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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Infant Suffocates in Baby Sling – Parents Reminded of Important Safety Rules

Baby slings have become an extremely popular method for carrying babies all over the world. They are designed to keep baby close while still keeping Mom’s hands free to carry out everyday tasks. Infants are often calmed while being carried in a sling and most mothers adore their slings because of their convenience. A recent incident, however, reminded us just how important safety is when using an infant sling.

A two-day old infant from South Australia died while being carried in an infant sling. According to the report, the infant was being carried underneath the mother’s clothing. She later discovered that the infant was cold and not breathing.

Australian pathologists have named the sling as a “risk factor” in the infant’s death but it was not named as the actual cause of death. Essentially, what they are saying is that the sling could have caused the death, may have contributed to the death but the infant might have died, despite the sling.

This isn’t the first death linked to infant slings. According to Melanie Water from the Australian child safety organization, Kidsafe, there have been 16 other sling-related deaths reported in the United States and Canada. “All baby slings should be sold with clear instructions and specific diagrams to make sure the potential risks are clear,” said Melanie.

The risk is highest for young infants; those under four months of age, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. But even these young infants can be carried safely, if the parent is aware of the proper precautions and potential risk factors.

There is no doubt that news like this can stir panic and fear in the hearts of every parent and parent-to-be. The reaction is normal and completely understandable. However, consider the report of the infant’s death again – the mother was wearing the sling under clothing. This is not proper safety.
The mother might have been trying to keep the infant warm or protect it from the sun. Maybe the infant wouldn’t quiet until it was skin to skin. Maybe she nursed the infant under her shirt and just figured everything would be fine if the infant stayed there and slept. The point is not to blame the mother. My heart goes out to her for the loss of her infant. It is truly sad news and I ask that parents not walk away from this with panic, fear or indifference in their hearts and minds.

What I do want parents to consider is that there is a right way and a wrong way to wear an infant sling. This safety is important, no matter how young or old the infant.

Yes, slings do need proper instructions and warnings – many brands do have instructional information on proper sling wearing in the package. There are some brands, however, that may not include this essential information or, if present, the information may not be thorough.

I looked around for a few safety tips for sling-wearing myself. Why? Because I believe in sling wearing. I believe it can be done safely and it was the preferred method of transport for me and my five little ones. Because I believe many parents, if taught how to use a sling safely may find joy in wearing them as well.

Understanding the Risks
  • Infants, particularly newborns, do not have the strength to pull away from soft fabrics when they are unable to breathe. For this reason, all soft fabrics should be kept away from baby’s face. This includes your infant sling. When looking at baby in the sling, his or her face should be facing yours. You should be able to see your infant’s nose and mouth clearly and their head should be close enough for you to kiss.
  • When looking at your infant’s head, you should also ensure that baby’s chin is not touching the chest. This also obstructs breathing and the infant lacks the muscle control needed to readjust the head to open airways.
  • Check your infant’s position regularly and readjust as needed. While most infants stay well situated in their sling, movement can and does happen.
  • Infant slings should never be worn under clothing. This could cause breathing obstructions or cause you infant to rebreathe the same air – air that lacks oxygen. It also takes away your ability to monitor your infant.
  • You should never run, jog or perform any other high intensity activity while your infant is in the sling. According to the American Chiropractic Association, this can cause damage to the spine, brain or neck of your infant.
  • Use the carrier designed for your baby’s weight and age range. Backpack slings should only be used with older babies and toddlers. Front carriers can be used for infants but parents that have infants under 8 pounds should not use a sling. Infants smaller than 8 pounds can slip out from the sling because they are not designed for infants this small.
  • Inspect your sling every time you use it. This will ensure that you notice any broken seams, buckles or fasteners as well as any worn fabric.
  • Do not carry an additional infant while using an infant sling.
  • If it is cold or wet outdoors, purchase a coat or poncho designed for sling wearing. Do not overdress your infant when it is hot outside. Remember, they are against your body and they will receive heat dissipation from you. If overdressed in the summer, heat stress can occur.
  • Do not carry anything in your infant sling besides your infant. Other items can become choking or suffocation hazards.
These tips were adapted from a list found on Babywearing International. There are also a few other helpful hints for baby sling wearing that were not directly related to this particular incident but that parents might find useful.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011
Celebrity Families Visit Jayneoni Moore’s Pre-Emmys Gifting Suite
Just ahead of the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards celebs and their families came out this weekend to socialize at Jayneoni Moore’s Pre-Emmys gifting suite.

