Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Sleep Training – Putting Baby to Bed


The parent who tries to get their baby to sleep at night, often get very little sleep themselves. Some parents get exhausted trying to get their babies to fall into a regular sleeping pattern. Unfortunately, baby sleep training is a reality that all parents will have to face if they ever want to get some rest at night. Baby sleep patterns are different from infant sleep patterns, and can be approached in many different ways. Are you losing a lot of sleep wondering how to train your baby to sleep alone? Would you like to get a break and get some well deserved rest? Then the following recommended methods should be of some help to you.

Intervention techniques

You probably noticed that when you first arrived back home with your new infant, the baby slept most of the time and woke up for regular feedings. An infant's behavior is predictable and usually follows a pattern of sleeping and feeding. When babies get older however, they tend to stay awake for longer periods of time, and sometimes they will keep you awake for long periods of time until you can train them to sleep regularly on their own. After more than a few sleepless nights you will want to try some intervention techniques that will help your baby transition into a predictable pattern of sleep. The intervention techniques described below will all work, which one you want to use will be your own personal preference.

Get Baby Used to You Leaving: The Ferber Method

The Ferber method teaches the parent to wait until the baby begin to show signs of fatigue, and then put them to bed and leave them alone in the room to go to sleep on their own. The parent does not return to the room for five minutes, even if the baby cries. When they have consoled the baby and leave the room again, they will wait for ten minutes before returning to the room. The process is repeated adding more time between returns, until the baby has fallen to sleep. Parents will continue the process on day two, but will extend the amount of time before returning to the room until they have learned to sleep without them.

Ferber Method Alternatives

An alternative to the Ferber method is the gradual parent removal method, and this simply means that you will stay with your baby when its bedtime. A chair is set up next to the crib for the parent, and for the first two nights parents will wait until baby falls asleep. The third and forth night are spent a little farther away from the baby. The process is repeated until the parent can leave the room.

Babies Crying Themselves to Sleep

 Some parents choose the cry out method that just lets the baby cry themselves to sleep. This is a difficult task for the parent who wants to consol the baby after long crying spells.

Enjoy the infant sleep patterns while they last, before long you will be losing some sleep. The baby sleep training methods described in this article should put your problems to rest in no time. Parents can rest assured that when the baby sleep patterns become regular, they will be able to rest themselves.

Monday, October 4, 2010

25 Things to Buy Before Your Baby is Born

These are just some essentials all mom’s-to-be should have before delivery. You’ll need a lot more for your baby to stay happy and healthy. It might be a good idea to print out this small checklist as you get along in your pregnancy.

Baby Clothes:
  • "Onesies"-this undergarment will be used daily, so stock up, if you don’t get the right size
  • Socks and Booties-depending on what season your baby is born you’ll want to go with either heavier (wool) or lighter (cotton) materials.
  • Hats-infants are more sensitive to the sun, cater materials to the season
  • Scratch mittens-these are a must have, since it’ll take some getting used to cutting nails.
  • Cardigans, T-shirts, pants-make sure to buy neutral colors if you don’t know the sex of the baby
Diaper Changing:
  • Diapers-Cloth diapers are a lot cheaper, reusable and better for the environment, while disposable diapers are easier and faster to use.
  • Baby Wipes-make sure to get something extra thick
  •  Diaper/Changing bag-look for options with plenty of room and extra compartments.
  • Changing Mat-it’ll be handy when you need to change baby in public.
  • Diaper Rash Cream-you want something thick and moisturizing.
Baby Hygiene:
  • Baby bath-you’ll need this for your baby to feel safe and secure during bath-time.
  • Shampoo & baby soap -are always essentials needed by the time baby comes home.
  • Baby lotion, talc, or oil-dry skin is an affliction for many babies so, make sure you keep moisturizers on-hand
  • Baby Towels, wash clothes, & sponges-use a clean towel made from soft materials
  • Baby brush(or comb) –you may not need it right away, but you will soon enough.
Breast/Bottle Feeding:
  • Breast Pump-to easily pump breast milk into bottles
  • Nursing bras, breast pads, & nipple cream-all essential during the breastfeeding/pumping stage.
  • Instant Formula Milk-make sure to check expiration dates, especially if buying in bulk.
  • Bottles-make sure to buy several but, when it comes to nipples your baby could be a little picky so don’t buy too many of one kind before your delivery
  • Bottle brush & sterilizing tablets/fluid-cleaning babys products can be a little difficult so make sure to invest in these to keep babys stuff clean.
Misc Baby Supplies:
  • Bassinet or crib-a bassinet is more important pre-conception since most mothers enjoy keeping their child in the room with them immediately after being discharged by the hospital.
  • High-chair-so you already have a ready feeding place for baby.
  • Baby bouncer-these interactive toys are ideal for keeping baby happy while you attend to other things.
  • Baby Pram/Stroller-since carrying your baby might not always be the best option!
  •  Baby Sling-makes carrying your baby easier and give you more support and flexibility.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pain Relief Options for Childbirth

Many women think that epidural anesthesia is the only form of pain relief offered for childbirth. That is not the case, and though you should talk with your obstetrician about what method would be best for you personally, and here I will outline the more popular forms of pain relief during labor.

