Newborn

Swaddling your newborn has important benefits!

As the director of our Newborn Care Program at TLC Family Care, I am asked many questions about infant care. I hear a lot of questions about the importance of swaddling. Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Certified Newborn Specialist and Postpartum Doula training through Parenting Resources in St. Louis. swaddling a newbornDuring class, I learned how to properly swaddle a baby using the “nurses swaddle” technique. My instincts and previous training about swaddling were confirmed; swaddling your baby can make a huge impact on the happiness of your baby and the amount of sleep you and your baby will get in the first few weeks and months of life. 
 
A good swaddle can keep your baby from being disturbed or wakened by her own startle reflex which causes her to wake up no matter how tired she is. Newborn babies can be swaddled anywhere from 18-20 hours per day and sleep 38% better than newborn babies that are not swaddled. You should swaddle your baby within hours of giving birth and continue to do so until they are approximately four months old or starting to roll over, whichever comes first. 
 
As a parent, I knew that swaddling is encouraged by doctors and nurses but I am not sure I truly understood the benefits until now. I would recommend everyone learning how to swaddle correctly and do it often. It can be a lifesaver. 
 
During the next few weeks, I will be sharing more helpful hints regarding the care of newborns! Stay tuned.

Recognizing Post-Partum Depression

Our guest post today comes from Newborn Care Solutions

Recently I had a chat with a friend that made me sad and happy all at the same time. She is a friend I have known for years and a fairly new mother—within the last year. She also took one of my classes to learn more about being a Newborn Care Specialist. Our Foundational NCS Training Program is quite comprehensive and covers not just the fun stuff of new babies—it also covers the hard stuff. Even the stuff people still seem reluctant to talk about, including Post-Partum Depression.

The part that made me sad was that my friend shared with me that while she has known about it for years, seen it in clients and knows it is a very real condition, she didn’t recognize the signs in herself until after she took our class. And even then, it took some time for her to realize something more than the usual exhaustion of motherhood was affecting her. She talked to her doctor and was helped to realize she was suffering from Post-Partum Depression. My heart hurt for her as it does for anyone battling any form of depression.

However, I’m not writing about this to give a dissertation on the signs and symptoms—others out there have already done an excellent job. One of my favorite sites for great information in “plain mama English” is this one. Please take some time to look it over and read it; it could help you or someone you love.

Read more at Newborn Care Solutions on how an NCS can help the entire family when presented with PPD. 

To learn more about Newborn Care Solutions Foundational Program visit their website and view all their programs!

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Vacation Travel Tips with an Infant

To Grandmother’s house we go! And you’ll be in the car for five whole hours! How can you make the trip enjoyable with a baby along? 

Learn about it

There’s no question: Marathon car trips with a baby on board take a good amount of planning and organization. But it can be done ~ and yes, it can even be fun!

Planning the trip

In the hustle that precedes a trip, it can be easy to let things happen, instead of make things happen. Be proactive in making your trip decisions. Contemplating these questions, and coming up with the right answers, can help make your trip more successful:

Does your baby sleep well in the car? If yes, plan your travel time to coincide with a nap or bedtime so your baby can sleep through part of the journey. If not, plan to leave immediately after a nap or upon waking in the morning. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your baby will behave differently than usual in the car just because it’s a special occasion.

  • Is it necessary to make the trip all at once, or can you break it up with stops along the way? The longer your baby is strapped in the carseat, the more likely he’ll become fussy. Planning a few breaks can keep everyone in a better frame of mind.
  • When estimating an arrival time, have you factored in plenty of extra time for unplanned surprises? A diaper explosion that requires a complete change of clothes or a baby whose inconsolable crying requires an unexpected 20-minute stop are just two of the things that can easily happen.
Do you have everything you need to make the trip pleasant? Items like:
  • Window shades to protect your baby from the sun and create a darker, nap-inducing atmosphere.
  • A cooler for cold drinks; a bottle warmer if needed.
  • Plenty of toys that are new or forgotten favorites saved just for the trip.
  • Baby-friendly music on tape or CD.
  • A rear-view baby mirror to keep on eye on baby (unless a second person will be sitting with your little one)
  • Books to read to your baby.

