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Family Matters: “Me Time” for Mommy


“Me Time” for MommyWhoooo weeeeee, those first six months of baby’s life are quite the ride.

You’re exhausted beyond all possible endurance, your body is doing all kinds of amazing – and weird – things that you weren’t expecting and another human is attached to you at almost all times.

You wouldn’t trade it for the world, but you still need a break.

“Me time” is good for new mothers. It makes you a better parent, gives you some respite from your rapidly changing world, and refreshes and rejuvenates you.

Getting “me time” in can be as simple as taking a long bath. Don’t just let it be a bath; make it a spa experience with scented body washes from the personal hygiene aisle at Brookshire’s. Treat yourself to your favorite scent and soak away. Or, add about 1/4 cup Epsom salts to your bath, sprinkle in your favorite essential oil and relax. Give yourself a facial at the same time by mixing oats with raw honey and placing slices of cucumbers over your eyes to help the bags (yes, you probably have them, we all did).

“Me time” can also come in the form of finding a quiet corner (let Dad be in charge of baby!) and reading your favorite book or magazine with a cup of Brookshire’s Best Coffee.

Make time for your favorite hobby. Mine, at the time my boys were little, was scrapbooking with actual paper, scissors and glue! I would spend any free time I had at my work table, happily creating new designs. Is your hobby sewing? Make time for 30 minutes a day for that. Do you love crossword puzzles or yoga? Make sure to schedule time for yourself.

Whatever it is, from a monthly Girls’ Night Out or Bunco game to quiet time to rest and recharge, make “Me Time” a priority!



Family Matters: Get More Dairy


Get More DairyOnce your baby is about six months old, they’re ready for more dairy in their diet.

Now remember, this does not include cow’s milk (save that until baby is one year old), but it can include things like yogurt, cheese or baked goods.

Yogurt is a great way for baby to get calcium and the “bacteria” in yogurt that is good for digestion. Yogurt is also a great way for babies to get the fat they need. Choose a Greek yogurt that is high in calcium and protein. Stay away from varieties with artificial sweeteners.

Cheese is another good way to get dairy into baby’s diet, starting at about 8 months. Small cubes of cheese that they can chew or gum on are a good way to snack and to practice fine motor skills. Mozzarella cheese sticks or string cheese is good, too. You can also make cheese toast with American cheese and whole-grain bread. Mac and cheese with whole-wheat elbow macaroni is a good choice, too.

Using cow’s milk in baked goods is just fine for baby. Banana bread, zucchini bread or biscuits are a great start.



Family Matters: Savvy Snacking on the Go


Savvy Snacking on the GoThere are lots of great ways to keep your toddler healthy and happy, and his belly full when you’re on the go. Savvy snacking doesn’t have to be complicated. Just pack a few of these essentials.

Dried fruit – Raisins, dried mangos, banana chips, prunes, dried apricots and dried cherries all make great snack choices.

Kale chips – What a great way to get your toddler to eat greens! Easy to make at home, these are a fabulous alternative to processed foods.

Granola bars – There are plenty of great recipes out there for homemade varieties, or buy something like KIND for your toddler’s nutritional needs.

Roasted chickpeas – My boys used to love these, and I couldn’t help but sneak a few from their baggie, too. Again, these are also easy to make at home, adding the seasonings your little one likes.

Sweet potato chips – Another great idea for a snacking powerhouse and super simple to make.

Homemade fruit leathers – Yummy, fun and highly portable (just stock a few wipes for sticky hands).

Homemade beef jerky – You control what goes in, so you know your little one is getting maximum nutrition and a ton of protein.

Cold grilled cheese – Why not?

Cereals – Look for a whole-grain variety that’s easy for your toddler to pick up.

Applesauce or fruit sauces – Homemade or from the store without added sugars.

Fruit – Sturdy fruits like bananas, apples and pears are easy to toss into the diaper bag.

String cheese – A great snack and a good way to get more dairy into your child’s diet.



Family Matters: Splish, Splash, Baby was Taking a Bath


Splish, Splash, Baby was Taking a BathI think babies come in two categories when it comes to bath time: they either love it or they hate it.

I had two lovers, but my nephew was a hater of epic proportions. Getting him into the bath was akin to dunking him in a tub of scalding water.

There are lots of things you can try to make bath time a fun and relaxing experience for all involved.

First, you might want to try to experiment with different temperatures of water. Baby might like it warmer or cooler than what you expect.

Secondly, play some music in the bathroom. Classical is relaxing, but anything he’s accustomed to hearing will help him relax.

Fill the tub with fun toys! Floating animals, soap crayons, small cups, sieves or water wheels are all entertaining in the tub. A stick-on mirror could make for hours of fun in the tub if you put it at baby’s eye level. Sponges, washcloths and anything tactile could distract baby while you wash her hair and body.

Try lavender-scented baby wash. Lavender is supposed to have a calming effect, and the scent might just work on baby, too.



Family Matters: Bottoms Up!


Keep Baby’s Diaper Area Clean and DryThere is nothing more miserable than a baby with a bad case of diaper rash – for the parents or for the little one!

Luckily, with products and techniques available today, diaper rash is both preventable and treatable.

Diaper rash is usually caused by leaving a wet or dirty diaper on too long, rubbing or chafing against the diaper itself, a yeast infection, allergic reaction to the diaper or something the baby ate that comes out the other end and causes a reaction.

Babies get diaper rashes more often when they get older, sleep in a dirty diaper, have diarrhea, start eating solid foods or take antibiotics.

To prevent diaper rash, make sure baby is changed frequently. If they don’t tend to wake up at night when they’re dirty, a thin layer of diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly can protect their bottom for several hours.

