The First Hour

BabiesinBloom_KelseySmithPhotography2015(PrintResolution300PPINativeFile)-1If you take a scientific look at an uninterrupted first hour of a newborn’s life, it’s just mind-blowing. The human body, no matter how big or small, and its instinctual behavior never ceases to amaze.

By uninterrupted first hour, we mean what happens when newborns and mothers are put skin to skin and left to their own devices, without routine health checks, in that very first hour of life (though that’s not always medically possible we know).

There is a fascinating Swedish study that looks at the instinctual behaviors of 28 newborns left uninterrupted, skin-to-skin, on their mothers’ chests for their first hour. The study maps out a typical timeline of that first incredible and hormonally charged hour.

Yes, it’s a small research sample at 28, but what an intriguing snapshot these kind of studies can provide. How amazing is this kind of information for those wanting to know how they could more gently transition their new baby from the womb to life outside? For those wanting to try and get in tune with their newborn’s natural rhythm and better understand their immediate needs?

To save you reading the full report published in the Acta Paediatrica, here’s a quick summary from Science News of that first hour timeline:

  • Minute 0: Babies wail a robust, angry birth cry that helps wake up the lungs.
  • Minute 2: Babies spend less than a minute relaxing, holding perfectly still on their mothers’ chests. The authors speculate that this silent, still break might have evolved to keep babies hidden from predators.
  • Minute 2.5: As they start to wake up, newborns open their eyes for the first time. Babies gradually start moving their heads and mouths.
  • Minute 8: Babies become even more active, keeping their eyes open for five minutes or longer at a time. During this active phase, newborns seem to grow interested in eating, looking at their mothers’ faces and breasts, making sweet little “hungry” noises and moving their hands toward their mouths.
  • Minute 18: Time for another rest.
  • Minute 36: Recharged newborns really kick it into high gear and begin scooting toward their mothers’ breasts, relying heavily on a sense of smell to navigate.
  • Minute 62: Babies nurse, most likely getting small amounts of colostrum, an early milk substance packed with protein and immune molecules. This early suckling stimulates the breasts to make milk and also helps mom’s uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size.

With more and more people considering the benefits of delaying medical procedures after delivery (delayed cord clamping for example), there is a growing sense that less CAN be more. That the focus of the first hour should be on baby’s first feed and mother-baby and family bonding. And as this Swedish study suggests, this is exactly what the human body is programmed to do on its own accord without intervention.

There are many more documented benefits to this uninterrupted approach, from it aiding breastfeeding and strengthening bonding, to mom’s own wellbeing. If this natural kind of experience is something you are interested in, make sure you start talking early to your own birth carer about your preference.  They should be able to give you the advice and support you need for planning your new and exciting beginning with your precious new arrival.

We know this kind of approach is not for everyone. And just not possible for some too. We aren’t in any way suggesting this is THE superior way post-delivery, we just found the research findings rather captivating and sharable. You know us, we don’t believe in passing judgement. We believe in you. There is no such thing as the right way, just what’s right for YOU and your family.

 

National Siblings Day: Friends from Birth

BabiesinBloom_KelseySmithPhotography2015(WebResolution1500pxwide300PPI)-32Sunday April 10th is National Siblings Day. Hooray for siblings and those siblings-to-be out there!

Anyone with a brother or sister will know that a sibling relationship can be the most important, influential, and often the longest relationship of their lives. Siblings know you inside out.  They get to know every quirk, trait and habit you have – like, love or loathe them – and from an early age can also shape how you’ll interact with others. Think about all those fights you had as kids – skills young siblings learn in conflict resolution are valuable life lessons that carry in to other areas of life, from work to personal relationships. So those arguments were really all worth it right?

There are a load of myths surrounding siblings too. I bet you’ve heard a few of these before.

  • Firstborns have an IQ and linguistic advantage thanks to first time parents hyper focus
  • But youngest kids are the smartest in that they are fast to disarm people and develop resourceful strategies to get what they need
  • Younger siblings tend to be more extroverted than older siblings in bigger families
  • Middle children tend to get the least amount of parental attention
  • Siblings can make you shorter. No seriously, a British study of 14,000 kids found that those with three siblings were, on average, around one inch shorter!

How many of the above do you agree with in your experience?

Introducing a sibling/s to a brand new brother or sister for the very first time is a precious family moment – but also a rather nerve racking one. How will they react? Will they be jealous or feel replaced?  These are all valid and common concerns. Change can be upsetting for little ones and preparation is key. But where do you start making siblings friends? We say, it starts well before birth.

At Babies in Bloom we run a Big Brothers & Big Sisters class that supports your growing family. This class helps you figure out how to make your child/children feel included and excited in welcoming a new baby. Our class is designed for three – six year olds that are about to become a big sibling and includes bump introductions, crafts, a short film, as well as role play and new baby themed story time. Each big sibling-to-be gets awarded with a certificate at the end of class – just to get them beaming with big brother or sister pride! Just adorable.

For those interested in this class, check out our Calendar page for upcoming dates.

