Canada Medical Advisory Board:

How to introduce solid food to your baby

Approved by the BabyCenter Canada Medical Advisory Board

https://www.babycenter.ca/a1040403/how-to-introduce-solid-food-to-your-baby#:~:text=How%20to%20introduce%20solid%20food%20to%20your %20baby,food%2C%20and%20not%20too%20full%20to%20be%20interested.

This article comes to us from Canada. It contains specific ideas on foods, amounts, how often and how much to feed your baby. The glossary of topics covered is helpful. I found the breadth of the information here interesting. There is always more to learn!!! Hope you enjoy! JUDY

In this article

Congratulations! Your baby has reached another exciting milestone. She’s ready to start eating solid food. This will likely be an exciting and sometimes frustrating time for you both. We have some pointers here on how to introduce your baby to solids, but this, like all parenting endeavours, will take patience, some experimenting, a little mess cleaning, and a sense of humour. Bon appétit!

How should I begin to introduce solid food?

For the best beginning possible be sure that your baby is ready to start solids. It is recommended by Health Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society that you wait until your baby is six months old before introducing solids. You also want to be sure that your baby can sit up on her own, hold her head up, and shows interest in eating. Once you know that she’s ready to begin, gather together a few basic tools for feeding her. Then spend a little time thinking about which foods you want to introduce first

 iron. Here’s one good way to introduce it.

1. Offer your baby her usual breast milk or formula.

2. When she is nearly satisfied, give her about one or two teaspoons of dry cereal mixed with enough formula, breast milk, or water to make a soupy solution. If you don’t want to start with baby cereal there are other iron-richfirst food options like pureed meats. Give this mixture to your baby on a soft rubber-tipped spoon once a day.

3. Finish with her milk feed. This way, she won’t be so hungry that she is too frustrated to try the new food, and not too full to be interested.

It doesn’t have to be the morning feed; pick a time that’s convenient for both you and your baby. Most parents have to experiment before they find a routine that works.

At first, your baby may eat very little. Be patient with your little one and remember it may take a little time for her to learn these new skills.

When your baby is eating two to three tablespoons of cereal or soupy puree a day, try adding another food. As she begins to eat and develops more of a side-to-side grinding motion, add a little less liquid so the texture becomes thicker. This allows your baby to work on chewing (gumming) and swallowing.

How will I know when my baby’s full?

Your baby’s appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so a strict accounting of the amount she’s eaten isn’t a reliable way to tell when she’s had enough. If your baby leans back in her chair, turns her head away from food, starts playing with the spoon, pushes the spoon away, acts uninterested, or refuses to open up for the next bite, she has probably had enough. (Sometimes a baby will keep her mouth closed because she hasn’t yet finished with the first mouthful, so be sure to give her time to swallow.)

On the other hand, if your baby leans forward, opens her mouth like a baby bird, reaches for the spoon or the food, she may be telling you that she wants more. Watch and learn your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. This is called responsive eating and it’s an important step towards healthy independent eating habits.

Do I still need to breastfeed?

Yes. Breast milk is designed to be the perfect food for your baby’s first six months. Both breast milk and formula provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form. Even though solid foods will gradually replace some of your baby’s milk feeds, breast milk or formula will remain her most important source of nutrition until she is one year old.

How should I introduce more solid foods?

The goal is to introduce your baby to a wide variety of foods by her first birthday. Health Canada recommends starting with iron-rich foods and then gradually introducing more foods to your baby. You can offer her food that your family is eating so long as you adjust it to the right texture and size for her eating abilities. 

 allergic reaction. If you have a family history of allergies, make a plan with your baby’s doctor before you introduce the common allergens.

Some good foods for babies include: pureed meats, pureed legumes (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas), ripe bananas, or cooked, pureed apple, carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, peas, and butternut squash, but almost anything goes. Try mixing to a sloppy consistency with boiled, cooled water or breast or formula milk. You can also try baby rice, maize, cornmeal or millet cereal.

If you get a negative reaction from your baby, offer the food again a few days later. She may always turn up her nose at some foods, but continue to offer them in hope that they become more appealing.

Lots of Questions Answered Regarding When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Food

The article below is from the Mayo Clinic site. It answeres a bunch of questions you may have. Use these as guidelines. Remember, every baby is different. Every family makes the choices they believe best for their kids. Learning everything you can to make the best choices is your job. Please pass on things you find interesting and helpful! We are always learning new things together!!! JUDY

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20046200

Healthy Lifestyle

Infant and toddler health

Solid foods: How to get your baby started

Solid foods are a big step for a baby. Find out when and how to make the transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Giving your baby his or her first taste of solid food is a major milestone. Here’s what you need to know before your baby takes that first bite.