To treat diaper rash, let baby “air” out between diaper changes for a few minutes. Treat the rash areas with a diaper rash ointment. If diaper rash persists, you might have to eliminate certain things from his diet that cause severe irritation or change diaper brands.



Family Matters: Drink Up!


Transitioning Your Baby from a Bottle to a Sippy CupWhen your little one is about a year old, it’s time to transition from a bottle to a cup.

At this point, they have developed enough fine and gross motor skills to handle a cup and the sucking reflex has diminished significantly.

Some babies are ready for a cup much earlier than others, sometimes as early as six months old.

To start transitioning your baby from a bottle to a sippy cup, start by skipping a bottle-feeding every five to seven days.

Put whatever liquid your child is used to in his sippy cup — whether it’s breast milk or baby formula.

Put a little more liquid in baby’s cup and a little less in his bottle each time.

If your baby is old enough to show his preferences, let him get involved in selecting the cup; he’ll be more likely to use it.

Give your little one the liquids he likes best in the sippy cup and the ones he likes least in his bottle.

You can also go cold-turkey (my preferred method). Just hand your (developmentally ready) toddler a cup one day and go to town!

Transitioning can take anywhere from a day or two days to about a month, depending on the child and the consistency of the parents.



Earth Mama Angel Baby


Earth Mama Angel Baby

When I was pregnant with my boys and in the months after giving birth, I was so conscientious about what I put in – and on – my body.

Many mamas are, so Melinda Olson began formulating organic herbal remedies for friends in her Oregon kitchen, an endeavor which led to Earth Mama Angel Baby products.

Earth Mama Angel Baby products are safe, hospital-recommended, certified-organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. These natural, herbal personal care products, gentle castile soaps and teas are specifically formulated to support the entire journey of childbirth, from pregnancy through postpartum recovery, breast-feeding and baby care.

Melinda Olson is an expert in the benefits of plant medicine, and continually balances her trust and care of traditional herb wisdom with evidence-based research. She formulated her herbal pregnancy, postpartum, breast-feeding and baby care products to be safe and effective without worrisome ingredients. Of course, they are also baby-safe with no synthetic fragrances or preservatives.

Products include Angel Baby Lotion, Angel Baby Bottom Balm, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, New Mama Bottom Spray, Natural Nipple Butter and Organic Milkmaid Tea.

All are available at Brookshire’s.



Walking


Walking

My 12-year-old son had to write his autobiography recently.

He refused any help on the essay, even to verify important facts such as how much he weighed at birth and when he started walking.

He wrote that he started walking at 10 months, which isn’t even remotely true. He was 13 months when he finally tentatively struck out across the kitchen, only to make it two wobbly steps before my shrieks of delight scared him so much that he plopped right down on the floor and began to howl.

While walking at 10 months is on the early side of normal and 13 months is on solidly average, anything in that range is right on target. My mom claims I walked at 9 months, skipping crawling all-together. My pediatrician also told me, at the time, that he doesn’t really worry until a child isn’t walking at 18 months.

So, watch your little one. Don’t panic and enjoy the time before you have to batten down every door and cabinet in your house.



Potty Training


Potty Training

My friend just had twins, which is super awesome, except that she’d hoped to have her two-year-old son potty trained before the babies’ arrival.

It didn’t happen.

Try as she might, Evan would not pee-pee on the potty.

I don’t blame the kid. He wasn’t ready. It’s far easier to play with Thomas the Tank Engine and let ‘er rip in your diaper than it is to stop what you’re doing to have to go to the restroom.

While between two and three years is normal for potty training for a lot of girls, boys often take longer, easily age three, often approaching four.

I’m a firm believer in not pushing it. It will frustrate you more than it’s worth. Make that kid almost beg to go to the potty because he’s so ready to be rid of diapers.

With that said, there are gentle nudges you can provide to nudge him in the right direction. Big boy and girl underpants are huge. My younger son didn’t want to tinkle on Thomas, so that worked for him. Nothing worked for my older son, and he was almost four by the time he potty trained. Nothing I did was effective and I just got upset. I let it go and waited until he asked me. After that, there were no issues.

So, watch your toddler for signs of toilet readiness, but again, don’t force the issue. It’ll happen in due time.



Family Matters: Taming the Teeth Tantrums


Taming the Teeth TantrumsEven before your baby has teeth, you need to be thinking about their oral health.

When they still have their gummy grins, begin rubbing a soft cloth, or a brush made especially for babies, gently over their gums to get them accustomed to the sensation of having their “teeth brushed.” You don’t have to use toothpaste; just gently rub their gums.

When they do have teeth, use a small toothbrush with soft bristles, or a special brush you wear on your finger, to get your toddler’s teeth clean. Don’t use adult toothpaste, though. Find a brand specially made for babies and toddlers.

When we hit the toddler years, it was so hard to get my children to stand still long enough to brush their teeth. Plus, they hated when I did it and wanted to do it THEMSELVES (insert foot stomping and general churlishness here). To combat the teeth brushing tantrums, each boy had their own toothbrush they could hold while I was brushing their teeth. Then, when I was done, it was their turn. They also loved the little sand timers that help you know how long to brush. They were so mesmerized by the sand that they’d forget to focus on how long it was taking me to brush their teeth. Spin brushes were another lifesaver. While they weren’t the primary toothbrush, they were fun enough to distract the boys while I brushed their teeth thoroughly.

Good luck!

TIP: When your baby is a toddler, he likely wants to feed himself. Pick out the appropriate utensils to make this task easier. Utensils with handles with a special texture or shape or those with chunky handles with rubber grips make it simpler for little hands to pick up and grip.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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