Posts Tagged ‘caring for a newborn’

National Nanny Recognition Week Begins Sunday, September 24

National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW) is a week long event, created in 1998, to bring awareness to the positive impact nannies and caregivers have on the children and families they work with. All too often we hear the negative stories of caregivers, but not enough of the positive. Nannies give their hearts to the children they care for, often sacrificing time away from their own family and friends. Being a nanny isn’t about working for wealthy or celebrity parents – it’s walking in the door and having the child run to you with open arms because they are happy to see you and can’t wait for the next adventure. It’s about the child drawing a picture of their family, with the nanny proudly displayed for all to see.

What began as an effort of few now spans hundreds of professionals the last full week of September each year.  NNRW continues to focus on the positive, quality aspects that nannies bring to their charges and jobs every day; and for parents and agencies to say “Thank You” to their wonderful caregivers. ~ www.nnrw.org 

How can you say Thank You to your nanny?

♥ Say Thank You ♥ Tell your friends good things about her knowing she will hear them back ♥ a surprise day off ♥ Have the children say Thank You ♥ Treat your nanny to breakfast or dinner made by the family ♥ a card and framed photo of the family ♥ Membership fees to a local nanny support group or other Professional Organization ♥ Pay for conference fees to Nannypalooza or INA with paid professional days to attend the event ♥ Pay for dinner out with friends ♥ gift basket of favorite treats ♥ gift certificates to favorite stores ♥ movie tickets ♥ gift certificate for manicure/pedicure or massage ♥ handmade card or gift from the child/children ♥

From the TLC family to all our nannies … Thank You! We appreciate all you do day after day, and are grateful to have you as part of our family of caregivers.

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

Creating a Safe Sleep Environment for Baby

Our guest post today comes from Newborn Care Solutions 

I sat down today to review a ton of information for a client I am seeing next week. I am going into the home of first time parents-to-be to teach them the baby basics; essentially a baby “boot-camp” if you will. I LOVE working with first-time parents—there is an amazement and wonder that they hold that just makes me smile and the confidence they gain in their newly learned skills is a fantastic site to behold!

However, as I reviewed information I have seen a thousand times at least, it reminded me that new parents are made every day, and safety is never out of style. So I want to talk about crib safety today.

Continue reading for guidelines are set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and additional information from Newborn Care Solutions.

 

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

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

 

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!