Is your baby ready for solid foods?

Breast milk or formula is the only food your newborn needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months after birth.

But by ages 4 months to 6 months, most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods as a complement to breast-feeding or formula-feeding. During this time babies typically stop using their tongues to push food out of their mouths and begin to develop the coordination to move solid food from the front of the mouth to the back for swallowing.

In addition to age, look for other signs that your baby is ready for solid foods. For example:

  • Can your baby hold his or her head in a steady, upright position?
  • Can your baby sit with support?
  • Is your baby mouthing his or her hands or toys?
  • Is your baby showing a desire for food by leaning forward and opening his or her mouth?

If you answer yes to these questions and your baby’s doctor agrees, you can begin supplementing your baby’s liquid diet.

What to serve when

Continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula — up to 32 ounces a day. Then:

  • Start simple. Offer single-ingredient foods that contain no sugar or salt. Wait three to five days between each new food to see if your baby has a reaction, such as diarrhea, a rash or vomiting. After introducing single-ingredient foods, you can offer them in combination.
  • Important nutrients. Iron and zinc are important nutrients in the second half of your baby’s first year. These nutrients are found in pureed meats and single-grain, iron-fortified cereal.
  • Baby cereal basics. Mix 1 tablespoon of a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal with 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) of breast milk or formula. Don’t serve it from a bottle. Instead, help your baby sit upright and offer the cereal with a small spoon once or twice a day after a bottle- or breast-feeding. Start by serving one or two teaspoons. Once your baby gets the hang of swallowing runny cereal, mix it with less liquid and gradually increase the serving sizes. Offer a variety of single-grain cereals such as rice, oatmeal or barley. Avoid feeding your baby only rice cereal due to possible exposure to arsenic.
  • Add vegetables and fruits. Gradually introduce single-ingredient pureed vegetables and fruits that contain no sugar or salt. Wait three to five days between each new food.
  • Offer finely chopped finger foods. By ages 8 months to 10 months, most babies can handle small portions of finely chopped finger foods, such as soft fruits, vegetables, pasta, cheese, well-cooked meat, baby crackers and dry cereal.

What if my baby refuses his or her first feeding?

Babies often reject their first servings of pureed foods because the taste and texture is new. If your baby refuses the feeding, don’t force it. Try again in a week. If the problem continues, talk to your baby’s doctor to make sure the resistance isn’t a sign of a problem.

What about food allergies?

It’s recommended that you give your baby potentially allergenic foods when you introduce other complementary foods. Potentially allergenic foods include:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Egg
  • Cow milk products
  • Wheat
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Fish
  • Soy

There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of these foods can help prevent food allergies. In fact, early introduction of foods containing peanuts might decrease the risk that your baby will develop a food allergy to peanuts.

Still, especially if any close relatives have a food allergy, give your child his or her first taste of a highly allergenic food at home — rather than at a restaurant — with an oral antihistamine available. If there’s no reaction, the food can be introduced in gradually increasing amounts.

Is juice OK?

Don’t give juice to your baby until after age 1. Juice isn’t a necessary part of a baby’s diet, and it’s not as valuable as whole fruit. Too much juice might contribute to weight problems and diarrhea. Sipping juice throughout the day can lead to tooth decay.

If you offer juice to your baby, make sure it’s 100% fruit juice and limit it to 4 ounces a day.

Know what’s off-limits

Certain foods aren’t appropriate for babies. Consider these guidelines:

  • Don’t offer cow’s milk or honey before age 1. Cow’s milk doesn’t meet an infant’s nutritional needs — it isn’t a good source of iron — and can increase the risk of iron deficiency. Honey might contain spores that can cause a serious illness known as infant botulism.
  • Don’t offer foods that can cause your baby to choke. As your baby progresses in eating solid foods, don’t offer hot dogs, chunks of meat or cheese, grapes, raw vegetables, or fruit chunks, unless they’re cut up into small pieces. Also, don’t offer hard foods, such as seeds, nuts, popcorn and hard candy that can’t be changed to make them safe options. Other high-risk foods include peanut butter and marshmallows. To introduce nuts and prevent choking, spread peanut butter in a thin layer or puree peanut butter or peanuts with fruits or vegetables.

