyke (and mom)! I wish that someone had put this little compilation together for me years ago (though technology is far different now from when I had to balance a portable DVD player and hope I could keep discs from scratching while traveling...)

For those who need an affordable option for videos on long trips, this combo is perfect for little kids. It is a combo not easily broken, lasts forever, and you can stock the micro SD card with kid-friendly, brain-stirring shows (for babies under 30 months I do most recommend the various Baby Einstein and Baby Signing Time videos):

Amazon Fire: https://amzn.to/2TPABdk $49

Foam Kids Case: https://amzn.to/2PXEEGu $19 -- our kids have dropped, thrown, spilled on, etc. this and it keeps things secure -- they are better than the Amazon Fire kids' edition because they have a holder that doubles as a stand, and the foam casing is thicker.

Screen protector: https://amzn.to/2r3sFrW (3 for $6) -- these are so great that it has even held together a broken Amazon Fire screen for over a year for us without allowing it to crack or break further! It was broken before we found the foam cases above... 

Micro SD card of any type/size (depending on how much you want to hold): https://amzn.to/2ztmMJg (price varied)

Baby Einstein DVDs (can be transferred to digital files or purchased online in some locations as digital files; best videos for babies under 36 months): https://amzn.to/2BAfJ1F

Baby Signing Time DVDs (also able to be transferred from DVD to digital, or downloaded in some locations as digital files; best videos for babies under 36 months): https://amzn.to/2SevaUf


Happy Travels!



Please, Respect Your Wives as Mothers


My wife is a best friend kind of woman. She has hour upon hours of long conversations with her friends ALL the time, and occasionally I get to hear little pieces.

Recently she was talking to a friend and they were talking about this thing called "cosleeping" and I heard the other person ask, "Doesn't your husband hate that? My husband would never let me do that..."

This blew my mind, and has bothered me for days. So I just decided to come out as a man and set a few things straight.

I do NOT hate any part of what makes my wife the mother that she is.

I would NEVER degrade or disregard anything that she feels like doing for my children.

Do I have to squeeze into a small corner of the bed sometimes? Yeah? But, my God, how beautiful does she look holding my children? Making them feel loved and safe?

The thing is that our wives only experience these little seasons in motherhood for a short time. They carry our babies, they birth them, they nurture them, and maybe while they are little they let them crawl into our beds and snuggle; but eventually our babies get bigger, they grow up, they get "too cool" for snuggles, so why would we as men want to steal a single second of this time from them?

Being mothers is part of their identity and what's a year or three out of decades of life spent together?

I just want to say that I am proud of the decisions my wife makes as a mom and I support every single one of them. I would never want to rob her of this time she has or these seasons that are, in reality, too short to not enjoy.

Please respect your wives as mothers.

-David Brinkley

*******

Related Reading on CoSleeping and Healthy Baby Sleep:
http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/06/truth-about-co-sleeping-how-stats.html

CoSleeping Community: FB.com/groups/CoSleeping

This piece originally appeared publicly on Facebook.

Midwifery Care Leads to Better Birth Outcome


Yet another study has demonstrated that birth with an experienced midwife reduces the likelihood of problems during pregnancy and birth. With this study the focus is on women of lower socioeconomic status (more often positively correlated with pregnancy and birth complications). Researchers looked for three problems in particular: small size of baby (SGA = small for gestational age), having a pre-term birth (PTB) and having a baby with a low birth weight (LBW). 

Researchers compared the outcomes of 4705 women cared for by midwives in British Columbia, Canada, with 45,114 cared for by general practitioners (GPs), and 8053 cared for by obstetricians. 

Women who received midwifery care had the best outcomes of all groups. With a midwife attending to pregnancy and birth, women were less likely to have a small or low birth weight baby, and they were less likely to have a baby born preterm.

Reduced prevalence of small-for-gestational-age and preterm birth for women of low socioeconomic position: a population-based cohort study comparing antenatal midwifery and physician models of care. BMJ Open. 2018 Oct 3;8(10):e022220.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to investigate if antenatal midwifery care was associated with lower odds of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth, preterm birth (PTB) or low birth weight (LBW) compared with general practitioner (GP) or obstetrician (OB) models of care for women of low socioeconomic position.

