Nov 292013
 


A pacifier (North American English), dummy (Britain and other Commonwealth countries), binky, or soother (in some countries) is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple given to an infant or other young child to suck upon. In its standard appearance it has a teat, mouth shield, and handle. The mouth shield and/or the handle is large enough to avoid the danger of the child choking on it or swallowing it.

The decision of using – or not using – the pacifier is up to you as parents. Most babies have a strong sucking reflex. Some babies even suck their thumbs or fingers before they’re born! Beyond nutrition, sucking often has a soothing, calming effect. That’s why many parents rank pacifiers as must haves, right up there with diaper wipes and baby swings. Are pacifiers really OK for your baby, though? There are many researches on this subject. The best is to decide yourself after reading enough on this.

As parents; we were not thinking to introduce pacifier to our first son. After reading a lot and talking with friends / family members, we have changed our decision. Having a pacifier around helped us a lot (sometime you don’t have enough patience to deal with little one…). However, we have never kept it around 24 hours. We had a rule; use it when it’s really needed and use it at the sleep time.Our son was allowed to keep it only in his crib. At one point, he was going back to his room ‘to enjoy’ it couple of minutes 🙂

Still we had the one big question in our mind all the time : ‘when to stop giving pacifier, and how?’. We have decided to stop it when our little one was around 18 months old. And with this incredible process, the stop was painless with NO CRY at all. Please read this for the process to say ‘bye to pacifier’ : How to stop using pacifier

We have tried to give pacifier to our second son as well; he didn’t want it. It was sad for us, because we didn’t have that great helper when we needed… But what to do? All kids have different personalities, and basically he didn’t want to have it. End of the story !

Benefits of Pacifiers

If you want a list of benefits, here it is :

  • Pacifiers might help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – Maybe this is the most important one
  • It soothes a fussy baby
  • It offers temporary distraction (related with the previous one)
  • It might help your baby fall asleep (this was the case for us)
  • It might ease discomfort during flights
  • Pacifiers are disposable (if your baby wants to suck, s/he may start sucking his/her thumb. If this is the case, it is harder to stop this habit)



Researchers have found that use of a pacifier is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). A meta-analytic study published by American Pediatric Association in Pediatrics in October 2005 supports this benefit to one year of age. However, other experts, while acknowledging the correlation between SIDS risk reduction and pacifier use, questioned the causality of the findings.

Some parents prefer the use of a pacifier to the child sucking their thumb or fingers.

Researchers in Brazil have shown that neither “orthodontic” nor standard pacifiers prevent dental problems if children continue sucking past the age of three years.

It is commonly reported anecdotally that pacifier use among stimulant users helps reduce bruxism and thus prevents tooth damage.

Drawbacks of Pacifiers

Of course it has some dis-advantages as well. Here are couple points :

  • Early pacifier use might interfere with breast-feeding (there’s no real proof exists for this).
  • Your baby might become dependent on the pacifier (timing is really important to stop using it)
  • Pacifier use might increase the risk of middle ear infections
  • Prolonged pacifier use might lead to dental problems (if you don’t stop it before 3 years old, this may be an issue)

It is commonly believed that pacifiers interfere with breastfeeding, by reducing milk production. However, trials have not found any effect on duration of breastfeeding from using a pacifier. It may have clinical benefits for preterm babies, such as helping them progress from tube to bottle feeding.

Research suggests that infants who use pacifiers may have more ear infections (otitis media). It is not clear, though, whether avoiding the use of a pacifier can prevent ear infections.

It is also commonly believed that using a pacifier will lead to dental problems. However if the pacifier is used for less than around three years, it does not appear to lead to long-term damage. Similarly, there appears to be no strong evidence that using a pacifier delays speech development by preventing babies from practising their speaking skills.



Pacifier Guidelines

  • Let your baby to decide to have it or not. Don’t force it.
  • You can try giving her the pacifier before sleeping (But if it falls out of your baby’s mouth while s/he’s sleeping, don’t put it back in.)
  • Never tie a pacifier around your baby’s neck or to her crib! She could strangle in the cord or ribbon. It’s safe to attach the pacifier to her clothes with a clip made especially for the job.
  • Keep the pacifier clean by rinsing it with warm water. Replace it as soon as it shows small cracks or other signs of wear.
  • Don’t ‘clean’ a pacifier by putting it in your mouth (actually this is not ‘cleaning’ !)

 

After reading all these info, if you decide to have one here is the couple examples with good rating :




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Nov 112013
 

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone] Usually we see “Bottle Warmers” in baby registry lists. However, I must say that technically you don’t need a bottle warmer. I had one and (if I’m not mistaken) I used only 1 or 2 times. Mainly because I was breastfeeding (not a real need for a bottle warmer) and when I needed to warm breast milk I used to put the bottle in hot water in a bowl and wait a couple minutes, that’s it.

