Newborn

Taking Care of Your Infant This Fall

Even if your little ones are not going back to school they can still get sick this fall.  

Here are a few things you can do to prevent an illness in your newborn.

1. Flu shots: everyone in your household over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot. This will minimize the risk that your infant will get sick, since we cannot give the shot to children under 6 months.

2. Whooping cough shots: there is currently an epidemic of whooping cough in some areas of the US. While mostly annoying it sometimes can be debilitating to older children and adults with several weeks of a relentless cough, but to an infant it can be fatal.  Most of us have been immunized as children, but immunity wears off over the following decades. The vast majority of cases in infants come from parents. Everyone over 10 years including parents, grandparents, caregivers and anyone else in contact with your infant should get the booster shot now. Your family doctor or pediatrician, an urgent care or clinic can give it.

3. Clean hands: Wash your hands frequently throughout the day.  Also, ask anyone who comes in contact with your infant to clean their hands first.  Stopping the spreading of germs is one of the best ways to keep you baby healthy this Fall.

TLC for Kids Newborn Specialists are available to take care of your little one’s this Fall.  Our Specialists are trained to give the highest quality care to newborns.  They are also available to help teach newborn care to the parents.

Please visit our website for more information on our Newborn Services.

Newborn Care Specialist Training

Interested in becoming a Certified NCS or advancing your skills as an NCS? Newborn Care Solutions is bringing their popular Foundational training to West Palm Beach, September 22-23 and you can take advantage of this training!

TOPICS COVERED:

  • What is an NCS and how is that different from a Doula, Night Nanny or Traditional Nanny. define/explain
  • Doula: Define/explain similarities and differences..
  • Night Nanny: Define/explain similarities and differences.
  • Traditional Nanny: Define/explain similarities and differences.
  • Basic Newborn Care
  • Building a Nursery
  • Special needs of preemies
  • Caring for Multiples
  • Caring for and building up a post-partum mom: One of the most important jobs of a NCS and why.
  • Signs of Post-partum depression and what to do: Covering the major symptoms of post-partum depression and how to handle it (before baby even comes home).
  • Recognizing signs of various feeding issues: Reflux, tests, treatment and options. Tongue tie, to clip or not to clip, pyloric stenosis – what is it and what can be done, how to feed a baby with a cleft palate.
  • Recognizing signs of food allergies and intolerance’s in infants
  • Major Methods of sleep training: Sharing the most common methods of sleep training and how they differ from one another.
  • Getting your NCS Business off the ground: Do I need to be “certified” and if so, how do I get it? What are my first steps?
  • How can I get more experience so clients will hire me? What legal issues/insurance issues do I need to address? Do I need a resume’? What should be on it? Do I need a contract with clients? How do I get paid? What if a client cancels? What if I get the babies sleeping through the night early and the client wants to terminate my contract early? My client bounced a check, now what? My client forgot to pay me, now what? How do I explain to clients on the phone what I do without spending all day on the phone and without giving away all my talents?
  • Tax Overview: What are my tax obligations? Does my client pay taxes on me? My client wants to pay me with a business check?
  • Contracts with clients: What needs to be in it? Do I really need it? The client doesn’t want one.
  • Liability insurance: Do I need it? Why? Where can I get it?
  • Educating Agencies about what I do: Do I need to work with agencies? What do they need to know about what I do in order to “sell” my services to the client?
  • Green Practices: My new client wants to use eco-friendly products. What does that mean exactly, do they really work and how do I help her set up a green nursery?

REGISTER TODAY!

‘Tully’ Through the Eyes of a Newborn Care Specialist

I spent a lovely afternoon at the movies in South Miami watching “Tully” with TLC Miami’s most loved and requested Newborn Care Specialist Patricia Demerite. Even though reviews have been mixed we really enjoyed the movie.

 

Tully spoke to each of us in so many ways. As a parent of 2 and owner of TLC, I could relate to the chaos and sleep deprivation of a Postpartum mom and the demands of a special needs child while managing a household. Patricia, who has helped over a dozen families over the last 5 years navigate the demands of adding a new baby to a family could relate to the the sensitive nature of working in an intimate family environment. Throughout the movie Pat would lean over to me saying things like “she should wash her hands when she walks in the house,”  “she shouldn’t be wearing that midriff,” and “she needs to give the mom more personal space.” When things get weird in the movie and she brings Tully to the bedroom we both look at each other like ‘ok, now this is really weird.’  At the end of the movie we discovered the reason for a lot of the immature oversharing behavior and took a sigh of relief.

After the movie Pat and I discussed Marlo’s (mom) lack of support. We both questioned why Marlo was not willing to take the gift of the night nanny when offered. Why is there a stigma that women have to do it all?  Had Marlo accepted help or at least engaged the support of her husband and family she might not have ended up where she did. ***I don’t want to give away any spoilers!***

Postpartum depression and manic behavior require professional help. Hiring a Newborn Care Specialist will not treat postpartum depression. But Patricia and I both feel that the help would have given Marlo support and perhaps directed her to the right professional.  Like Marlo, many moms suffer sleep deprivation and loss of identity aftee the birth of a baby.  This is because they feel they like they have no support and help.   Hiring a Newborn Care Specialist can help moms get on track to feel like themselves again.

Reach out to Chrissy Wheelington, TLC’s Newborn Care Director, to learn more about the different newborn services TLC offers.

Written by Sharon Graff-Radell owner of TLC Family Care.

The Art of Swaddling

As the Newborn Care Director for TLC in St. Louis and Miami, I love to share articles about caring for newborns and their families. Many parents are looking for information about keeping their newborn safe and secure. TLC is  partnering with Parenting Resources to train postpartum doulas, newborn care specialists and baby nurses so that they can assist new parents.

This article by a mom talks about the benefits of swaddling. Swaddling is the art of snugly wrapping a baby in a blanket for warmth and security. It can keep your baby from being disturbed by his or her own startle reflex, and it can help keep the baby warm for the first few days of life.  Do you remember trying to swaddle your babies once you came home from the hospital?

“Swaddling is an art, really, and through two children, I never mastered it. Both of my babes were happy and content in the hospital, when they were wrapped like little burritos by those capable nurses in the postpartum unit. That all went downhill once we got home. I tried to re-create those magical bundles, but no matter what I did, within minutes their arms had busted out, and they were anything but calm. It was my first mom fail.”

Click here to read the full article and get the step-step-by step instructions on how to swaddle like a pro!

 

Car Seat Crying

Our Guest post today comes from Elizabeth Pantley, The No-Cry Solution 

“Trying to drive while your little one screams bloody murder is challenging to say the least. Even though it’s difficult to deal with, you must remember that you and your baby’s safety come first. No matter how tempting it may be, never take a crying baby out of the car seat. It’s extremely dangerous and counterproductive, making it even more difficult for your child to get used to riding in her car seat. Making poor driving decisions when your baby is wailing puts everyone in the car at risk. Either pull the car over and calm your baby down, or focus on getting safely from point A to point B—don’t try to do both.”

“The good news is that a few new ideas, a little time and maturity will help your baby become a happy traveler. Any one (or more) of the following strategies may help solve your car seat dilemma. If the first one you try fails, choose another one, then another; eventually, you’ll hit upon the right solution for your baby.”

Steps you can take to help your child be a happy traveler. 

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