Preparing baby food at home

Another reason to avoid giving your baby solid food before age 4 months is the risk associated with certain home-prepared foods. A baby younger than age 4 months shouldn’t be given home-prepared spinach, beets, carrots, green beans or squash. These foods might contain enough nitrates to cause the blood disorder methemoglobinemia.

Make meals manageable

During feedings, talk to your baby and help him or her through the process. To make mealtime enjoyable:

  • Stay seated. As soon as your baby can sit easily without support, use a highchair with a broad, stable base. Buckle the safety straps.
  • Encourage exploration. Your baby is likely to play with his or her food. Make sure that finger foods are soft, easy to swallow and broken down into small pieces.
  • Introduce utensils. Offer your baby a spoon to hold while you feed him or her with another spoon. As your baby’s dexterity improves, encourage your baby to use a spoon.
  • Offer a cup. Feeding your baby breast milk or formula from a cup at mealtimes can help pave the way for weaning from a bottle. Around age 9 months, your baby might be able to drink from a cup on his or her own.
  • Dish individual servings. If you feed your baby directly from a jar or container, saliva on the spoon can quickly spoil leftovers. Instead, place servings in a dish. Opened jars of baby food can be safely refrigerated for two to three days.
  • Avoid power struggles. If your baby turns away from a new food, don’t push. Simply try again another time. Repeated exposure can create variety in your baby’s diet.
  • Know when to call it quits. When your baby has had enough to eat, he or she might cry or turn away. Don’t force extra bites. As long as your baby’s growth is on target, he or she is likely getting enough to eat. Also, don’t try to get your baby to eat as much as possible at bedtime to get him or her to sleep through the night. There’s no evidence that this works.

Enjoy your baby’s sloppy tray, gooey hands and sticky face. You’re building the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Introducing Solid Food

These babies look pristine. Your’s won’t! Ha! Ha! Introducing solid food is messy! Don’t wear clothing you like for you or baby! Until the two of you get the dance of feeding down it will be wild! Bibs or aprons for both of you will help! Take lots of photos! You won’t want to forget………

My intent in creating this blog is to provide information and ideas to new moms as they navigate the interesting and wide world of parenting. I bring articles and suggestions to you for your benefit. I know, as you have learned, everyone will have differing suggestions for you as you parent. It will be like when you were in the hospital after delivering you baby. Each nurse had a different way to swaddle, breastfeed, etc. This can be overwhelming for new parents. Yet, it is a great way to learn. Once you have enough confidence to decide what you want to do in your home, you can evaluate what is sent to you, and choose which plan is best for you!

My best resource for parenting is friends and acquaintances. I am not someone who reads manuals and catalogues. I prefer to talk with those more experienced than myself and learn from then. I am social, so I enjoy people much more than books and resources! Ha! Each of us has our favorite way of gleaning knowledge. Figure out which way is yours and get going!!!

With baby information everyone has their own opinion. Gramas, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances believe their opinion is best and they want to share it with you so you can do it!. Theirs may not be the best plan for you. You don’t need to tell them so. Just smile and say “Thank you so much.” Then go home and do with your baby what you believe to be best. You will improve at this as time goes on. Be easy on yourself. This is a new adventure! Don’t freak out! Don’t worry. Babies have survived since the beginning of time. Your’s will too!! JUDY

How to introduce solid food to your baby

Approved by the BabyCenter Canada Medical Advisory Board

https://www.babycenter.ca/a1040403/how-to-introduce-solid-food-to-your-baby#:~:text=How%20to%20introduce%20solid%20food%20to%20your%20baby,food%2C%20and%20not%20too%20full%20to%20be%20interested.

In this article

Congratulations! Your baby has reached another exciting milestone. She’s ready to start eating solid food. This will likely be an exciting and sometimes frustrating time for you both. We have some pointers here on how to introduce your baby to solids, but this, like all parenting endeavours, will take patience, some experimenting, a little mess cleaning, and a sense of humour. Bon appétit!

How should I begin to introduce solid food?

For the best beginning possible be sure that your baby is ready to start solids. It is recommended by Health Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society that you wait until your baby is six months old before introducing solids. You also want to be sure that your baby can sit up on her own, hold her head up, and shows interest in eating. Once you know that she’s ready to begin, gather together a few basic tools for feeding her. Then spend a little time thinking about which foods you want to introduce first

 iron. Here’s one good way to introduce it.