However; this doesn’t mean that you won’t use it. If you want to have one, pick a cheaper one because all of them do -basically- the same thing. The price doesn’t mean that works better. Read reviews and then you will get the idea.

One very important tip: Never use a microwave to warm the breastmilk – it kills all the nutrients! If you’re breastfeeding and giving breast milk in a bottle you cannot put that in the microwave – you’ll kill off all the useful antibodies.

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Nov 042013
 

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone] One of the items in the baby needs list (or baby registry checklist) is Bottle Sterilizers. When bottle feeding your newborn, it is important to make sure the supplies you are using are clean. There are 2 main types of sterilizers in the market :




Microwave sterilizer

This kind of sterilizer is much cheaper than the electric one. I used one of these. I breastfeed both my sons, but I gave the formula to my older one when he was 9 months old. So I used this type sterilizer at that time very often, and I was very happy. The logic is simple; you put the bottles into the sterilizer – add some water – close it and put it in the microwave. It creates steam and you receive all the bottles germ-free. This type of sterilizers are usually between $15 – $25 range.

Electric sterilizer

This also works with the steam but instead of putting to microwave you are plugging it into the electric power. Electric sterilizers are mostly around $50 – $60 range (there is more example models as well, like WABI BABY Electric Baby Bottle Steam Sterilizer and Dryer).

 

Should I sterilize baby bottles after every use?

The simple and short answer is “No”. You should sterilize them before using for the first time after buying. After that, many pediatricians feel that dishwashers or a good scrubbing with hot soapy water will do the job of getting the bottles and nipples clean and free of germs. Just be sure to place the bottles in the top rack of the dishwasher so they don’t melt. You can use a small basket for parts like the nipples. It’s not a bad idea to sterilize your supply of bottles once in a while (twice a week maybe), just to be on the safe side, and especially after your baby’s been sick (when s/he is sick, better to sterilize them after every use).

On the other hand; more and more many people thinks that sterilizing the bottles is not necessary anymore. They say; “In the old days when water supplies were not reliably clean, it made sense to sterilize baby bottles. But now, sterilizing bottles, nipples, and water are mostly unnecessary“. However, we prefer to be on the safe side, that’s why we used a microwave sterilizer.

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Oct 092013
 

Baby monitors are a fairly new invention. The idea behind a baby monitor is that you can have the ability to move around the house or your yard and still be able to keep tabs on your baby by listening or now viewing your baby.

This can help alert you to a crying baby, a baby who needs your help or just help you watch baby while he or she sleeps.

Baby Monitor’s Quality of Sound

Obviously the most important quality of your monitor will be the quality of reception that you get.

By closely observing the distance guidelines on your monitor, most monitors are very able to handle the average family’s requests.

A few households may have problems with interference of baby monitor. If this will be the case, you will need to buy another model.

Mobility for Baby Monitor:

The baby/nursery monitor that you buy will have different levels of mobility. The base usually plugs into the wall, usually at the nursery or wherever your baby is sleeping.

The receiver can plug in or be mobile. If you intend to use the monitor as you move from room to room, you will want to invest in the mobile kind, versus the stationary variety.

Multiple Monitors:

Perhaps mom and dad both want to monitor baby sounds, or even use one as a back up monitor – get a baby monitor with more than one receiver!

This allows you both the have a baby monitor handy or have one charge while you use the other. This also comes in handy if you tend to lose items like remote controls, phones, etc.

Television Monitors:

Some monitors offer you the ability to actually watch your baby. Now you can catch the baby in the act of removing their own diaper while playing silently in the crib!

Seriously the visual monitors are becoming more popular as they become more accessible and less expensive. Some monitors also offer you the ability to view baby via webcast. This is a nice touch when family members must be away from baby. With this way, you can keep an eye on your baby while your baby sitter is taking care of her / him.

Other attributes:

There are other fun attributes to baby monitors these days including

  • remote controls,
  • rechargeable batteries for the receivers,
  • notification if baby stirs or doesn’t stir,
  • even musical monitors!

Find one that works for your family!

I believe you -most likely- will need a baby monitor sometime down the road. Either in a couple of days after the birth, or after a couple of months.

After we put our sons to sleep, still we keep an eye on them with our camera (they are 5 and 2 years old now)!

Initially we have used a baby monitor – with no camera option (only voice). At that time, the video ones were really expensive and we didn’t have that much money. We bought just the voice transmitter version.

It worked great for many years (if I buy a new adapter, I think it still works. I burned its original adapter when we were using it in Turkey, forgot the voltage difference… 🙁 shame on me).

Here is an example one, with just audio option.

If your budget is really tight, you can go ahead with one of those ones. But if you have another 40-50 USD for the baby monitor, go for a video one.

After we moved to a house from an apartment, -initially for security reasons- we bought 2 IP cameras. Now we use those IP cameras as baby monitors.

IP cameras work on wifi network and you can view it from any device; phone – tablet – pc – etc and from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection (and they cost MUCH LESS than baby monitors).

