If There Is Just One Thing You Do This Month, Do This…

It’s September and the school runs are back in full swing. While we are all talking about how ghastly the morning traffic is, it’s also the perfect time of year to talk about car seat safety, because September 17 – 23 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

This means you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of hard hitting statistics flying around. Stats like: Car cra

shes are the leading cause of death of children 1 to 13 years old.

It’s easy (and normal) to not want to think about such gut wrenching facts, so more than often we switch off as a method of emotional self -defense. But the truth is, the BEST defense is ALWAYS knowledge.

That’s the real idea behind National Child Passenger Safety Week – NOT to terrify parents, but to inform and support.

But we get it – parenting 2017 can feel like a LOT of noise. And we’re not just talking about inside the home! We live in a world where parents feel judged and are made to second guess their choices on a daily basis. Opinions, be it welcome or unwelcome, are constantly being fired towards us, through media as well as face to face interactions. It’s really hard to know what to tune in to right now isn’t it? Are people trying to help me or just sell me something?

But when it comes to child passenger safety, getting an expert opinion is ALWAYS a good idea. Because right now, there are currently hundreds of parents driving around with their kids in the wrong or poorly fitted car seat. It’s certainly not because they can’t be bothered, it’s simply because they just don’t know they’ve got it wrong.

There are parents out there who spent hours doing research online and in shops to find exactly the right seat, only to then install it incorrectly, reducing effectiveness.

There are parents who purchased the right seat, and who installed it correctly, but haven’t yet realized that their child has outgrown the seat, because darn, our kids grow so fast right under our noses!

Laws change. Cars change – do you know for sure that you have reinstalled the seat in your new vehicle correctly? Let’s be honest, car seat installation can get tricky!) Even care givers change – is Granny and Grandad using the car seat correctly in your absence?

So, your job this National Child Passenger Safety Week is to MAKE THE TIME to do a little car seat check-up.  In fact, it’s National Seat Check Saturday on September 23rd, so put the date on the calendar.

  • First, go online and get up-to-date with the latest CA laws to make sure you are following them correctly.
  • Then, dig out the instruction manual for your car seat (or find it online) and pay careful attention to the recommended weight / height restrictions – is your child in this bracket? If you’re eager to move your child to the next seat, remember, each time you “graduate” your child to the next seat, there’s a reduction in the level of protection for your child. It’s best to keep your child in each stage for as long as possible.
  • Also, look online for installation videos from professionals, plus details of how the harness should sit for a proper fit – is your harness currently snug enough? Do you put the chest clip at armpit level? Do you know why you should?
  • Finally, where possible, we highly recommend getting a professional safety inspection from a qualified child car seat safety technician like our wonderful Katie here at Babies in Bloom  – she has had hours of training and hands on experience with all types and brands of car seats. Check out her recent TV appearance on CBS 8 here, where she highlights the most common user errors she encounters. You can book consultations with Katie at Babies in Bloom here.

It’s not that much to do for huge peace of mind is it? So go on, have a car seat check-up this month and know for sure that you have the right seat for your child, fitted in exactly the right spot in your car. And don’t forget to share what you learn with anyone else who may look after your child!

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Sex After Baby

sex after babyCue bad (like, really bad!) 90’s dancing.

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be….

And by this, we mean let’s talk specifically about sex AFTER baby. The good, the bad and the plain ol’ feeling ugly.

How long did you wait? Or for those currently pregnant, how long do you think you will wait after birth to have sex….?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a test. While most healthcare advisors recommend somewhere in the range of four weeks to six months postpartum, it’s not concrete. In truth, it might be earlier, or it might be a lot longer – it all depends on when you feel ready. Both physically and mentally.

When it comes to sex, the majority of us will opt to use humor to talk about it. Because it’s not easy to talk about sex seriously is it? We blush. We avoid. We conceal. We hold back.

Well not today!

We’re going to say what we’ve all thought or have been thinking- and say it out loud. THINKING ABOUT SEX AFTER HAVING A BABY CAN BE SCARY!

Post birth, while you KNOW your body is amazing, you also don’t really KNOW your body anymore. Not only does it feel different and look different, there’s that fear that anything ‘down there’ is reeeeally going to HURT! Let’s be honest, we’re still a little traumatized from the first bowel movement fears after birth, let alone thinking about letting anything in! And for those who experienced tearing and stitches, the anxiety about sex pains can be further heightened. Ladies – we hear you! All of you.

The truth is, it may well feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first – one of the reasons is your estrogen levels drop right down after birth and remain low while nursing – this can lead to vaginal dryness. So first’s things first, don’t go in expecting perfection – ideally go in after a small glass of wine, loaded with giggles and lots of lubrication! Tell your partner about your fears– let him know that you are worried about discomfort, so that you can set the right pace for you.

Of course all of the above assumes that you are both ready and raring to give it a go. Many take longer to get to this point and that’s ok too. Did you know that the oxytocin that is released when you are nursing suppresses your libido? There’s that, and then there is the lack of sleep, the diapers, the nursing, the stretchmarks you are so paranoid about…. it can all culminate to a very unsexy cocktail called ‘Not tonight Sweetheart!’! This cocktail far from puts you in the mood.