1. Offer your baby her usual breast milk or formula.
2. When she is nearly satisfied, give her about one or two teaspoons of dry cereal mixed with enough formula, breast milk, or water to make a soupy solution. If you don’t want to start with baby cereal there are other iron-richfirst food options like pureed meats. Give this mixture to your baby on a soft rubber-tipped spoon once a day.

3. Finish with her milk feed. This way, she won’t be so hungry that she is too frustrated to try the new food, and not too full to be interested.

It doesn’t have to be the morning feed; pick a time that’s convenient for both you and your baby. Most parents have to experiment before they find a routine that works.

At first, your baby may eat very little. Be patient with your little one and remember it may take a little time for her to learn these new skills.

When your baby is eating two to three tablespoons of cereal or soupy puree a day, try adding another food. As she begins to eat and develops more of a side-to-side grinding motion, add a little less liquid so the texture becomes thicker. This allows your baby to work on chewing (gumming) and swallowing.

How will I know when my baby’s full?

Your baby’s appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so a strict accounting of the amount she’s eaten isn’t a reliable way to tell when she’s had enough. If your baby leans back in her chair, turns her head away from food, starts playing with the spoon, pushes the spoon away, acts uninterested, or refuses to open up for the next bite, she has probably had enough. (Sometimes a baby will keep her mouth closed because she hasn’t yet finished with the first mouthful, so be sure to give her time to swallow.)

On the other hand, if your baby leans forward, opens her mouth like a baby bird, reaches for the spoon or the food, she may be telling you that she wants more. Watch and learn your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. This is called responsive eating and it’s an important step towards healthy independent eating habits.

Do I still need to breastfeed?

Yes. Breast milk is designed to be the perfect food for your baby’s first six months. Both breast milk and formula provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form. Even though solid foods will gradually replace some of your baby’s milk feeds, breast milk or formula will remain her most important source of nutrition until she is one year old.

How should I introduce more solid foods?

The goal is to introduce your baby to a wide variety of foods by her first birthday. Health Canada recommends starting with iron-rich foods and then gradually introducing more foods to your baby. You can offer her food that your family is eating so long as you adjust it to the right texture and size for her eating abilities. 

 allergic reaction. If you have a family history of allergies, make a plan with your baby’s doctor before you introduce the common allergens.

Some good foods for babies include: pureed meats, pureed legumes (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas), ripe bananas, or cooked, pureed apple, carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, peas, and butternut squash, but almost anything goes. Try mixing to a sloppy consistency with boiled, cooled water or breast or formula milk. You can also try baby rice, maize, cornmeal or millet cereal.

If you get a negative reaction from your baby, offer the food again a few days later. She may always turn up her nose at some foods, but continue to offer them in hope that they become more appealing.

How to Help With Emotional Crisis

As we evaluate America today there are many who are hurting. Being out of work, not able to be with friends and family, financial crisis, uncertainty, and more have everyone off kilter. What always was, the things in which we have confidence have been removed. Governmental over reach, stolen elections, everything is up in the air and many are very upset.

How can we calm the waters and bring peace to the hearts of those in our lives? The following article gives suggestions. If you believe someone in your life is struggling speak with them. Let them know you are there for them. Often just listening relieves the stress level and brings peace. If you do this and do not see a relief of stress seek professional help. The actions of others are not your fault, but they so affect you. Help those who are going down a dark path find help from those trained to serve them. Call help lines, a professional therapist, a psychiatrist, or other professional. A pediatrician or obstetrician would have referrals for these. Do not feel you have to fix the problem yourself. Point your friend or relative in the right direction.

How to Help Emotionally:

Life can be difficult and painful. There are moments when it feels like we are being assaulted from all sides, with difficulties and challenges hurled at us time and time again.  In trying to get through it all, it can seem like we’re just slowly crawling through mud, trying to pull ourselves out and get ahead. Every single person will experience it at some point in their life.  That is why it is so valuable to understand effective ways to help the people around you when you are in a position to make a positive impact.  Helping other people is not only good for that person, but it’s good for your own soul. That being said, it’s a challenging world and there are some difficult people out there.