The invite-only event, which was held at the Intercontinental Hotel, featured more than 40 companies looking to show off their products. Some of those included iCandy, LeapFrog, Happy Heinys, Way Tutu Cute, Plum Organics, Zodiac Baby, Nightmare Nibblers, Peeking Baby, Swim Zip, Berry Kids and LA boutique Petite Tresor.

Some of the celebrities spotted were:
  • Grey’s Anatomy star Sarah Drew and her husband Peter Lanfer
  • Lindsay Price
  • Ana Ortiz with daughter Paloma
  • Nia Long
  • Jodie Sweetin with daughter Zoie and Beatrix



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{PACIFIC COAST NEWS}

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Saturday, September 17, 2011
Preview ~ Tiny Love To Introduce The 3 in 1 Rocker-Napper
Developmental products company Tiny Love is set to introduce a multi-functional rocker that will triple as a seat and a cot for sleeping.

The 3 in 1 Rocker-Napper is a fun seat fitted with an engaging toy, a rocker that soothes baby with gentle rocking movements, and a flat mattress (180° ) with raised borders, which makes for a safe and cozy sleeping environment.

It also features an easy one hand operation switch from sit to sleep, an adjustable arm for easy parental access and baby-activated electronic toy with 9 different tunes.  Babies will love the adorable pals – rattling snail and flowery mirror, the soft fabrics and calming vibrations which can be felt through entire seat.

Because it will just be revealed this weekend at Kind + Jugend there is no release date for this chair.  We will update when it goes on sale.

 

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Friday, September 16, 2011
Delayed Pregnancy Increases Risks for Canadian Moms and Baby
In a first large scale study in Canada to analyze the risk faced by older moms and their babies, researchers found that while the number of delayed pregnancies are on the rise in the country, it is also increasing the risk of diabetes, hypertension and premature births.

The new national report by the Canadian Institute of Health Information was released on Thursday and it suggests that one in five births in Canada is to mothers above the age of 35. The trend is alarming as it is at that age exactly that risks associated with childbirth and pregnancies begin to increase.

The report warned that mothers who were above the age of 40 were three times more likely to develop serious complications as compared to their younger counterparts. The babies too in this case, faced the risk of chromosomal disorders.
“The extent of the change in risk is surprising to me. They become even more pronounced for those 40 and over and that’s a growing segment of new moms,” said Kathleen Morris, CIHI director of health system analysis.
The three year long project examined one million hospital births across Canada from 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2009.The mothers age ranged from 20 to 60 years old. Almost 20 percent of the mothers were 35 years of age.

The researchers found that compared to mothers under the age of 35, the older moms were two times more likely to get gestational diabetes associated with pregnancy. Those above 40 were three times more likely to have the high blood glucose problem with one in every eight women complaining of the condition. The researcher added that a third of these women who had gestational diabetes also developed Type 2 diabetes later.
“It can really affect a mother’s health because it’s a chronic condition and life-long health concern,” she said, noting that these women also tend to carry heavier babies leading to delivery complications.
Dr. Mark Walker, a University of Ottawa professor and senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute noted that hypertension was also a cause for concern.
“As we get older we’re more at risk for diseases and pregnancy is a stress test to the body so if you have an underlying condition, it could express itself,” he said.
Another thing pointed out by the report was the staggering number of caesarean operations. 41 percent of moms above 40 had C-sections with more than half of the first time mothers going for the surgery. In comparison only a quarter of women in the age group of 20-35 gave birth via C-section.
“C-sections are medically necessary in some cases and they can be life-saving but compared to a routine delivery, they pose greater risks to the mom and baby and they also cost more,” Morris said.
Dr. Walker, who is a high-risk obstetrician expert and has delivered more than a 1000 babies of older women, commented that he had spent a lifetime being a researcher and still this finding surprised him.
“There’s a lot we don’t understand, such as why C-section rates would be so high. It’s perplexing to me,” Walker said.
While the research threw light on the risks moms face, it also reports on the risk that the child is put at with older moms.