The disadvantage of having IP camera as baby monitor is; not being able to carry it outside your home (if you will be going to a vacation, you cannot use this in the hotel).

The other disadvantage is possibility of hacking… If someone accesses your home network or somehow accesses to camera’s IP / username / password, they can view the camera. If you are really concern on this, you can turn it off when you’re not using it…

As an IT expert, I know the risks however still I use it. In our digital world, everything is risky… So, just use complex usernames / passwords and change them randomly…

On the other hand there are many advantages of IP cameras; being able to check it with any device – from anywhere on the world is great. For example, when you leave your baby with babysitter at home, you can still check them with the IP camera.

You can use these cameras as security devices as well (some has motion detectors and when there’s a motion at home, it can send an e-mail to you with a photo attached).

They are also capable of transmitting voice (some has capability to transmit voice on both directions).

Here is the conclusion;

  • if you travel a lot; go for a real baby monitor; easy to use – easy to carry.
  • But if you are planning to use it only at your home, I think it’s not worth to pay that much for it; just go for a IP camera.

Here are the links for both types:

 

The Best Baby Monitors:

I have compiled a list for the best baby monitors. Here are my selections:

Wifi Baby 4:

Complete with all the bells and whistles you could want from a monitor, WiFi baby leaves the method of how you keep an eye on baby up to you. Stream on your TV, computer, phone, tablet or Apple watch—with the freedom to keep other apps open at the same time. True to its name, WiFi baby only uses your password-protected wireless network, steering clear of the Cloud for security purposes. And its 30-foot night vision range is the longest we’ve seen yet.

 

Project Nursery Baby Monitor:

Two-way communication, an intuitive interface, and an additional on-the-go mini monitor are just some of the features that set this video monitor apart. A new addition to Project Nursery’s repertoire, it’s the first baby monitor with a mini-monitor clip, about the size of an iPod shuffle. Because you should be able to go about your day—with both hands—while you keep an eye on baby.

 

Vtech Safe and Sound Digital Video Monitor

Who’s staying up all night to keep an eye on baby? This adorable VTech owl. Equipped with VTech’s standard 1,000-foot range and talk-back intercom, this nursery-friendly video monitor comes with bonus features like a vibrating sound-alert on the parent unit. Compatible with up to four cameras, you can keep track of kids in different rooms too.

 

Summer Infant Babble Band

This wearable monitor was built with something important in mind: when baby is sleeping, there’s a good chance you are too. So why force yourself to keep your eyes and ears glued to a standard monitor or phone? Sure, the Babble Band—which only has audio capabilities, not video–lets you hear baby’s every cry if you’d like. But at the press of a button, the audio features can be switched to vibrate mode. If the monitor senses a lot of activity in the nursery, you’ll be alerted by a pulsating at your wrist. When fully charged, it can be used for 8 to 10 hours at a time.

 

iBaby M6T Monitor

Don’t miss a thing with 360 degree pan and 110 degree tilt, and don’t miss out on details like temperature and humidity levels either. The latest Wi-Fi baby monitor from iBaby Labs, the M6T streams video directly to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to navigate the room with a swipe of your finger. Two-way audio allows you to talk to baby, and even record messages to play when you’re unavailable.

 

Infant Optics DXR-5 Digital Video Monitor

Easy to use, energy efficient and interference-free, this little monitor has everything you need for half the price of most others on the market.

 

Nest Cam Video Monitor:

With an 8x zoom and 130 degrees field of view, the Nest Cam, which works with your computer, tablet or smartphone, isn’t just a baby monitor; it can be used for home security too. Added bonuses include HD streaming, night vision and two-way talk.

 

Philips Avent Digital Video Monitor

This cool-looking monitor is all about clarity; the high-res screen and sharp sound quality are what set it apart. And there are those additional perks like a backup battery and night vision.

 

 

Mar 252013
 

Hi all… Today I’ll try to make separate 2 lists :

1 – The baby gear that you will need – mostly- when your little one becomes couple of months old : the products that will help you to get out with your baby, and the products that your baby will use in your home.

2 – “Health and Safety” products. This group of products is also for the couple of months old babies – we need them especially when our little ones start to move around / crawl / walk… Our homes can be really dangerous places for the babies, if we don’t take any precaution steps. I read somewhere that the best thing to do is to crawl all around the house like a baby (sounds crazy, right? 🙂 ). And with this way, you can see / notice all possible dangers for the little ones. The list that I will provide won’t cover every home’s needs of course – but these are some of the basic staff that you will need to consider to buy when the time comes…

BABY GEARS

A. Carriers
B. Swings
C. Bouncers/Rockers
D. Playards
E. Baby gym and playmats
F. Baby seats
G. Activity centers
H. Travel beds

HEALTH AND SAFETY PRODUCTS

A. Monitors
B.  Gates and doorways
C.  Locks,straps,plugs,etc.
D.  Humidifiers

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