Read more tips from Elizabeth Pantley on how to make the road trip more enjoyable with baby! 

Colic – Does Your Baby Have It? What can you do about it?

You may have heard the term colic applied to any baby who cries a great deal. Not all crying babies have colic, but all colicky babies cry ~ and they cry hard. They may stiffen their little bodies, or curl up as if in pain. They may cry so hard that they don’t seem like they even know you are there. When babies cry like this, they take in a lot of air, which creates gas and more pain, which makes them cry even more.

Researchers are still unsure of colic’s exact cause. Some experts believe that colic is related to the immaturity of a baby’s digestive system. Others theorize that a baby’s immature nervous system and inability to handle the constant sensory stimulation that surrounds her cause a breakdown by the end of the day, when colic most often occurs.

Dr. Harvey Karp, in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block (Bantam Books, 2002) introduced a new theory. He believes that babies are born three months too early, and that some babies find their new world too difficult to handle. They yearn for the comforting conditions that occurred in the womb.

Whatever the cause, and it may be a combination of all the theories; colic is among the most exasperating conditions that parents of new babies face. Colic occurs only to newborn babies, up to about four to five months of age. Symptoms include:

  • A regular period of nonstop, inconsolable crying, typically late in the day
  • Crying bouts that last one to three hours or more
  • A healthy and happy disposition at all other times of the day
Can colic be prevented?

Given that we aren’t sure what causes colic, we don’t know if it can be prevented. Even if you do everything “right” and take all the steps to discourage colic, it still may happen. If you think your baby has colic, talk with your pediatrician and take your baby in for a checkup to rule out any medical cause for your baby’s crying. If your baby is given a clean bill of health, then you’ll know colic is the culprit in the daily crying bouts.

Since colic occurs in newborns, parents often feel that they are doing something wrong to create the situation. Their vulnerability and lack of experience puts them in the position of questioning their own ability to take care of their baby. Hearing your baby cry with colic, and not knowing why it’s happening or what to do about it is painful for you; I know this because one of my four children suffered with colic. Although many years have passed since then (Angela is now 15), I remember it vividly. Hearing my baby cry night after night and not knowing how to help her was gut wrenching, heartbreaking, and frustrating. The most important piece of research I discovered was this:
It’s not your fault. Any baby can have colic.

Things that may help your baby

Remember that nothing you do will eliminate colic completely until your baby’s system is mature and able to settle on its own. That said, experienced parents and professionals can offer ways to help your baby though this time ~ ask around! I did, and from what I uncovered, I compiled the following suggestions for helping your baby feel better. Look for patterns to your baby’s crying; these can provide clues as to which suggestions are most likely to help. Stick with an idea for a few days to see if it helps. Watch for any signs of improvement (not necessarily complete quiet). If the particular course of action doesn’t seem to change anything, don’t get discouraged ~ just try something else:

  • If breastfeeding, feed on demand (cue feeding), for nutrition as well as comfort, as often as your baby needs a calming influence.
  •  If breastfeeding, try avoiding foods that may cause gas in your baby. Eliminate one possible cause for a few days and see if it makes a difference.
  • The most common baby tummy offenders are dairy products, caffeine, cabbage, broccoli and other gassy vegetables. But don’t assume the culprit, if there is one, will be obvious: I know one mother whose baby reacted loudly and consistently after any meal that included eggplant, asparagus or onions.
  • If bottlefeeding, offer more frequent but smaller meals; experiment with different formulas with your doctor’s approval.
  • If bottlefeeding, try different types of bottles and nipples that prevent air from entering your baby as he drinks, such as those with curved bottles or collapsible liners.
  • Hold your baby in a more upright position for feeding and directly afterwards.
  • Experiment with how often and when you burp your baby.
  • Offer meals in a quiet setting.
  • If baby likes a pacifier, offer him one.
  • Invest in a baby sling or carrier and use it during colicky periods.
  • If the weather’s too unpleasant for an outside stroll, bring your stroller in the house and walk your baby around.
  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Place a warm towel or wrapped water bottle on baby’s tummy (taking caution that the temperature is warm but not hot).
  • Hold your baby with her legs curled up toward her belly.
  • Massage your baby’s tummy, or give him a full massage.
  • Swaddle your baby in a warm blanket.
  • Lay your baby tummy down across your lap and massage or pat her back.
  • Hold your baby in a rocking chair, or put him in a swing.
  • Walk with Baby in a quiet, dark room while you hum or sing.
  • Try keeping your baby away from highly stimulating situations during the day when possible to prevent sensory overload, and understand that a particularly busy day may mean a fussier evening.
  • Lie on your back and lay your baby on top of your tummy down while massaging his back. (Transfer your baby to his bed if he falls asleep.)
  • Take Baby for a ride in the car.
  • Play soothing music or turn on white noise such as a vacuum cleaner or running water, or play a CD of nature sounds.
  • As a last resort, ask your doctor about medications available for colic and gas.
  • Tips for coping

As difficult as colic is for a baby, it is just as challenging for the parents. This can be especially hard for a mother who has other children to care for, who has returned to work, or who is suffering from the baby blues or postpartum depression. Even if everything else in life is perfect, colic is taxing. Here are a few things you can do to take some of the stress out of these colicky times:

Know that your baby will cry during his colicky time, and while you can do things to make your baby more comfortable, nothing you can do will totally stop the crying.

This is not a result of anything you’ve done or not done.

When should I call the doctor?
  • Plan outings for the times of day when baby is usually happy, or if outings keep your baby happy, plan them for the colicky times
  • Take advantage of another person’s offer to take a turn with the baby, even if it’s just so that you can take a quiet bath or shower.
  • Keep reminding yourself that this is only temporary; it will pass.
  • Avoid keeping a long to-do list right now; only do what’s most important.
  • Talk to other parents of colicky babies so you can share ideas and comfort each other.
  • If the crying is getting to you and making you tense or angry, put your baby in his crib, or give him to someone else to hold for a while so that you don’t accidentally shake or harm your baby. (Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain damage, so if you feel angry, and colic can do that to you, put your baby down.)
  • Know that babies do not suffer long-term harm from having colic.

Anytime you are concerned about your baby, call your doctor. That goes for anything concerning your precious little one. In the case of colic, be sure to make that call if you notice any of the following:

  • Your baby’s crying is accompanied by vomiting.
  • Your baby is not gaining weight.
  • The colicky behavior lasts longer than four months.
  • Your baby seems to be in pain.
  • Your baby has a fever.
  • Your baby doesn’t want to be held or handled.
  • The crying spree isn’t limited to one bout in the evening.
  • Your baby does not have regular bowel movements or wet diapers.
  • You notice other problems that don’t appear on the previous list of symptoms.
  • Your baby’s crying is making you angry or depressed.

Reprinted with permission. Elizabeth Pantley, Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

TLC Family Care is ready to assist you and your growing family. So, whether you are expecting and want to set up  a caregiver before your baby arrives, or already have a newborn and need help, call TLC Family Care today: (314) 725-5660 or tlc@tlcforkids.com

 

Bringing Home Baby

Congratulations on your new baby!! Bringing home a new baby is a transition for everyone. Getting to know your little one and introducing them to the world is such a beautiful thing. However, there might be stressful times during those first few weeks and months. Mom is recovering, Mom and Dad are sleep deprived, and siblings want more attention.

TLC Family Care understands this  transitional period requires an extra set of hands.  So,  we are here to help everyone adjust to the newest addition to your family. Consider hiring a Newborn Night Nanny or Newborn Care Specialist to assist during this time.