Kindness and compassion aren’t necessarily soft or gentle. It’s important that you ensure your own health and well-being in the process of trying to uplift another person.  Helping other people in their hour of need can be challenging and confusing at times. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that… You don’t need to have all of the answers. A person who is going through a difficult time may feel like their problems are insurmountable. Those feelings can be intense and overwhelming even in a situation that is relatively simple. Mental illness makes that kind of situation even more difficult. Depression and anxiety are becoming more widespread, which means that not all of a person’s emotions are necessarily going to be reasonable or rational. Sometimes, life can hand us problems that do not have clear and distinct answers. In trying to help another person, you must remember that you don’t need to have all the answers.

Some problems are so complicated that they require professional help to find answers to. Some problems should not have uninformed opinions foisted on them.  It’s okay to not have answers. You can always help guide the person in the direction of the answers they are looking for.  Presence speaks louder than hollow words.  Words mean very little, which is probably an odd thing to read in a written article. But how many times have you heard from a person that they would always be there for you? Or even that they loved you, and then when you needed them, they were nowhere to be found? The truth is that words are easy, and often shallow. It’s actions that speak loud and clear. People so often look for the right words to comfort someone they care about who is going through something terrible, but there are rarely good words for the worst of situations.  If you feel stuck, something as simple as, “I don’t know what to say, but do know that I’m here for you.” can be powerful. Your continued presence can offer more support and help than an encyclopedia of hollow words.Set aside any distractions and be present with the person. It’s a powerful way to demonstrate to them that they and their problems are important to you.

Anchor the person in reality with a tangible course of action.  A person who is going through hard times will be swamped with emotions that are likely to make it hard to see through or past their pain.  Think of it like a person who is physically drowning. Are they concerned with a boat in the distance? A shoreline? The people or buildings on the shore?  No.  They are in the moment, focused on trying to keep themselves above the surface.  They aren’t necessarily spending their time looking past keeping their head above the water or latching onto something nearby that can keep them afloat. Panic and a drowning response make it difficult to think clearly in such a situation. Emotional distress on dry land is much the same. You can anchor a person back into reality by helping them find a tangible course of action to approach a problem. That often comes down to convincing the person to talk to a relevant professional that can help them with whatever problem it is they are facing.  There is a common misconception about “suicide hotlines” that stems from people calling them suicide hotlines. Most are actually “crisis hotlines” and the operators can help in many more situations than just a person feeling suicidal. Sometimes they can connect a person with services or help that the caller didn’t know was available.

Boundaries are a necessity in trying to help another person.  There is a lot written about the importance of authenticity and closeness with other people. What tends to get brushed over far too often is the absolute need for solid boundaries.  Boundaries serve not only to protect oneself from the turmoil of other people, but they can also help guide another person in a better direction.  By having the ability to say, “What you are doing is not okay with me, and if you keep doing it, I’m stepping away.” you can spend less time worrying about another person taking advantage of you

You are not the other person’s therapist or savior. Ultimately, a person can only truly save themselves. Everything else is just a tool, method of support, or empowerment. Real change and uplifting come from hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. A tool is not useful if a person won’t pick it up and use it. Sometimes, the best way to guide a person into that course of action is by not putting up with repeated, toxic behaviorRepeated is an important word. Sometimes people go through low and difficult times. They make mistakes. Bad things will happen. What truly matters is that the person is actively working to improve their situation. And if they won’t, then your ability to reinforce your boundaries will help keep you safe and well in the process.  Avoid using the word “understand” when trying to relate.The word “understand” is an emotionally charged statement to people who have gone through some horrible things or are presently struggling.  Invoking this word is a tricky thing, because it can build some solid bridges if you can meaningfully demonstrate that you have been in a similar position, but it can also immediately shut the other person down. Why? Because if you say you understand someone’s pain and can’t actually show that to the other person in some way, their defensive walls are going to go up and they stop listening.  Avoid using “understand” when trying to be helpful or there for someone. You don’t need to try to relate to the person’s suffering to help them. Most of the time that will just fall short and make it harder for you to be there for them because they won’t be as open or trusting about what they are going through.

Openness is a major factor in helping others. Authenticity allows people to connect in a way that can provide inspiration and hope in dark places. Your actions demonstrate authenticity far more than your words ever can. Act with kindness and compassion and you’ll find that you can uplift the people you touch far easier than trying to find the right words to convince someone that you understand or relate. Whatever kindness and support you choose to offer and put into the world, do not forget to practice it with yourself. It’s tough out there for a lot of people. A thick skin and solid boundaries are two important parts of keeping yourself well and healthy if you want to help others.