Epidural Anesthesia
This is the most popular form of pain relief with 50% of women opting for this method of pain relief. This form of anesthesia is administered directly into the epidural space above the spinal cord intravenously through a catheter. It is administered multiple times using a small amount of anesthesia every time this procedure numbs your body from the waist down and is effective within half an hour and lasts a few hours post-birth.

Spinal Anesthesia
This form of anesthesia uses a smaller needle than with an epidural, but it is placed in the same location in the lower back. Instead of being administered into the epidural sack the anesthesia is injected directly into the spinal fluid so that the onset of numbness is immediate. Spinal needles drastically decrease the risk of severe headache follow administration of anesthesia.

Combined Epidural Block/Walking Epidural
This procedure uses both spinal and epidural techniques that provide pain relief during labor almost instantaneously. Medication is administered through an epidural catheter and once the block is in place less numbness occurs than with a regular epidural. Many women are able to still walk around after medication had been administered which is why the procedure is more commonly known as the "walking epidural.

Local Anesthesia
This form of anesthesia is injected into the vaginal and rectal areas at the time of delivery, usually by your obstetrician. Local anesthetics provide a numbness or total loss of sensation to a small area. This technique lessens the pain of delivery, but it does not lessen the pain of your contractions.

Intrathecal Anesthesia
This procedure is administered the same as the spinal and epidural anesthesia, through the epidural sack. The difference is that instead of receiving a continuous flow of medication it is administered in a single dose. The procedure gives less of a numbing sensation so that it allows the women to feel contractions easier to assist in the delivery of the baby easier.

Shot or I.V. 
This is the least natural option for pain relief during labor and childbirth. These drugs are injected into a muscle or vein to dull the pain. These medications affect your baby more than epidural anesthesias do, and have higher risks associated with them. This medication will make both you and your child sleepy through the procedure and are prescribed by your obstetrician. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Epidural Anesthesia

Epidural anesthesia is the single most popular form of pain relief used during labor and is utilized by more than 50% of woman. The procedure uses multiple doses of local anesthetic administered directly into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord to relieve the pain of child birth. There are benefits and disadvantages to this form of pain relief. So, here is a list of frequently asked questions about epidural anesthesia:

 What should an epidural NOT be used?

An epidural should not be administered if you have a low platelet count, use blood thinners, have a blood infection, or are hemorrhaging. An epidural won't be administered before you are 4cm dilated, or if the labor is moving too fast.

 Does an epidural hurt?

The position you have to be in may be uncomfortable, although you don't have to be in it for long. Some women experience some discomfort during the administration of the anesthesia, usually there's a feeling pressure as the catheter is being placed.

 What are the side effect of epidural anesthesia?

The most common side effects observed are  nausea, shivering, ringing in the ears, backache or soreness at injection site, or difficulty urinating.

 How does an epidural affect my labor?

An epidural can cause your labor to slow down, or stop altogether, and may make contractions weaker. If this happens Pitocin may be administered to help speed your labor back up.

 What are the advantages of an epidural?
  • in cesarean sections the use of an epidural is safer than that of general anesthesia.
  • provides great pain relief while the mother remains alert.
  • very little of the medication reaches your baby.
  • allows rest during prolonged labor.
 What are some disadvantages of an epidural? 
  • decreased ability and urge to push.
  • makes you unable to walk or stand while drug is in effect.
  • may cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly.
  • frequently requires the use of a urinary catheter.
 What are the risks to the baby?

Very little of this anesthesia reaches the baby, but some risks-though rare-develop. Including, respiratory depression, short-term irritability, and increased chances of fetal distress.

 What are the risks to me?

The risks associated to the mother include fever and a drop in blood pressure. Also, some women experience a severe headache postbirth or long term backaches.

 Are there other forms of pain relief offered for labor?

Yes, some pain relief options include analgesia, spinal anesthesia, IV or shot, etc. All forms of pain relief during labor offer advantages and risks to both mother and child, so check with your doctor to see what method is best for you.