1 .      Newborn Overnight Nanny.  At TLC Family Care, we have Newborn Overnight Nannies. An Newborn Overnight Nanny is a caregiver that comes to your house around bedtime and stays awake through the night (they are required to stay awake the entire time) to take care of the baby when he/she wakes up. The overnight nanny will feed the baby(or bring baby to mom for nursing), change, rock and put the baby back to sleep. This allows new parents to catch up on some much needed rest and enjoy a full night’s sleep because they know their baby is receiving the best care possible.

2.      Newborn Care Specialist.  If daytime help is what you need, TLC Family Care also offers child care providers who are newborn care specialists. Newborn Care Specialists help parents in their home the first few weeks or months of baby’s life in a number of ways. Newborn Specialists help with parent education, feeding/breastfeeding, basic baby care, and light housekeeping. Newborn Care Specialists can also help older siblings adjust to sharing mom and dad’s attention with a new baby in the house. Whether you are a seasoned mom or new to parenting, an NCS is a wonderful option to help your family adjust.

TLC Family Care is ready to assist you and your growing family. So, whether you are expecting and want to set up  a caregiver before your baby arrives, or already have a newborn and need help, call TLC Family Care today: (314) 725-5660 or tlc@tlcforkids.com

 

Identity Theft Among Children on the Rise: Use Caution with What You're Sharing

Our guest blog comes from Tonya Sakowicz, Newborn Care Solutions, a mom to two school-age kids. She shares with us her tips for what NOT to share when it comes to children and social media. 

You’ve just had a baby—congratulations!!  And everyone wants to know when the baby was born, where, how much they weighed and what you named them. And as a new, proud parent, you want to shout your new joy from the rooftops, right?

Not so fast according to Social Media Safety Experts. Children are one of the largest targeted groups of identity theft because their information is so readily available. Because of this, it is often not until they are ready to take off for college and apply for their first credit card or a student loan that ID theft is discovered.

And of course, there are the creeps. The ones who target young children or even just steal their photos and put them in places we don’t ever want them to be. It is up to us, their parents and their caregivers to protect them. Everyone has to make their own decisions about how much information, but here are several things to consider before you hit the “post” button.

Read all of Tonya’s tips on what not to share and learn more about Newborn Care Solutions.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Recovering From a C-Section

Having a C-Section is major surgery and any mom should expect  4-6 weeks of recovery time.  If this is your first or third C-Section it’s best to know what to expect after the surgery.

Most C-Sections require a 4 day stay in the hospital after the delivery. Upon coming home you will be advised not to lift anything heavier than your baby.  You will also be told that you shouldn’t drive or go up and down stairs.  This can be very difficult for moms who live on multi-story homes.  What can a mom do?

Hiring an expect to help you take care of the baby is a great option.  Postpartum Doula’s, a Baby Nurse or Newborn Care Specialist  can all help Mom recover and heal from her surgery.

 

Postpartum Doula

A Postpartum Doula provides support for the mother and the rest of the family. A big part of the Doula’s job is to “mother the mother” and help the new mother recover after birth. The Doula can offer breastfeeding and bottlefeeding support, help establish newborn procedures and routines, along with other infant care needs.  The Doula can also provide some light housekeeping, errand running and meal preparation.

Baby Nurse

Most parents typically use the word “Baby Nurse” to describe around-the-clock infant care assistance. This person is usually not a registered nurse. She is typically a non-medically trained caregiver whose main focus is on the infant. The Baby Nurse has a bed in the room with the baby. She is responsible for feeding, changing, burping, rocking, soothing, and swaddling the new baby. The baby nurse may also assist with the infant’s laundry and bottle washing.

Newborn Care Specialist (NCS)

The responsibilities of the NCS include feeding, bathing, changing the infant, washing/cleaning/sterilizing bottles, and initiating a schedule for sleeping, meals, nap and play time. Other responsibilities include advising and providing any requested consultation on infant needs, swaddling, breastfeeding guidance, cord and circumcision care and nursery organization. An NCS can work days, nights or around the clock. The training a NCS receives can vary from more official groups like Newborn Care Specialist Association (NCSA) to smaller trainings led by individual agencies or no specific training at all. Many NCS have been providing care to new moms for decades! They bring to the family years of practical experience.

