I could not have been more informed about my pregnancy and birth. There was no possible way! I read books, went to classes, listened to podcasts, you name it! Unfortunately, it stopped there. I totally forgot to prepare myself for what to do AFTER THE BABY ARRIVES!!! My husband and I were totally clueless. Thank god the learning curve is steep, but let's just say the first few days, weeks, let's face it months, were a blur of exhausted confusion!!
I had a hand-me-down copy of What To Expect The First Year, and read through the first chunk of it during middle of the night nursing sessions but eventually gave up on it. From there I pretty much used Doctor Google for random stuff like "Is it possible my baby's belly button didn't close" (haha yes, this was actually a concern of mine I brought to our pediatrician when my baby was 7 months old, you can see my blog about it!!). Unfortunately Doctor Google, while often helpful, can really bring out the paranoid hypochondriac in you and lead you very very astray.
I recently discovered Dr. Carey's Baby Care book which is really an amazing resource for new parents (or parents-to-be) to have on hand. It's basically a users guide for your baby's first year, covering the following topics:
Dr. Carey's Baby Care book is easy to read and concise - only 80 pages - so you get the really important info without all the filler that will put you to sleep or make your foggy new mom brain wander! It's also very very graphic and by this I mean it has 180 full color photos for when you have those "Is this normal??!??!?!!" freak out moments about your baby's rash, poop, or etc. Here's an example of what you'll find:
The photos are also really helpful in showing you how to care for your baby. Here, look, 4 steps to make the perfect baby burrito!!
Dr. Carey, a pediatrician in Ventura, California said, “In a world of information overload, I aimed to keep this book short and to the point. Despite the quick read, if a picture is worth a thousand words, one might say I spoke a lot. The photos that I share in my book depict items that I am asked about every day in my office.” I'm very visual myself, so this book really speaks to me and I think it will to you as well!!
Order your copy of Dr. Carey's Baby Care book on Amazon (also available for Kindle), or enter to win one along with a whole slew of cool products for baby, toddler, and mom in my $1500 value Mother Of Giveaways going on through May 26! Enter to win here!
*Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Originally posted on Mommy Nearest.
You had chicken pox when you were a child and it was no big thing, right? That’s what I thought till I started researching. In mild cases it is really just an inconvenience – your child is uncomfortable and has to stay home from school, which means you have to stay home from work or arrange for child care. But did you know 1 in 80,000 healthy children who get chicken pox will die from it?
In 1995 they came out with a vaccine, but unfortunately it’s only 90% effective in preventing chicken pox, and because it’s so new we don’t yet know how long the vaccine is good for. On the other hand it’s 100% effective in preventing severe cases. For this reason it has become a standard vaccine given at between 12-15 months. To enter school you have to prove your child has immunity through the vaccine or having had the illness. Because many people are wary of vaccines, and probably had such mild cases of chicken pox themselves, they would rather their children gain immunity through the illness. And thus we have the introduction of the Pox Party. Say what!?!?!
Yep, Pox Party
You want your kid to get chicken pox? Take them to a pox party where one of the children has chicken pox! It’s highly contagious, you know.
I’m not endorsing pox parties by any means, but I can see why some might find then enticing. While I’m definitely wary of vaccines, I have decided to vaccinate my child for all standard ones, on an alternative spread out schedule. Most recently, he just got his first MMR (which is what he was waiting for in the above photo), and we'll be back in a month for his chick pox vaccine. This is for the sake of my child as well as the community. Having a high enough percentage of people vaccinated in a population helps prevent outbreaks (and we are in the middle of an "outbreak" of measles here in NYC - there were 21 cases as of last week).
Think about all the babies and pregnant women and other immunocompromised people out there. I see vaccines as taking one for the team. But, to each her own and I don’t judge anyone on their decision to vaccinate or not, as long as they’ve done their research!
It also comes down to which kind of guilt I would feel less guilty about, in a worst possible case scenario. Frankly, I would feel worse if my unvaccinated kid spread a terrible illness to an itty bitty baby (perhaps his own sibling or that of a friend), than if a vaccination caused him to have a nasty reaction. Of course, both of these scenarios suck, you just have to decide which is the lesser of two evils for you, make your decision, and hope for the best!
Related: Cuddling Through Vaccines
So, how do you feel about vaccines? Comment below!
My little one's belly button is an innie. In fact, it's so much an innie that I was concerned enough to ask the doctor about it at our checkup today! Whenever I'm digging around in there cleaning with a q-tip I never can find the bottom, and I've always freaked myself out that I would actually touch his insides. So, I asked his doctor, "Kenzo's belly button is really deep, like, does it ever happen that it just doesn't close and remains open to the inside??" Thankfully she didn't laugh at me and just said no that doesn't typically happen. She looked at it, poked around a bit, then scooted off and came back with a q-tip. She dug around for a minute and finally, thankfully, professed that it is closed, just really really deep. PHEW! So now I can clean with gusto and not worry about getting lost in his intestines.
Also regarding today's check up, I one upped myself in helping Kenzo get through his vaccines! Last time, I held him for the first time and his crying was very minimal compared to the other times he got jabbed at on the table. This time, not only did I hold him but I sang to him in his ear his favorite song (Open Shut Them) while doing the movements with his hands and arms. He did not even whimper for the first shot, WELL DONE KENZO!!! The second one he hollered for all of 3 seconds (the doctor said that vaccine's liquid really burns, and there is no baby who wouldn't cry), but recovered in a heart beat and was so 100% fine that he didn't even whimper while I was getting him dressed again! WOW!! My little man is one tough cookie!