Curious or Confused About Cloth Diapers?

cloth diapersIf you are considering cloth diapering, it is first important to “tune out the noise” said Kim Rosas, from Dirty Diaper Laundry at our recent BabyFest expo.

Wise words.

The current sheer volume of information and opinions about cloth diapering can be overwhelming for parents. You have brands telling you different things, let alone public forums and Facebook groups. Then you have all in ones, all in twos, pockets, pre-folds and varying washing rules to get your head around….

It can sometimes feel like another language.

It can feel like people are talking at you and not listening to you.

And more than often, it can feel like another mini parenting battlefield.

For those who are considering cloth, perhaps you’ve heard the following once or twice….or maybe even had these thoughts yourself?

“Oh, the smell is worse!”

“They’re difficult and take hours to wash”

“I’ve heard they’re uncomfortable”

“It’s super expensive”

“Day care won’t allow cloth diapers”

And so on.

The truth is, the cloth diaper landscape has changed so much. A lot of these negative misconceptions are now outdated. We’re not talking about your Grandma’s diapers anymore – cloth diapers are not what they once were. They can be modern, colourful, breathable, effective and practical (think simple snaps or velcro closures), as well as eco-friendly and cost effective.

Rosas was at BabyFest to tackle ongoing misconceptions about cloth. As a passionate advocate for cloth, she was keen to stress that you CAN personalize your own cloth diapering experience. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of system. If you want to do it, you can choose a way that makes YOU comfortable and suits YOUR lifestyle – even if that means doing it part time if your day care won’t do cloth.

Another favorite quote of ours from Rosas at BabyFest was when she spoke about disposables leaking:

“Whether you are using cloth or disposables, you’re dealing with poop anyway. That’s just a fact. With cloth, you get to choose your involvement with poop.  But when you use disposable diapers, it chooses you!”

An interesting way to look at it, huh?

Now we don’t preach right or wrong ways at Babies in Bloom – we support YOUR way. We all have our reasons for what suits us and our families’ best. If cloth diapers aren’t for you, no worries. There is no judgement here. But for those who are interested, or those currently feeling a little intimidated or confused by cloth, then why not  join our Cloth Diapering 101 class at the Babies in Bloom Boutique?

On the first Saturday of the month at 11am, we connect parents and parents-to-be that want to use cloth, or who are simply cloth curious, with parents who have chosen cloth. It’s your chance to ask the questions and hear real first-hand experiences of different brands and different styles – the good and the bad. This isn’t about a hard product sell. We have one simple goal – to listen and help you make sense of all the “noise”.

Hope to see you there!

 

A Few of Our Favorite Things

orbit o2 lucy darling feverfridaThis morning on Fox 5 Sandiego, we showcased a few of the products we find helpful for new parents.

  1. Lucy Darling Milestone Stickers- These adorable stickers help you capture the milestones of your pregnancy, baby’s first year, and/or first holidays. Created by a graphic designer, their unique styles are trendy and cute. They are printed in the USA, as well!
  2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Teas- These yummy pregnancy and breastfeeding teas are safe and 100% organic. They are formulated to support the entire journey of childbirth, from early pregnancy through breastfeeding and beyond.
  3. First Year Calendars- These calendars are an easy way to record events through your baby’s first year. They include stickers to mark baby’s first tooth, steps, and more!
  4. Aden + Anais Swaddles- These breathable, 100% cotton muslin swaddles are perfect for swaddling tiny babies. They are also very versatile and used by many as burp cloths, nursing covers, and stroller covers.
  5. Fever Frida- No need to wake a sick baby to check their fever with a Fever Frida. Thanks to an tiny Bluetooth monitor and patch place
    d under the arm, the Fever Frida checks baby’s temperature every four seconds. It will alert your phone or tablet when the temperature goes about a predetermined threshold and continuously stores data for doctor visits and medicine dose reminders.
  6. Robeez Kick Proof Socks- These 3 pack of socks have an elastic gathering at the ankle to ensure that the socks stay on. They also have skid resistant soles to help prevent slips and falls.
  7. Sakura Bloom Ring Sling- These ring slings combine function with fashion allowing you to be hands free in a stylish way. The beautiful fabrics are paired with clean lines of modern design.
  8. Nursing Scarves- These are the perfect accessory for mom! Wear as a scarf and unwrap for full and relaxed coverage while nursing. The 2-in-1 scarf is easy to use and wash. They are available in stylish prints to please mom’s style.
  9. Bassinest- Keep baby close by in the Halo Bassinest. The Bassinest is designed with a side wall that lowers and returns automatically so that you can easily get baby in and out while staying in bed. The breathable mesh walls keep your baby visible and the base is can adjust to fit different bed heights. The swivel feature rotates 360’ allowing you to bring baby as close as you would like and making it easy to get out of bed.
  10. Orbit 02- This stroller can go from trail run to coffee run. With dual seating modes, a reversible seat, a lockable front swivel wheel, an adjustable handlebar and multiple seat options, it’s the stroller that lets you personalize your ride. The stroller base works with G2 and G3 Orbit Baby seats.