SETTING: This population-level, retrospective cohort study used province-wide maternity, medical billing and demographic data from British Columbia, Canada.

PARTICIPANTS: Our study included 57 872 pregnant women, with low socioeconomic position, who: were residents of British Columbia, Canada, carried a singleton fetus, had low to moderate medical/obstetric risk, delivered between 2005 and 2012 and received medical insurance premium assistance.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: We report rates, adjusted ORs (aOR), and 95% CIs for the primary outcome, SGA birth (<the 10th percentile), and secondary outcomes, PTB (<37 weeks' completed gestation) and LBW (<2500 g).

RESULTS: Our sample included 4705 midwifery patients, 45 114 GP patients and 8053 OB patients. Odds of SGA birth were reduced for patients receiving antenatal midwifery versus GP (aOR 0.71, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.82) or OB care (aOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.69). Odds of PTB were lower for antenatal midwifery versus GP (aOR 0.74, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.86) or OB patients (aOR 0.53, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.62). Odds of LBW were reduced for midwifery versus GP (aOR 0.66, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.82) or OB patients (aOR 0.43, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.54).

CONCLUSION: Antenatal midwifery care in British Columbia, Canada, was associated with lower odds of SGA birth, PTB and LBW, for women of low socioeconomic position, compared with physician models of care. Results support the development of policy to ensure antenatal midwifery care is available and accessible for women of low socioeconomic position. Future research is needed to determine the underlying mechanisms linking midwifery care to better birth outcomes for women of low socioeconomic position.

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Mama, You Are Home To Me




Dear Mama,

Could you wake up for a minute? I know it's hard for you to open your eyes - we haven't slept a lot yet tonight. But Mama, I kinda need you right now. You see, the thing is, I feel a bit lonely at the moment. I'm laying here and I'm somewhat cold.

I didn't mean to cry so I'm sorry I did. I've been trying to get your attention by making some noises for a while now but you were in such a deep sleep, you couldn't hear me. I don't know how else to get your attention. During the day, I see and hear you all make noises and I see you respond well to each other. You talk to me like that too. And I try very hard but I don't know how to do that yet. So I cry so you'd listen to me.

Mama, I'm sorry for crying. Like I said, I feel a bit lonely. I just spent nine months inside your belly where I've always felt safe. It's a bit scary to me to be in such a big bed all by myself. I miss your heartbeat, the rushing of your blood, the warmth and the food. I miss your breathing and your hands you put over me to protect me when I still was inside your belly.

So Mama, would you please listen to me? I'm calling for you in the only way I'm able to. I feel really alone. I need your warmth and your peace for a moment. I need to know for sure you're still here. So can I lay with you for a little while to feel your warmth?

Some cuddles first. Mama, this feels so nice. When I feel you holding me while you gently rock me and when I can smell and feel you, I feel so safe. I can feel your hand on my back and my ear is placed just right on your heart. Mom, this is home to me. Do you remember back when we were always together? I always felt like this back then. Sometimes I miss that time. It was so nice to be close to you.

I hear you softly whisper into my ear, "Everything is okay little one, everything is fine." Your voice is so soft and familiar. You smell good mom. A bit like me and a bit like you.

Mama, will you hold me just a little longer? I'm really tired and I feel so relaxed in your arms. It almost feels like before. I'm going to close my eyes for a little while, okay? Can I please stay with you here a little longer to enjoy your love and your presence?

And can I drink some more? Mama, since we're laying like this anyway... I'd like to ask you something. I know, it sounds pretty sad because I can't talk like you can yet so I'm sorry for crying again. But mama, can I please drink some more? My throat is dry and my tummy is empty and since we're here anyway... maybe I can have a few more sips? Your milk tastes delicious and is so warm and familiar.

Thanks Mom, that's exactly what I needed. I was really really thirsty. Your finger on my cheek feels great by the way. And you're smiling at me. Nothing makes me happier than seeing your smile and feeling your presence. I'll close my eyes again, okay? Please don't put me away straight away, I really enjoy falling asleep here. This feels really good. Can I stay with you?