18 Ways To Help A New Mom

“What Can I Do To Help?” This is the question we all find ourselves asking. What can we do for those who have a new baby, are dealing with a major illness, a move, or some other major change in life. This article provides many practical suggestions for friends and family who want to help.

“WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?” If you say this to a mama and she looks at you like it’s a trick question, don’t give up. Sometimes asking for what we need is tricky, you know?

After my oldest was born and my midwives crept away for some well-deserved sleep, I remember wondering if they’d noticed that I couldn’t figure out how to burp her. I loved my squishy little girl more than my own breath, but it took some time to feel confident as her mama.

Fortunately, my family and friends surrounded me with support, even when I didn’t know what to ask for. Apparently they had a new mom playbook I didn’t know about, and it went something like this . . .

Whether your friend is a first-time mama or a seasoned vet on baby #5, here are some ways you can help . . that ACTUALLY help!

1. Run A Couple of Errands

Text me the day before you’re scheduled to drop off a meal and ask if you can pick anything up on your way: toilet paper, bleach-free pads, natural laundry powder, etc.

2. If I Say No . . .

Text me again a few hours before you stop by. I may have remembered something!

3. Give Me An Afternoon

“Come over about 2 in the afternoon. Hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners.” (Gloria Lemay) Or if there’s no laundry to fold, offer to start a load.

4. Capture A Memory

Chances are I barely managed to get into presentable pj’s before you arrived and I’m not thinking about a photo shoot, but as the saying goes, “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.”

Whether it’s my beautiful squishy baby sleeping peacefully, or an older child dressed up in a makeshift costume, if you see something lovely ask me if I’d like you to photograph it. Use my phone, or use yours and send it to me later with a quick note telling me what a great job I’m doing. Even if it’s grainy and not at all professional, your photo may become a treasured memory of a time when not many photos are taken. (See Exhibit A here)

5. Spruce Up My Kitchen

Put a load of dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down my countertops.

6. Make Me An Uplifting Room & Linen Spray

Buy a dark amber 4 ounce glass spray bottle, fill it with organic lavender hydrosol (flower water) or organic rose hydrosol, then tie a bit of baker’s twine or ribbon around the nozzle to make it pretty. Although the shelf life will be about 3 months, which is shorter than this homemade air freshener made with essential oils, hydrosols are more gentle and therefore preferred for use in a home with a brand new baby.

Ask me if I’d like you to spritz my pillow. Oh, and make up a bottle for yourself, too. Let’s be happy together!

7. Don’t Assume

. . . that because I am on my second (or third or fourth!) baby that I don’t need help because I “know what I’m is doing.” I need more help! (Thanks Renee Kohley for this idea!)

8. Speaking Of My Older Kids . . .

Please take them to the park to blow bubbles or kick the soccer ball around. Please do not feed them junk – they turn in to gremlins, I promise! Here are some healthy snack ideas they’ll love.

9. Take Kitty For a Walk

Or if you really love me clean out Fido’s litterbox! (What, you didn’t name your dog after a cat and vice versa?)

10. Put A Sign On My Door

If I’ve shared with you that I’m feeling overwhelmed by visitors, offer to print this sign for me and place it on my front door.

11. Express Your Inner Type A

If you’re the organizing type, help me harness “Is there anything I can do to help?” into real-life results. Create a list of chores to put on the fridge so that friends know what is needed. (Thanks for this idea, Katy Scott!)

12. Invite Me To The Circle

Thinking about birth – mine, yours, or the totally different one down the street – is a great way to help me process my experience. Long conversations can be tiring, but I wouldn’t mind if you gifted me a copy of The Birth Next Door for me to read while I’m nursing in the wee hours.

13. Nourish the Nourisher

Organize a Meal Train and share it with my friends and family. Also send me a link that I can give to anyone who asks about bringing a meal.

If my family is on a restricted diet  – gluten, dairy, sugar, whatever – make sure that vital info gets listed. When you sign up to bring something, make sure to bring me a nourishing meal like egg drop soup and a huge salad with homemade ranch dressing. Here are 25 quick, healthy meal ideas I’ll love you for!

14. Close The Gap

Yeah, there are 3 states between us and you’re totally off the hook, but how awesome would it be if you made the miles vanish into thin air with a visit from a natural cleaning service or box of organic, fair-trade chocolate drop-shipped from Amazon?

15. Send Me This Article

And also maybe this one.

