Archive for the 'feeding and nutrition' Category

gumdrop pacifier

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, my husband and I hemmed and hawed about whether to introduce a pacifier.  We worried that our daughter would have nipple confusion or become addicted and we’d one day have to pull it and go through a torturous withdrawal process.  Well, no nipple confusion, but she did most definitely fall in love with the pacifier.  This love affair ended up being such a great thing for her and getting rid of the pacifier was so much less painful than we had imagined.

So, when our second daughter was born this summer, we quickly reached for the pacifier as our trusty soothing device.  Much to our dismay, she spat out each and every one and would only suck on our fingers.  We tried and tried and tried.  On one particularly bad night I ran to the internet looking for the pacifier that would allow my daughter the sucking for soothing she clearly needed that was neither our finger or my breast.  And I found it.  It’s called the Gumdrop Pacifier.

I am a firm believer that babies need to suck for soothing and that this is one way to trigger the soothing reflex.  If you are one of those parents who worries that there is something wrong with using a pacifier, I would argue that you could be doing your child a big favor and could find yourself having a more contented baby.

developmental drinks for kids

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Y Water

Yes, you read that right.  This past weekend I was at South Street Seaport for Children’s Fest and came across a table handing out Y Water, a new developmental drink for kids.  Y-water is the first in this new category of drinks for kids.  They currently have four flavors with different constellations of vitamins and minerals.  All of the ingredients are organic and each is a low-calorie drink (as opposed to juice, which is packed with calories!!).  To top it off, the packaging is a cool, molecular-looking y shape that can be used as a toy.  Y Water sells y-knots to bind them together for your child to make whatever she pleases!

important product warning – mommy’s bliss nipple cream

Friday, June 13th, 2008

If you have this product – throw it away. If you are using it, stop immediately. A friend and new mother shared the May 29, 2008 post from the FDA informing consumers to neither use nor purchase Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream.  Here is what the FDA said:

The product contains potentially harmful ingredients that may cause respiratory distress or vomiting and diarrhea in infants. The product is promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe and heal dry or cracked nipples. Potentially harmful ingredients in the product are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. Chlorphenesin relaxes skeletal muscle and can depress the central nervous system and cause slow or shallow breathing in infants. Phenoxyenthanol, a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications, can also depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants. Mothers and caregivers should seek immediate medical attention if their child shows signs and symptoms of decreases in appetite, difficulty in awakening, limpness of extremities or a decrease in an infant’s strength of grip and a change in skin color.

at last, a great breastfeeding resource

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I came across an online breastfeeding resource from Canada today that I wish I’d found when my daughter was a newborn.  Dr. Jack Newman (drjacknewman.com) is a great site with articles, videos and a healthy list of links.  It is surprisingly difficult to find good breastfeeding resources online – look no further!

Why organic?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

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Organic products are cropping up (no pun intended) everywhere these days. And while we know that organic is better, do we really understand why? Or which items we should splurge on and where we can skimp?

Pesticides are used to improve crop yields which in turn has increased the overall quantity of fresh produce available. This increase in supply has meant positive things for public health. However, pesticides also damage the environment and accumulate in ecosystems. Some pesticides can cause a range of adverse effects on human health, including cancer, acute and chronic injury to the nervous system, lung damage, reproductive dysfunction, and possibly dysfunction of the endocrine and immune systems.

Dr. Natalie Geary, a pediatrician in NYC, states that children are more vulnerable to these toxins than adults. She also points out on her blog that studies on the affects of these chemicals has not been done on children during critical stages of development, so the best information we have relates to adults. That, quite frankly, isn’t good enough.

The Environmental Working Group has posted a wallet guide of produce they tested for pesticides after washing or peeling. Here is what they have to say about the importance of choosing produce wisely:

“There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long lasting effects. Because the toxic effects of pesticides are worrisome, not well understood, or in some cases completely unstudied, shoppers are wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.”

Clearly we, as parents, really need to do our homework when it comes to choosing which foods to feed our children. Our food doesn’t come with a guarantee that it’s safest for our children, though many of us would argue it should. The Consumers Union suggests,

“the simplest solution is to choose organic foods, which contain two-thirds fewer residues.” They recommend that the foods listed below, which are highest in pesticides, are best to purchase organic.

 

  1. Winter Squash
  2. Wheat
  3. Strawberries
  4. Green Beans
  5. Celery
  6. Apples
  7. Peaches
  8. Grapes
  9. Spinach
  10. Pears

In my house we are also striving to buy local and seasonal produce to minimize the environmental impact of importation. Thank goodness NYC has bountiful farmer’s markets!

got breastmilk?

Monday, August 13th, 2007

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Like many other breastfeeding mothers out there, I quickly found myself with a freezer full of breastmilk that was not likely all going to get used before the three month expiration. I figured there would have to be a good use for this nutrient rich “perfect” baby food. And in fact there is: donating milk to National Milk Bank means that your milk goes to premature and/or ill babies in hospitals in the US. Aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get when you send off each cooler filled with your breastmilk, the milk bank also treats you to a hospital-quality electric breast pump free of charge for you to use and keep ($300 value). There is no minimum donation required, so you can certainly ensure that you always have enough on hand for your child. The process to become a donor is rather simple and includes some paperwork and a blood draw (they will even send a phlebotomist to your home) and you’re ready to begin. You now have several good pint-sized reasons to hook yourself up to the pump each day!