If this is how you feel right now, then big hugs from us. Please believe us, this too shall pass. Just like you feel you may never sleep again, be able to 100% focus again, or get in to those old jeans again – eventually you do! You WILL have good sex again – it just takes time, patience and honesty with your partner. Keep him emotionally and physically updated to ensure he doesn’t just feel plain old rejected.  You WIILL find your confidence again. In fact, to end on a high, many moms actually say that they enjoy sex MORE after kids. Perhaps they feel more empowered by their bodies. Perhaps birth awakened something in their bodies. Perhaps it’s all the fun quickies that you have to weave in to your parenting routine, (because you have to take the moments when you can, and if it’s 1:20 in the afternoon, then so be it!). Whatever it is, know that post birth you will be desirable, you will be desired and you WILL feel your own desires return. Be patient with yourself, and most of all, be kind to yourself!

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Save The Date!

date nightAnd by that, we mean your date night.

Any parent will soon tell you that once a baby arrives on the scene, date nights usually get relegated from ‘whenever’ to the ‘if ever’ category. They become luxuries, along with your hair cut, your wax, your pedicure….you get the picture.

It’s not that you don’t want one, it’s just there never seems to be a good time for one. And even when you do carve out a small window of time for a date, is there even enough energy for one?

And then there’s babysitters….

There’s probably only a small pool of people who you trust with your little one anyway and so the chances that your schedule will match theirs when you do finally decide to book a date night is usually slim.

Or perhaps you do get the date booked and then the grandparents’ car breaks down. Or the babysitter cancels. Or the baby gets sick. (*puts head in pillow and screams!*)

I think it was Winston Churchill who once said: “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” And seriously, what parent doesn’t go a day without dreaming of some time off with their other half? Yes, we completely agree, family date nights ARE adorable, but it’s important to have time as husband and wife as well as time as mom and dad.

Use this husband in England as your inspiration. Did a lack of babysitter stop him planning a night of fun for his other half? Of course not, he simply hired an inflatable Irish bar for their back yard – complete with a baby screen TV monitor. GENIUS! And hilarious.

So, for those who don’t want to quit – and who can’t find a sitter in time- here’s four fast date-saver ideas – minus the inflatable bar!

  • Check out the facilities at your local gym – a good few offer childcare as part of their membership. Granted, working out, swimming together, or playing tennis together might not be everyone’s idea of a date, but it’s pure adult time with the comfort of knowing your little one is just a corridor or two away with certified carers. If a workout isn’t what you had in mind – look around for daycare with weekend ‘Parents Night Out’ options like this one in Vista. This allows you to go for an uninterrupted local dinner with your other half for a few hours!
  • Make it a lunch date – for working parents whose littles are in daycare, why not opt for a leisurely lunch date instead of trying to cram a date into manic evenings and busy weekends. Take an extended lunch, (or better still, use up a sick day) and have some one-on-one indulgent time with your love.
  • Turn your home in to a spa – Why not hire a masseur to come to your home after baby’s bed time to give you both a well-deserved massage in the comfort of your own home? Luxury minus the childcare logistics – perfect!
  • Get creative at home – ‘Paint and Sip’ nights seem to be everywhere you look, but what’s to stop you setting this up at home? All you need is some paint and vino, then you can create your own masterpiece at home. For those looking to make the most of their date night, think ‘Titanic’ and get your husband to draw you like one of those French girls (wink, wink!)

Have fun lovebirds! You really do deserve it.

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Summer Hiking With Infants

san diego hiking with babies infantsIf there’s one thing San Diegans are not short of, it’s hiking trails.

What you WILL find yourself short of are excuses! Because when there’s year round sunshine, there really is no excuse not to grab your shades, shoes and get outside.

A love of hiking needn’t change when a baby arrives on the scene. Sure, the thought of taking a little one along a trail might be a little intimidating at first, but with the right planning and determination, it’s TOTALLY possible! Not only are fresh air and fresh parents the perfect combo, a good hike is also a perfect way to help an older sibling burn off some of that seemingly endless energy.

With weeks of longer days still ahead of us, here’s a few of our favorite infant hiking tips:

  • Pick the Right Carrier – With so many options to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming, so please always feel free to come in and talk to our mamas at the Boutique about age appropriate and safe babywearing. You can bring your carrier and your baby to our Babywearing Clinic with our trained babywearing consultants. TOP TIP: Get your child used to a new carrier before hitting a trail – it can make all the difference.
  • Stick with what you know – At least initially. Don’t get too ambitious on your first family hike – go somewhere that you know well and where you know the terrain. If you want to try somewhere new, do your research and check if it’s flat / stroller friendly first etc. Try and limit that first hike to an hour or two – even if all is going well, don’t push your good luck!
  • Nap time – The hiking motion puts most kids in a carrier to sleep, so if you can, aim to hit a trail at naptime to help stick to your baby’s sleep cycle. If all the snoozy stars align, this nap on the go will give you some ‘me-hiking’ time, or adult time with your partner.
  • Bare Necessities – It’s tempting for any Mama Bear to try and bring everything for all eventualities, but any unnecessary extra weight is guaranteed to make the hike less enjoyable. Along with un-avoidables like diapers, spare clothes, think travel sized items for everything else, – like wipes, our ‘On the Go’ Think Baby Safe sunscreen (SPF 50+) in the Boutique, or the all-natural BALM! Baby Shue Bug spray. Don’t forget snack fuel for you too!
  • Hats, Camera, Action – don’t get us wrong, it’s always safety first when it comes to little ones outside, but safe doesn’t have to mean drab! We have a bunch of hip and trendy safe sun hats for little ones in the Boutique. We’ve even got some adorable ‘Babiators’ in store that make for the cutest baby photos (FACT!). So don’t forgot your camera while hiking.

Enjoy Mother Nature guys! She’s amazing – just like you are. It’s a mom thing!

Need trail ideas? Check out this article on best family friendly hikes in SD.

 

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