16. Stop By After All The Hullabaloo 

The first two weeks everyone is eager to help, but the adjustment period is much longer. Help around the house, or offer to come with me and hold the baby while I try on nursing bras or pick up some essentials.

17. Leave Quickly

I love you, I REALLY do, but welcoming visitors can be very tiring. So after you’ve done one of these amazing things for me, quietly slip out the door. Did I mention that I love you?

18. Make “Thank You” Taboo

Gifts are not necessary, but if you bring one make sure that it comes with a card that says “Don’t you dare write me a thank you note!

What are your favorite ways to help a new mom?

Is it something that was helpful to you after having a baby, or maybe something you wish someone had done for you?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

In years past Happy New Year wishes simply included joy and hopefulness for the incoming year. After 2020 there are many feelings of moving past and on to the future!! 2021 can only improve!! HA! HA!

As we work past this year, where everyone has experienced feelings of fear and confusion, there are different things to consider. Things are still up in the air in many states. If you are fortunate enough to live in one of the states opening up life should return to normal soon. Allowing schools to open and businesses to operate will bring a feeling of normalcy for your children. Our kids are older, dealing with these issues as parents. There have been many conversations about how to help little ones feel safe. Removing masks as soon as possible is essential. The science on the effectiveness of masks is questionable at best. Yet they instill fear in the hearts of kids for many reasons.

Children are learning the meaning of facial expressions, innuendo, and voice fluctuation. Masks hide each of these things. Children are taught to stay away from strangers. With masks on everyone is a potential stranger. Children need smiles and kisses in mass. They need your touch to interpret your mood. They need it for encouragement and peace. When ever possible allow your children to be in the company of others with out masks. The risk of Covid for them is almost nonexistent.

I wish you wonderful things as 2021 unfolds. Have a lovely year!!! JUDY

Thoughts for Enjoying the End of this Crazy Year!!!!!

This holiday season is different in many ways. As new parents you have many more decisions to make. This is a challenge, take your time. Consider what you want future holidays to look like for your immediate and extended families. Newborns travel well, so if you have just one little one, this may be the last holiday you travel to others for a while. Every family is different. Expectations are different. It is important to discuss these with those making the holiday decisions in your home. It is late in the season to begin these discussions, but important to do if you have not.

QUESTIONS TO ASK: 1. What are the important traditions in the family of your other half? 2. When do they open holiday gifts? 3. What foods do they enjoy on Christmas or Hanukah? 4. Do all family members show up on Christmas Day, or is that for nuclear families and the extended family shares time together another day? 5. How would the two of you like to spend the holiday?

Be flexible. Be willing to consider changing the way you have always done things to accommodate others. When baby is very small it is easier for you to bring them along. Once they are mobile it is more difficult. Talk with your extended family and find out what they would like to do. Everyone will not get to do what they wish, but everyone should feel like their feelings have been considered.

Think about what is the most important part of the holiday for you personally. If it can’t happen this holiday, plan a special time later in the year where you are able to experience it. Christmas in March is not totally crazy, especially if you can have a mock celebration with those you love.

I wish you a blessed celebration, what ever it looks like this year. Take precious moments to share your heart with those you love, even if it ends up being through FaceTime or Zoom. Reach out and encourage those in your circle. Everyone is a bit off this year. We all need a little extra time and understanding. Hugs and Kisses in every way (virtually). Enjoy the season, smells, tastes, and beauty!!! JUDY

Thoughts on Celebrating Together

We have been providing ideas for Christmas/Holiday crafts for you and your little ones to make as gifts for fun together. In these crazy times it is so important to provide normality in the lives of your loved ones. The survival rate of Covid 19 is 99.06 %, unless you are over 75 years of age. Eighteen states have reported no deaths in those under 18 years of age. Covid has been introduced into our environment and will be here for decades. We have to individually decide how much we are going to allow it to interfere in our lives. Please carefully consider your plans. If you feel you should quarantine do so. We are each responsible to do what we feel is best for our individual situation.

We will continue to provide fun activities to do with the little ones in you life. We all need fun and relationships to be healthy people. No government representative can decide for you what that means! In America, these decisions are personal.

Fun projects to do with the little ones in you life!!! They don’t take much time, and will provide lovely memories of Christmases in the future!