To moms older than 40, one in nine babies are preemies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. For younger moms this risk is lowered to one in 13 mothers.

It is well known that preterm babies might have many developmental issues like intestinal problems, breathing difficulties and vision problems. Morris said that though some issues could be corrected most problems might become a lifelong one.

What was alarming to note was that one on 127 babies of older moms had chromosomal disorders like Down’s syndrome, but the likelihood of these anomalies was only one in thousand among younger moms. Morris added though that the risk was still relatively low.

Dr. Walker mentioned that a condition called Placenta previa when the placenta grows on the lower side of the uterus and covers almost half of the cervix is what might trigger preterm deliveries. The condition is seen in one in 65 mothers over 39 and one in 208 for younger mothers.

According to the report, British Columbia had the highest number of older moms with 22.3 per cent while Ontario trailed at 21 per cent. C-section deliveries were highest in Newfoundland and Labrador at 47.9 per cent followed by B.C. at 45.6 per cent. Saskatchewan, Quebec and Manitoba recorded the lowest rates for the procedure.

Cost wise as well, hospital birth costs increased with a mother’s age. On average a mother between 20 to 35 years of age spent $2,900 and $1500 for their babies while $3,000 was spent by mothers aged 35 to 39 with additional $1,600 for their babies. For those above 40 the cost they bore were $3,200 for mothers and $1,800 for their babies.

These estimates were apart from the physician and specialist fees, medical costs and repeat hospitalizations.

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Monday, September 12, 2011
Finn + Emma ~ Gorgeous organic clothing, bedding and toys for babies!
Finn + Emma is brilliantly mixing stylish with sustainable and classic with contemporary. Beautifully constructed clothing and accessories in a wonderful palette of modern color combinations abound within the Finn + Emma collection.


In sizes from 0 to 18 months, clothing comes in the form of rompers, sleepers, body suits, hats, pants and tops for both boys and girls. As well, there are a number of toys, crib sheets, blankets, sleepsacks and gifts! To keep things stylishly simple, the girl’s color palette is an absolutely gorgeous combination of light and dark lavender, cream and aqua, and the boy’s palette is one of  gray, cream, dusty blue and orange.


Not only is all clothing and bedding material made from 100% organic cotton and Eco-friendly dyes, but all clothing and accessories are manufactured under fair trade conditions ensuring that all workers have a safe, fair environment in which to provide for their own families.

Among my favorites are definitely the little girl’s kimono set as well as the wooden play gym with 100% wool filled hanging toys.

Finn + Emma has truly created a sweet, sophisticated and serene line of baby clothing, bedding, toys and accessories…we love it!


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Jennifer Garner Co-Hosts The Pink Party To Benefit Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program

Mom-to-be Jennifer Garner looked beautiful in red while walking the red carpet before her co-hosting duties at The Pink Party ‘11 in Los Angeles on Saturday night.


The event, which took place at Drai’s Hollywood, was created by fashionista Elyse Walker in 2005 to help fund the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program.

The actress was joined by many other famous moms including her co-host Jamie Curtis, TV host Samantha Harris and Grey’s Anatomy stars Jessica Capshaw, Kim Raver and an expectant Sarah Drew.

In the past seven years, roughly $6 million has been raised.



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Saturday, September 10, 2011
Mother’s Contact Better at Reducing Infant Pain According to Study

Premature infants often experience more pain during the first few weeks of life than full term infants because they are less developed, which makes simple tasks like regulating heartbeat, temperature and breathing a challenge. They also often require more tests, like heel sticks to collect blood, than full term infants.

Preemies really do have it pretty rough and it can be devastating for a preemie parent to know how much their baby is hurting, especially when this frail little human has to have all of these tests done just to make sure they are okay. But there is good news for parents of preemies when it comes to pain. According to a new study, parents can help significantly reduce the amount of pain their premature infants experience during testing through skin-to-skin contact  known as ‘kangaroo care.’

