Most moms-to-be fill their heads with visions of delivering a perfect little bundle of joy with rosy cheeks, flawless skin, and sweet wisps of hair. The reality of what a newborn looks like, however, can be quite different. It's rare that a baby arrives with the exact appearance you'd expected, and the physical "side effects" of being born can be nothing short of alarming. Before you welcome your babe into the world, be prepared for any one (or likely more) of these surprising attributes that your quirky little cutie is likely to be showing.
In case you haven't heard, flu season is in full effect, and this year is one of the worst in recent history. As parents, it has us thinking constantly about keeping our kids healthy, so a new study reporting that nearly half of all children in the US are late in receiving their vaccinations caught our attention.
The study was conducted by researchers at Kaiser Permanente Colorado and examined the immunization records for some 323,000 children. Over the course of the research, the number of kids who were late on at least one vaccine (including measles, mumps and rubella, diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis shots) jumped from 42 percent to 54 percent. Just over one in eight children were undervaccinated due to their parents' decisions, and for the rest, it was unclear as to why they were missing shots.
Many parents ask their pediatricians to delay or skip immunizations, citing safety concerns such as a link between the vaccines and autism — a theory that scientists now agree is a nonissue. So what does this mean for the health of our country as a whole? "It's possible that some of these diseases that we worked so hard to eliminate [could] come back," said Jason Glanz of Kaiser Permanente, who led the study.
Do you think it's acceptable for parents to develop "alternative" vaccination schedules for their kids?
From school to the playground to playdates and more, our tots come in contact with germs every day. With severe flu season under way — the state of Massachusetts has already declared a public health emergency and 29 states are already seeing high levels of influenza-like illness — we've found four easy ways to help prevent your lil one from coming down with the viruses. You don't need to spend a fortune to protect them — in fact, each of these preventative measures costs less than $5.
We're excited to bring you a new post from mother and actress Tori Spelling! Every other week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle advice from ediTORIal by Tori Spelling, which is Tori's daily blog about everything from food and fashion to parenting and relationships. This week, Tori shares her friend's experience raising a child with Down Syndrome.
Today I am grateful and honored to bring you a second guest blog from my friend Lisa. As you may remember, her son Blake was born with Down Syndrome, so in honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Lisa has so generously shared the next part of her journey with us. The lessons that she has learned over the past year are not limited to those who might have children with special needs. Everything that Lisa has experienced is something that all of us can relate to, and the deeper understanding of motherhood that she can lay claim to I truly admire. Take it away, Lisa . . .
Sometimes in life you have to experience things as opposed to relying on words, opinions, or "facts" to get the picture. Growing up, I was always one who had to "learn the hard way" and suffer the consequences of my actions to get the lessons, and I am grateful that this is still the case. A little boy named Blake rocked my world May 13, 2011, when he was born with Down Syndrome (Read our full story here). The last 17 months have literally transformed me as a person and a mother. Not only was I blessed with a baby boy who has a "little something extra" in the chromosome department; I have also become part of an amazing community whose foundation is built on the principals of Support, Inclusion, Respect, and Love. I feel the true key to change is education and information, and in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I would like to share five things I have learned in the last year about being a mother of a child with Down Syndrome.
- It's All Relative: I naturally found myself playing the comparison game between my son and daughter. I think I naturally felt the urge to compare as I saw/felt no difference between my two children, as I remember Kaleigh doing all the things I witness Blake do. An example of a comparison was teething patterns/time; my daughter got her first teeth at 4 months and Blake at 10 months. At first I could not help making comparisons and have recently realized that it is all relative and incomparable. Each child will reach milestones on their own timeline and do their own thing.
- Great Expectations: If you want to set yourself up to fail, getting caught up in your own expectations is a good way to go. I have had to curb my natural expectations in all situations when it comes to my son's development (and my daughter's, too). I would find myself frustrated or disappointed when he/she did not meet the expectations I had. I guess it was just my natural instinct as a mother (and a human being) to have such expectations for my children. I have learned to take a step back and realize that my expectations are irrelevant to my children's lives, and I need to enjoy them each day, expectations aside.