FUN CHRISTMAS CRAFT: FAMILY HANDPRINT CHRISTMAS TREE

Family-Handprint-Christmas-Tree_thumb

This is a project every family member can enjoy. Have each person draw around their hand, either one, on green paper. Make 6 prints then cut them out. Begin at the bottom of your tree, placing your larger haprints as the lower branches. Layer them for two rows then begin adding smaller hand prints in the same manner. Work your way up, placing the smallest prints at the top. Use sticky glue sparingly to adhere the handprints to your tree. Depending upon your art acumen you can design a tree skirt, gifts to founder the tree, sequin decorations and popcorn strands to decorate your tree. Use these as decorations for the doors inside your home. The kids will love them.

Supplies needed: construction paper for a back (black?), green construction paper for the branches, pens to draw around your hands, scissors to cut out your branches, sticky glue, Decorations: sequins, pearls, colorful pompoms, jewels, popcorn strands, mini hanging ornaments, a star for the top. etc..

Glitter Ornaments. Ornaments with glitter in them, or sand, or shells, or tissue paper, etc. These glitter ornaments are simple to make and give your tree a little bit of sparkle. Fill clear plastic ornaments with glitter confetti of different colors. Try including white glitter to give the illusion of snow.

These Are So Cute I Just Couldn’t Pass Them Up!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Fingerprint Twinkle Light Painting

Fingerprint Light Painting
 Crafty Morning

A twirled, swirly marker line acts as the cord for a string of painted Christmas lights in this festive artwork. Little ones press colorful fingerprints and thumbprints sporadically along the wire, and can finish with a written holiday message. Details like a shiny white glint on each bulb (puffy paint or glitter glue are perfect) bring this piece to the next level. This handmade artwork makes a great personalized Christmas card or gift tag.

Fingerprint Twinkle Light Painting from Crafty Morning

Footprint Reindeer

Footprint Reindeer
  Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Embrace getting a bit messy with this craft! Press a bunch of kid-sized footprints onto plain paper, let dry, and add reindeer features. Opt to draw a pair of eyes, antlers, and a red nose, or use plastic wandering eyes and fuzzy pom poms for a three dimensional effect.

Footprint Reindeer from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Cotton Swab Snowflakes

Cotton Swab Snowflakes
  Little Passports

Cotton swabs bring the magic of a holiday snowstorm indoors with this festive snowflake artwork. Adults should trim a handful of cotton swabs at various lengths, then preschoolers can work on puzzle solving and symmetry skills by arranging snowflakes. Regular school glue adheres cotton swabs to card stock, then these are ready to hand around the room.

Cotton Swab Snowflakes from Little Passports

More Fun Holiday Creations!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Yogurt Cup Rudolph

Yogurt Cup Rudolph
  I Heart Crafty Things

Turn empty yogurt cups into an art supply with this adorable reindeer DIY. Kids can paint the clean, empty, yogurt cup Rudolph-brown, then glue on a set of eyes and a glowing red nose. Metallic pipe cleaners work well for Rudy’s antlers, and a few of these recycled reindeer clustered together make an especially lovely centerpiece.

I have made the following popsicle ornament into darling frames for photos. They are so much fun to view each year as baby grows!!! wonderful memoirs for grandparents and you!!

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree
  One Little Project

If you start with colored craft sticks, this quick project doesn’t require any messy paint or markers. Parents should hot glue Christmas tree triangles together, and kids can add flair with glitter, pom poms, and mini jingle bells. Make a whole set to display as homemade decor; these popsicle stick Christmas trees look darling strung together in a homemade garland.

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree from One Little Project

Everyone loves the candy cane reindeer. They make great small gifts for neighbors or classmates! Darling decorations on packages! So fun!!

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Cane Reindeer
 Elizabeth LaBau

Another great option for a low-cost craft, these candy cane reindeer will add a touch of kitsch to your Christmas decor. Simply glue on teeny red pom pom noses and googly eyes, then twist a length of brown pipe cleaner antlers around the candy cane curve. If you’d prefer to keep your candy canes totally edible, swap out the craft glue for royal icing.

Candy Cane Reindeer from The Spruce

Paper Bag Reindeer

Paper Bag Reindeer
 The Chirping Moms 

When little ones can spend a crafty afternoon creating their own playthings, that’s a parent win-win. Use a brown paper bag as the base for this hand puppet, then add eyes and a red nose face. Trace kids’ hands onto construction paper, then cut and paste onto the bag for antlers. This project is so simple, kids will want to create a whole team of reindeer to play with.

Paper Bag Reindeer from The Chirping Moms