My tummy hurts. What is that?! Mama! Can you feel this? Mom? My tummy hurts so bad. What is happening? Please help me mama, I don't know what's happening. I've never felt anything like this.

Thank you for rubbing my belly mom. It's late and everyone is asleep. I'm so happy you're here for me. I don't know what I'd do without you mama. My tummy already hurts less and when you hold me like that... I feel pretty tired. Maybe I'll close my eyes again. Please hold me a little longer?

Can I have more cuddles? You won't believe this mama! I'm a bit scared. I just woke up and I didn't know where I was for a second. It was all dark and a little cold again. I know you're tired mama. But I really missed you, can I please be with you again for a while?

Mama, I can see that you're tired. There are tears in your eyes, and every now and then a tear rolls down your cheek. I'm sorry Mama, but I feel really strange in this new world. I miss home. I miss always being close to you.


Sometimes I feel a tear fall on my head while you gently rock me. You're singing me a song so that I can go back to sleep. You softly dry the tears that fell on my head with your hand. That feels nice Mom, do that again?

I fall asleep on your chest. You feel so soft, so familiar. There's nowhere I sleep better than here. My legs are pulled up, just like they were back when I still lived with you. I can hear your heartbeat again and I move along with your breathing.

Mama, you're the best place to be. I'm so glad I get to come to you over and over again. I don't like being unable to just ask either but I'm really happy you listen to me when I call for you.

Soon, I'll be able to be there for you. Or for my brothers or sisters. Or for my friends in school. You're teaching me how to take care of someone. You're teaching me that you listen, even when I can't ask. You're teaching me I'm safe, even when sometimes it feels like I'm not. You're teaching me that you love me, even when you're very tired. Thank you.

And Mama, I love you.

{author unknown}




AMAZON




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The Last Time




The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
You will never be the same.

You might long for the person you were before,
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feeding and burping,
Whining and fighting,
Naps, or lack of naps.

It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don't forget...

There is a last time for everything.

There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time.

They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip, then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.

You will scrub their hair in the bath one night 
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.

They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.

They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake for this.

One afternoon you will sing 'the wheels on the bus' and do all the actions,
Then you'll never sing that song again.

They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.

You will read a final bedtime story, and wipe your last dirty face.

They will one day run to you with arms raised, for the very last time.

The thing is, you won't even know it's the last time until there are no more times,
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
Remember there are only so many of them,
And when they are gone,
You will yearn for just one more day of them -
For one last time.

Author Unknown


Your Baby's Signs of Hunger




This poster, created by the Women's and Newborn Services of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, highlights a human baby's hunger cues - her way of communicating to parents that she needs to eat.

As highlighted in the 2010 article, 7 Breastfeeding Fact You Should Know, parents are reminded that stirring, mouth opening, turning a head (to seek a nipple) and rooting are signs that your baby is hungry. Stretching, becoming agitated, and sucking on her fist, fingers or thumb is your baby's way of telling you that she is really hungry. By the time fussing and crying start, your baby is experiencing hunger that is physically painful. It is the type of hunger you experience after your belly has been empty for 14-16 hours. Your baby's belly is very small - this is the reason she gets full so quickly, and then hungry again so soon. Her tiny stomach cannot handle more than this, and does not have any place to 'store' some for later. She is entirely dependent upon you to provide that fill-up according to her cues that she is hungry.

Too often new parents believe they should schedule feedings or wait until their baby cries to nurse. But crying is a late indicator of extreme hunger. Always eating when you are so famished, when your belly hurts and stress hormones from being anxious to eat are at an ultimate high, leads to things like reflux, gas, stomach aches, 'colic,' and general agitation and general withdrawal from the world around - especially if you are brand new and helpless in this world.

Don't wait until your baby is in pain to nurse. Instead, feed at the first cue of hunger, and everyone will be much healthier and happier all around.

For related reading, see the Breastfeeding Resource Page.