All three caregivers offer overnight services. A good night’s sleep is by far the biggest need for parents with an infant! The caregiver typically arrives at 10 pm and stays until 6 or 7 am, allowing parents to sleep and feel well rested for the next day.

 

For more information, call TLC 305-256-5905 in Florida and 314-725-5660 in St. Louis and ask about Postpartum Doulas, Baby Nurses, and Newborn Care Specialists today. Or, visit our website at tlcforkids.com.

TLC can provide an extra set of loving arms for you and your new baby!

 

 

 

 

 

Newborn Nannies Needed

TLC for Kids is having a baby boom!  Our families in Saint Louis are having babies and they need nannies.

We have full time nanny jobs in Clayton, Webster Groves, Chesterfield, the Central West End, and Holly Hills.  We even have families with newborn twins! If you are looking for a new rewarding job in 2017 apply with us today!

Getting Ready for Baby!

TLC for KidsA few weeks ago I found out I was going to be an aunt again! I’m so excited that my sister is expecting a little baby early next year. I wanted to help her get ready for the new arrival so I started searching the internet. There is so much helpful information on line for parents. I wish I had all this information at my finger tips when my kids were babies! Anyway, I came across this blog on preparing the nursery. How fun would it be to help my sister prepare the nursery?!?!

The blog mentions the things you need to set the right environment for you and the baby. You will be spending a lot of time in the nursery so make sure it’s peaceful, comfortable, and quiet. The blog also talks about important things to look for while choosing a crib. If you would like to read the blog and the tips on selecting a crib you can click here for the blog. It’s going to be so fun setting up the nursery.

TLC for Kids can also help with a new baby.  Our incredible staff of daytime and night time caregivers in South Florida are ready to care for your newborn.  Read more about our newborn care services and caregivers here. 

TLC Rock Stars!

TLC for Kids provides quality in home child care for families in Missouri and Florida. Our nannies and sitters get great feedback from the families they help. From time to time the reviews are so awesome we can’t keep them to ourselves!

Read the great review we received on Dascha in the St. Louis office.

“Just wanted to write a quick note to let you know how spectacular Dascha has been every time she’s worked for us. Dascha is very detail oriented. If anything out of the ordinary comes up, like David, my 8 year old telling her “I promise that mom ALWAYS lets us do XYZ” Dascha won’t hesitate to text me to verify (and 90% of the time David was not being truthful but rather attempting to push boundaries as is want to happen with an Aspie/ADHD kiddo). Dascha always fills out the form to let me know what she’s done with the boys – which I really appreciate knowing. Dascha even brings her own toys, which makes her very popular, even if it’s something as simple as playdoh (which we have a ton of but hers is special) and will help the boys clean up after themselves. The last thing I really appreciate is her making sure she has a note from me if the boys are going to ride in the car with her. It gives me good piece of mind to know the kids will be identified correctly if, heaven forbid, they were in a car accident. Just wanted to note that it is appreciated!”

Maria in the Florida office did a great job taking care of twins.

“TLC has proven to be excellent in every way. I was worried about hiring someone to help me with our twins, but I do feel confident now with the choice of sitter TLC has sent.
Your office staff is excellent and they exceeded my expectations. It was because I was so impressed by your office staff, and because it is a family owned business, that I decided to enroll with TLC. An example of why I was so happy with your staff is that they were kind, warm, and helpful whenever I called. They treated me as if I was very important to them. Kathy spoke to me about my needs and then worked diligently with Adriana to find me the perfect match.
Maria is the perfect match for me. She is very professional yet extremely loving and warm with the twins. She is punctual, soft spoken and respectful. Maria is knowledgeable about children and I trust her experience in keeping them safe and in nurturing them.  I am very happy with Maria and with your service.”

TLC is a family owned business that has been helping families with their in home childcare needs for thirty years. We would love to help you too! For more information please visit our website at tlcforkids.com.