What new moms want to know about feeding a newborn

feeding your newbornYou’re home with your sweet bundle of joy and probably have more questions than answers. It won’t be long before you notice a trend – in those first few days and weeks it’s all about what’s going into the baby, and what’s coming out. We want to make sure your baby is healthy and gaining weight.  Here are some general guidelines to help you during those first days and weeks of feeding a newborn.

Breastfeeding your baby

Breastfeeding is a great source of nutrition for your baby, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity to bond with your newborn. We encourage moms to try breastfeeding. While some mothers and babies immediately get into a breastfeeding groove, most take a little more time and need some support to successfully breastfeed. Mott offers a Breastfeeding Support Clinic and lactation consultants to help. If you choose not to breastfeed or if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out, don’t worry, bottle feeding is also a great option.

How do I know if my baby is getting enough to eat?

The best way to monitor that is to track the number of wet diapers each day. Continue reading

Baby’s here, and so are the “Baby Blues”

what moms should know about the baby bluesHaving a baby is one of the most joyous occasions of one’s life, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also come with emotional ups and downs. More than half of all new moms will experience postpartum “blues” about three to four days after delivery. Baby blues are caused by sleep deprivation and hormone fluctuations and typically pass in about one to two weeks.

To help cope with the baby blues, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Eating well helps, as does getting sleep. Try to sleep when the baby does. Limit well-meaning visitors who may be more of a burden than help for the first several weeks. If you had a c-section, realize that your baby blues may be exacerbated by the stress hormones released while your surgical site heals.

For the first few weeks after baby is born, focus on the fundamentals — eating well and sleeping (for both you and the baby). Spend time bonding with your baby and don’t worry if the house gets dirty or you haven’t showered for a day or two. By the time the baby is six weeks old, life will settle down a bit, and it will settle down even more so by the time he or she is four months old. That’s a relatively short time period to just focus on the fundamentals of caring for yourself and your baby.

Some women have more than the baby blues, they have post-partum depression. Continue reading

Are you ready? Back to school tips for parents

Back to school tips for parentsAs the lazy, hazy days of summer wind down, many parents (and some children) are ready to get back to the routine of the school year. That routine is one of the key ingredients of a successful back-to-school experience.  Try out these back to school tips to make your adjustment back into the school year routine a smoother one.

Bedtime

After a summer of what was most likely a fluctuating bed time, reintroducing the school-night bedtime can be a challenge. It’s easiest if you gradually work back into it instead of waiting until the night before the first day. About a week before school starts, gradually start moving bedtime closer to what it will be during the school year. Move it up 20 or 30 minutes every evening until you’re back on track. Also start re-establishing a bedtime routine — bath/shower, brushing teeth, reading, etc. Whatever your school year routine is, get started with that now.

Wake Up

What’s your typical morning routine? If your child uses an alarm clock, start setting that now and gradually work into the time he or she will have to wake for school. If you are your child’s alarm clock, do the same thing and start waking him or her up earlier about a week before school starts so day one isn’t made more difficult by a sleepy student.
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Running with children

Tips on how to introduce your child to running, even if you’re not a runner yourself!

Tips on getting started running with your kidsRunning is a great activity families can enjoy together. You don’t have to be a marathoner or even a running enthusiast to get started having some fun while being active with your family. It’s also a great opportunity to be a role model of living an active lifestyle. If you’ve never run before, start out slow and work up your stamina.

Here are some tips for getting started running with children:

How young is too young?

There’s no data that shows there is a lower age limit for starting running. That’s best evaluated on an individual basis. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate your child’s interest (they may need a little prompting at first, but remember, this is for fun, not training for the Olympics).

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It’s (sports) physical time

What parents should know about sports physicalsAll high school and middle school athletes in the state of Michigan are required to have a sports physical each year. While some schools and organizations offer mass sports physical events, a sports physical is something that is easily incorporated into your child’s annual checkup with his or her healthcare provider. Seeing the same healthcare provider annually creates a sense of continuity and allows you, your child and your healthcare provider to develop a strong relationship.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently conducted a national survey on parents’ thoughts about sports physicals. The poll found that the vast majority, 74 percent, of children get their physical from their regular healthcare provider and 90 percent agreed that a sports physical is not a substitute for regular check-ups.

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Insect repellants and kids: Is DEET safe?

Insect repellants and kidsSummer means sun, backyard barbecues and lots of outside time.  And all of those things generally also come along with a generous dose of bugs.  Unfortunately for us in Michigan, it’s shaping up to be a buggy summer – especially when it comes to ticks.

The best way to avoid the not-so-fun bugs of summer is to wear long sleeves and long pants, and to avoid dusk, which is often the buggiest time of day.

Bugs tend to like perfumes.  Your 8 month old is probably not wearing perfume, of course, but it is worth thinking about the scent of shampoos and lotions you use on your children, as well.

Even if you avoid dusk and wear long sleeves, there are certainly times when you can’t avoid bugs. That’s when many of us reach for bug repellants.  Continue reading