‘Kangaroo care’ is a method in which the infant is held wearing only a diaper and the parent is bare chested with a towel or sheet wrapped around both the infant and the parent. The method has been researched previously, showing that there are numerous health benefits, including heart regulation, breathing regulation, temperature regulation and pain management.
“There is a big difference between when a baby gets (blood drawn) alone in an incubator and when the mom or dad holds the baby for this procedure,” Dr. Larry Gray, pediatrician at Corner Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, who did not participate in the study, said.
Health practitioners have long agreed with Dr. Gray and parents have even been advised to spend time using ‘kangaroo care’ with preemies, long after they go home. Preemies that receive ‘kangaroo care’ have even been found to grow and develop quicker than preemies that did not. This study, however, was the very first to actually compare the difference between a mother’s touch and a father’s touch.

In this new study, C. Celeste Johnston from the McGill University School of Nursing in Montreal took a look at 62 premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit that would need multiple heel sticks for blood testing. During the heel sticks, researchers had mom and dad take turns holding baby in the ‘kangaroo care’ position during various heel sticks.

Babies were video-taped to monitor facial reactions that would give indication to the level of pain experienced by the infant during the procedure. Various signs of pain were observed, including furrowed noses and lips as well as squeezed eyes. A 0-to-21 pain rating scale was used.

When infants were held by their fathers, the infants scored a pain level of 8.5 to 8.6 thirty seconds and one minute after the heel stick was performed. When held by their mothers, infants scored 1.4 to 1.5 points lower at thirty seconds and one minute after the procedure was performed. However, there was no difference in the pain score after one minute, regardless of whether the infant was held by mom or dad. In an incubator, infants scored between 11 and 13 when having the same procedure performed.
“This supports the hypothesis that there is something unique about the comfort of a mother’s contact over and above that of another caring adult,” researchers wrote in the report which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. “The difference in the male physique, especially the chest, may be perceived by the infant to be not that of a natural caregiver.”
Dr. Gray pointed out, however, that the real message here is that, while mothers do seem to help their infants experience slightly less pain than their fathers; both parents significantly reduced the amount of pain that premature infants felt during medical procedures compared to the amount of pain felt if the infant were left to go it alone in an incubator. He concluded by saying, “Although it’s a scary thing to hold a tiny vulnerable baby, the new findings show it does help.”

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Ali Landry Bares Her Bump in New Ad Campaign!
Now in the last few weeks of her pregnancy actress and Hollywood mom Ali Landry has announced that she will be the new spokesperson for the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula stretch mark products’ national print, television and radio ad campaign. The mom-to-be proudly bared her baby bump yesterday in Los Angeles during the ad shoot, which will showcase Ali, her baby bump and her secret to keeping her skin glowing throughout her pregnancy.


The campaign will also mark the debut of the brand new, advanced formulations of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Stretch Mark products, such as Massage Lotion and Cream for Stretch Marks and Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks.

Due in October with her second child, Ali has strived to keep her skin in tip-top shape while carrying her new addition.  She joins a list of other expectant moms that have shown off their pregnant bellies in past Palmer’s ad campaigns including Samantha Harris, Laila Ali, Angie Everhart and Emily Procter.



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Thursday, September 08, 2011
Gween Toys ~ Fun, educational and eco-friendly!
Gween Toys aims to create toys that are not only fun and entertaining, but that are educational as well!
They have created toys in two categories with a child’s developmental stage in mind. Toys for 2-3 year olds focus on stacking and movement, and include Gwomies and Gusto. Gwomies is a set of 20 interchangeable stacking pieces with which to make trees and shrubs! Toddlers can make them as tall or as short as they would like, and can “grow” an entire forest for their toy animal friends. Gusto is a set of stacking pieces with which to build a windmill.

Toddlers can build the windmill and then spin the fan and mimic the wind.

For children 3-5 years of age, who are starting to learn their numbers and letters, have increased motor skills and enjoy stringing beads and other fine activities, Gween Toys presents Picazee, Alfinx and Zarafu. Picazee is a zebra who encourages color recognition and practices matching skills, Alfinx is a tiger who encourages basic reading skills using simple spelling activities, and Zarafu is a giraffe who introduces preschoolers to early math skills.

What a great collection of wooden animal friends!


Gween toys are all made by hand with sustainably harvested trees. Natural pigments are used to color the toys, and Gween Toys states that no paints, metals, plastics or other synthetic materials are used. The packaging of all Gween Toys is made with recyclable materials, and on the inside is an additional coloring activity!

For a wonderful set of toys that are both educational and fun, check out Gween Toys!


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