A little tiny tummy wisdom from Baby Wisdom (UK):

Size of a baby's stomach.
Day One - the size of a cherry
Day Three - the size of a radish
Week Two - the size of a large egg
Month Two - the size of an apricot

For this reason, babies need to eat small amounts very often throughout the day and night time hours. Watch your little one and his/her cues. Nursing on cue, around the clock, leads to a baseline level of health, development, and happiness for babies, and their parents.


*******

The 10 Most Important Things I've Learned Since Losing My Son

By Richard Pringle
Originally on Facebook
Also at The Mirror and Newsner



1. You can never, ever kiss and love too much.

2. You always have time. Stop what you’re doing and play, even if it’s just for a minute. Nothing is that important that it can’t wait.


3. Take as many photos and record as many videos as humanly possible. One day that might be all you have.

4. Don’t spend money, spend time. You think what you spend matters? It doesn’t. What you do matters. Jump in puddles, go for walks. Swim in the sea, build a camp, and have fun. That’s all they want. I can’t remember what we bought Hughie, I can only remember what we did.


5. Sing. Sing songs together. My happiest memories are of Hughie sitting on my shoulders or sitting next to me in the car singing our favorite songs. Memories are created in music.

6. Cherish the simplest of things. Night times, bedtimes, reading stories. Dinners together. Lazy Sundays. Cherish the simplest of times. They are what I miss the most. Don’t let those special times pass you by unnoticed.


7. Always kiss those you love goodbye, and if you forget, go back and kiss them. You never know if it’s the last time you’ll get the chance.

8. Make boring things fun. Shopping trips, car journeys, walking to the shops. Be silly, tell jokes, laugh, smile, and enjoy yourselves. They’re only chores if you treat them like that. Life is too short not to have fun.


9. Keep a journal. Write down everything your little ones do that lights up your world. The funny things they say, the cute things they do. We only started doing this after we lost Hughie. We wanted to remember everything. Now we do it for Hettie, and we will for Hennie too. You’ll have these memories written down forever, and when you're older you can look back and cherish every moment. 

10. If you have your children with you: To kiss goodnight. To have breakfast with. To walk to school. To take to university. To watch get married. You are blessed. Never ever forget that. ❤


End Note: Richard Pringle, of Hastings U.K., went through the most unimaginable pain a parent can know when his son, Hughie, passed away following a brain hemorrhage at age 3. One year after Hughie's death, Richard shared his list of the most important things he learned. It’s a list that everyone should read and take to heart. It is a reminder not to take our loved ones for granted.

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Mother Loses Baby to SIDS and Cautions Parents to Protect Their Own from Circumcision


The following is a letter to Saving Our Sons, the intact education branch of Peaceful Parenting:


I want to thank you for all you do in educating people about the cruel and unnecessary act of male genital mutilation. You work to open so many minds on this archaic process built on lies.

I recently lost my second son to SIDS at 24 days old. He was a beautiful healthy baby boy who tragically passed away in his sleep. The medical examiner found absolutely nothing wrong with him. He had an extensive autopsy, and all reports showed nothing wrong.

The hospital I birthed him at kept asking me over and over again if I was going to have him circumcised. Everytime my answer was a clear NO! A day later as I nursed my sweet, perfect baby boy, a nurse came into my room and said, "I am here to take him for his procedure."

I asked, "What procedure?"

She answered, "His circumcision."

I said, "He is NOT being circumcised."

She replied, "Well, he is on the board out in the nurse's station to be circumcised."

I said, "Absolutely not! I don't know who put him on that board but I have clearly stated over and over he is not to be circumcised."

She turned red in the face and apologized. She said someone must have made a mistake.

My point is that a parent has to be diligent in making sure that even though they say NO to genital cutting, that is not done 'by mistake.'

After losing my baby boy I realized that I had to speak up and say something. I am having a difficult time as it is, and if he had suffered that unimaginable pain in his short life I would never be able to live with myself. I just want to warn other mothers and fathers. Some parents send their babies to the nursery to get some rest, and if they take them to circumcise, then the parents would not know until it is too late.

One thing I take solace in is knowing my son never had to experience any suffering, including circumcision. If I had not questioned that nurse he would have been wheeled away to face mutilation that no baby boy deserves.

❤ Audrea


Awareness raising stickers and cards at Etsy

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