When your baby is sick—truly sick—you will want to go straight to the pediatrician. But medical intervention isn’t always required every time your baby seems a little bit “off” of her game, whether it’s a case of the sniffles, unexplained night waking or an upset tummy. As tempting as it might be to involve the doctor whenever your little one isn’t her usually sunny self, you don’t want to drag an already under-the-weather baby into a germ-filled waiting room where she possibly could catch an illness worse than what she had in the first place.
My oldest son’s birthday is on Earth Day. I can’t say for sure, but I suspect becoming a mom on April 22, 2003, may have made me more respectful of Mother Earth than I might have been otherwise, and I do find myself gravitating towards eco-friendly products when I have the choice, from our energy-efficient washing machine to my toddler’s BPA-free cereal bowl. It’s not always easy being green—but fortunately, since I became a mother 10 years ago today, we’ve come a long way, baby, when it’s come to finding eco-friendly baby care products.
If you aren’t considered “at risk” for a complicated delivery, chances are that your obstetrician or midwife has told you exercising while pregnant is the healthy thing to do. Now, you might not actually feel like working up a sweat once you’re deep into the first trimester and plagued by fatigue, nausea and other fun things—but exercise might make you feel better, believe it or not! (Personally, the days the Morning Sickness Fairy seemed to forget about me were always days I went for a run or did some cardio at the gym.) Plus, exercise during pregnancy can prevent excess weight gain and help treat or prevent gestational diabetes.
A diaper rash doesn’t sound like that big of a deal until your baby gets a really bad one and is absolutely inconsolable until it (finally) goes away. Sometimes you won’t even know there’s a rash—you’ll think your little one is wailing because she’s cutting a tooth or maybe even has an ear infection—and then you’ll go to change the diaper and the evidence will be there, all angry and red and immediately disqualifying you for any imaginary Mother of the Year awards you’d thought you might have been a contender for.
It’s a good thing babies don’t wear black turtlenecks. Because if they did, all of the ones suffering from the extremely common condition called “cradle cap,” or infantile seborrheic dermatitis, would have yucky flakes on their shoulders. Cradle cap isn’t so different from grown-up dandruff and is characterized by flaky, dry skin or thick, oily scaling or crusting patches. It’s not very cute—but the good news is, it’s completely harmless.
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, or already have passed that home pregnancy test with flying colors, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to grow a healthy baby. That means quitting smoking and drinking, exercising in moderation, eating a healthy diet—and taking a prenatal vitamin every day.
If you’re on a diet to lose those pregnancy pounds and you’re also breastfeeding, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is moderate calorie reduction isn’t going to impact your baby’s health—he’ll still get milk power-packed with all of the nutrients he needs to grow and thrive. The bad news? Going on a less-than-2200-calorie diet while breastfeeding can seriously impact your health.
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