It's hard to believe, but if you look around you'll notice that in addition to falling leaves, it's also cold and flu season, and just about every pharmacy is offering a flu shot to those who want one. With kids back in school, stuffy noses are popping up all over the place — even at my home. While simmering a big pot of homemade chicken soup and offering my daughter orange-juice-filled sippy cups, calling the pediatrician to schedule a flu shot seemed like the smartest thing to do this Fall season.
But is getting a flu shot the best way to prevent getting sick this cold and flu season? With the vaccination needing two weeks to take full effect and the height of flu season due to hit mid-October, scheduling the shot sooner rather than later ensures your lil one may be protected. Even if your tot gets vaccinated, she's still at risk of getting the flu, making the shot an opportunity to expose her to various strains, which might come with side effects including rash, headache, fever, and hives. With many parents still nervous about vaccinating their kids, getting a flu shot is once again a hot-button issue.
Reducing exposure to the virus is the best way to prevent the flu. Eating healthy, spending time outdoors, enjoying regular exercise, and washing hands can also reduce the chances for catching the flu. But kids are social butterflies, making hitting the local playground, playing with friends at school, and even visiting the grocery store during the flu season big opportunities for exposing kids to thousands of germs.
Tell the truth — does your kid get a flu shot each year or do you take the risk that they might get sick?
Eating right during pregnancy ensures your growing lil one gets all the good stuff she needs for healthy development. And if you're dealing with morning — or all-day — sickness, certain healthy eats can be hard to stomach. You might be surprised that some of the best foods to eat while you're expecting aren't what you expect and might already be some of your favorite things to nosh! Stay on track with your health, and your growing baby's development, by adding these healthy eats to your daily diet.
Nothing ruins a long family drive faster than a car-sick kid. Motion sickness happens when the brain gets confused by mixed motion signals from the eyes, ears, and other extremities. Along with a queasy stomach, car-sick kids may break out in a cold sweat, become extremely fatigued, feel dizzy, and ultimately vomit — and no one wants to spend any amount of time trapped in a sour-milk-scented car! Help keep rumbly tummies away with these simple tricks.
What's most likely to show up in your kids' lunchboxes? According to social media site Meebo, your parenting personality has a lot to do with the way you feed your kids. Are you more white bread or organic whole grain? Take our quiz and find out if the study's findings match up with the foods that your kids are most likely to find come lunchtime.
Every mama wants to give her baby the best start possible, but just how clean should that beginning be? Anna Getty, the organic living expert and founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month (which happens to be now), recently wrote about her thoughts on preparing the body for pregnancy on the Healthy Child Healthy World website. She shared her year-long, pre-conception plan to whip her body (and soul) into shape for baby, saying:
I cut out all forms of caffeine including black or green tea and (gulp) chocolate, all refined sugars, gluten, dairy, and alcohol, any form of pharmaceutical drugs like aspirin or Ibuprofen and ate a mostly raw diet. I also included acupuncture, colonics, meditation, yoga and juicing. I had planned on cleansing for a year, however, somewhere in the middle, maybe five months, of my pre-conception cleanse the spirit of my unborn daughter decided I was "clean" enough and graced my womb with her presence.
It seems everywhere I turn these days, I hear someone talking about the latest juice cleanse. Friends, colleagues, and celebrities are busy touting the weight loss and detoxifying benefits of the drinks but I never thought about using them to prepare for pregnancy. You clean baby's linens and clothes before she uses them, but do you need to clean your womb before she enters it?
Source: Flickr User Meagan
What does your pregnancy book say about you? In nearly every pregnancy-related blockbuster, the audience sees a quick slip of What to Expect When You're Expecting or The Expectant Father. And while those two books remain popular with a new generation of moms and dads-to-be, bookshop shelves are lined with pregnancy books covering every aspect of a woman's journey to her baby's birth — some filled with real-life stories, some focused on the medical aspect of the 40 weeks, and others written from a purely humorous perspective. Before picking up a book that will scare your socks off, consult our pregnancy book personality guide — it's guaranteed to lead you to a book that suits your lifestyle!