I'm a half year old already, can you believe it? I'm a whopping 19lbs (8.6kg), 27.5" long (70cm)- both about 75-85th percentile and my head circumference is 44cm (17") - about 50-75th percentile. As you can see I've already gotten my bottom teeth and love to chew on anything, including my own feet! I can sit up all by myself, usually without tipping over, and can roll over in both directions - watch out world! I love to blow raspberries, giving showers to anyone nearby, and I can't get enough of jumping and playing in my exersaucer! I also love reading books with mommy and can even turn the page (don't tell mommy, really I'm just trying to EAT the page...)
I read something a few weeks ago about various ways to comfort your child while getting shots. It had never occurred to me that I could hold my little one while someone is jabbing a needle into his thigh! The doctor always just said to put the baby on the table and who am I to question them (I'm chuckling as I write this cuz if you know me, I question just about everything, haha!).
Kenzo had his slightly delayed 5 month checkup today since we were out of town when he really should have gone. But that's beside the point. I wanted to avoid the negativity that arose from our last visit with she-who-shall-not-be-named so I went ahead and requested a specific doctor rather than saying "Oh, whoever is available". I'm not saying she's a bad doctor whatsoever, and she's a lovely person, we're just not exactly on the same page regarding my baby, and you should really really be on the same page with your pediatrician!! So, we saw Dr. Raptis this time as we've seen him once before and liked him, and a lot of our friends recommended him as well. When he asked me if I'd started Kenzo on solids yet, I said "No" and he responded "Well, if you don't mind..." and I started cringing thinking he was going to try to get us to start solids. But he kept going "...I really prefer to wait until 6 months" and I let out a huge sigh of relief and shouted "ME TOOOO!!!!!" ^_^ And he said "Oh, good! We're on the same page then!" Oh thank goodness.
Dr. Raptis did the full exam and announced Kenzo's 75th percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height - way to go dude! I told him Kenzo's been rubbing his left ear, especially while nursing, but after inspection he said it looks good and that's often a sign of teething and he let me see Kenzo's lower gum with the light shone on it, and low and behold, two big lumps of teeth are working their way up.
Next was time for shots, which Doc told Kenzo are just 2 little mosquito bites - how cute! I asked if I could hold the baby and he said "Of course!!" and showed me the best position, which was him just sitting on my lap. I cuddled his arms in close to his body so he couldn't grab at the syringe. In went the shot on the right leg, just a little whimper. So I started singing one of our songs from library class we go to. In goes the shot on the left leg. He starts to cry a little, I ramp up my singing. Doc slaps on the bandaids and says we're done. I scoop Kenzo up and within 5 seconds he's completely settled down and content. O.M.G. I can't believe I never tried this cuddling thing during shots before! I feel like such a failure of a mom - letting my little one lay on the table being jabbed at, turning beat red and hysterically crying. My poor little guy!!! Anyone out there reading this - please give cuddles and singing a try at your next check-up / vaccinations!!! It makes a world of difference, for your little one and you!!
Until quite recently, I always took what was said by my doctor and anyone in the medical world as law. They go through a lot of schooling and are pretty damn smart, so we should just blindly follow, right? It sure is the easy way! Unfortunately, once you begin to question anything and do some research, you are just led down this path of unending skepticism wherein there is no right answer. One leg of research ends with no simple conclusion but rather a whole new set of questions. And how often are they retracting one recommendation after realizing it's not so good, and giving a new recommendation. Ugh. It does seem like ignorance really is bliss...
Take the issue of vaccination for example. I grew up getting all the standard shots in the standard time frame. I certainly never questioned it. I never heard my mom or dad question it. Vaccines help us not get these horrible diseases, and not spread horrible diseases, and other than the pain of the needle and perhaps a sore arm for a day or two, what's the harm, right?? But now that it's my own itty bitty baby subjected to these vaccines (and many more than we were subjected to as kids), I find myself in a fog as I go through article after article questioning the the side effects (sometimes even death) of vaccines, the safety or lack thereof of certain ingredients, correlation with or causation of autism, and the efficacy which is not 100% after all. So what's a parent to do?
If you decide not to vaccinate your child, and your child ends up getting one of those horrible diseases and dies, not only will you mourn that child for the rest of your life but wouldn't you also be racked with guilt that you could have prevented the death with a simple shot? Or perhaps your child handles the disease find but passes it along to your neighbor's infant who has no protection against it yet. Sure, these outcomes are all very very rare, but my mind always goes to the worst case scenario. I'm not sure which is lower risk, getting sick from a disease you're not vaccinated from or having a serious side effect from the vaccine, but in the end I decided to go ahead and have little Kenzo vaccinated as recommended. We are however on a non-standard schedule which spreads the shots out so he never has more than 2-3 vaccines in a single visit. This means more trips to the doctor (and more co-pays - damn the man!!), but hopefully his little body is better able to process them.
On a side note, one reason I'm glad we got out of Japan before having our baby is because of the BCG vaccine that is mandatory over there. This thing is WICKED!! Take a look at the photo on the left, I mean, ouch!! It causes permanent scarring, and from what I've read does not give a lifelong protection against tuberculosis. My husband says he is proud of his scar, and calls it his Japanese tattoo. My friends from UK and other various countries all have a scar or two from certain vaccines. So I guess I should be thankful none of the shots on the US roster are scarring??
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)