Monthly Archives: July 2010

Ikea – land of cheap necessities

Ikea rocks for kids. Ok, that’s not exactly true. If you take your child to Ikea, you are asking for a disaster in the form of losing said child, a hissy fit over toys or meatball mayhem. However, if you leave your child at home and go on child’s behalf – you’ll be the happiest clam in town! Target sells fitted crib sheets (circo) for $7.99 – not too bad right? Ikea sells 2 for $8.99.

Some other goodies to get there ( click the image for more details):

Ikea Burp Cloths - $3.99 for 2.

Ikea curtains (BARNSLIG RANDIG) - $19.99

Ikea Hooded towel

Hooded Towel (FABLER KANIN) -$9.99

Ikea socks for children

Socks for children, not babies (PATRULL) - $3.99

Ikea safety babyproofing

Babyproofing equipment - various prices

Ikea sippy cups

Sippy cups, kids plates, spoons, knives and forks.

Ikea baby bib

Baby Bibs - 5 for $3.99

Tricks for Tuesday: Swaddling your baby

So apparently babies are pretty happy in the womb. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be: wrapped up all cozy, fed regularly, toasty and warm, get to listen to music and other people’s conversations… and when they come out, they cry. They cry because they’re cold, they have no control over their limbs and (in my humble opinion), people stop talking about interesting things around them and make stupid noises instead.

So, how do you make your baby happy once it’s born? Well, according to the good folks at Happiest Baby on the Block amongst other various experts, one way would be to wrap the baby up nice and tight so that it doesn’t freak itself out in the middle of the night by flailing limbs (which probably feels like that falling feeling). There are products on the market, like the kiddopotamus swaddle me that is mostly set up for you to swaddle your baby, but that’s like cheating (it’s LIKE cheating, it’s not actually cheating) and besides, those of us in hot climates might have a tough time with a thick swaddle blanket if you’re supposed to keep house temperature at 68 – 72 degrees. So, my favorite swaddle is a muslin blanket shape made by Aden + Anais. It’s cute, airy and light and the video link here shows you exactly how to use it to swaddle your baby:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4SnaQ1DVJM

The difference between men and women, or “You said you’ll get it done, but when?”

Pregnancy can be an unnerving time for a couple because it outlines, double underlnes, highlights and capitalizes the fundamental differences between the genders’ instinctual processes. That sounds so much more scientific than it really is. Basically, when a woman finds out she’s pregnant, at some point, she starts nesting. She wants to buy baby clothes, wash them, smell them and put them away in their perfect little dresser, in the perfect little nursery with mobiles and a theme and a glider/ rocker. Men on the other hand cannot understand why their wives are spending hundreds of dollars on clothes and days without end on painting and laundry for a child that isn’t due for another 6 months.

There will be an argument. Several weeks of nagging that starts, “Can you please take care of the baby proofing?” will turn into, “When are you going to look into getting the baby proofing stuff?” and finally, “You don’t give a S**T if this baby sticks his tongue in the G*D*M* socket and fries his brain do you? Why don’t you give a crap about us?” And somehow that inevitably leads to bringing up the time he sided with his mother in an argument or where he was 2 and a half years ago at midnight when you called and he didn’t answer.

Here’s the thing – women are generally (and I say generally because I’m leading to a stereotype) more empathetic and maybe even more imaginative than men. So, they can imagine what life will be like post baby, they feel like they already know the child and often imagine themselves holding their baby on their chest, rocking them in the chair, singing them to sleep. Women want to create the perfect environment for their perfect baby right now. Men realize there’s a child coming, are usually excited about it and they might even be extremely nervous about providing for this child, making sure he can go to Harvard Law when the time is right. They don’t, however, imagine what it feels like to have a baby on your chest, with both hearts beating side by side or think about how perfect you’ll all look walking down the street with your Peg Perego stroller and golden retriever.

So, it’s inevitable that when your non golden retriever eats the baby diaper you set up (six months before the baby is due) on the perfect little changing table (that took 2 months of “persuasion” to get put together) and your husband laughs, that an argument will ensue. But, take it all with a grain of salt. More than likely it was love for each other that got you to this point in the first place; once the baby comes, he or she will be perfect, but never in the way you expect and whether it’s the moment for your husband with baby sleeping on his chest, hearts beating next to each other when he realizes that his heart might explode with love or that time when you enter your perfect little nursery to find baby, cot and wall smeared in poop and you can’t help but laugh at the messy wreckage of your own life with baby, you’ll both get to the same point in your own time. And then you’ll live happily ever after… until high school.

Pregnancy by numbers: Week 28

idea borrowed from http://www.smonkyou.com

Breastfeeding Laws

Here is the latest on when, where and how you can breastfeed taken directly and without change from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Note that in Florida you can breast feed in public but have no rights defined for work. So I can breastfeed at work, but not pump – that’s helpful!
Updated March 2010

Resources

Health professionals and public health officials promote breastfeeding to improve infant health. Both mothers and children benefit from breast milk.  Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from bacteria and viruses.  Breastfed children have fewer ear infections, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and have diarrhea less often.  Infants who are exclusively breastfed tend to need fewer health care visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations resulting in a lower total medical care cost compared to never-breastfed infants.  Breastfeeding also provides long-term preventative effects for the mother, including an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight and a reduced risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 70 percent of mothers start breastfeeding immediately after birth, but less than 20 percent of those moms are breastfeeding exclusively six months later. It is a national goal to increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies in the early postpartum period to 75 percent by the year 2010.

Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, on March 23rd and the Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 4872, on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.)  Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk.  The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose.  The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.  If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs less than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements.  Furthermore, these requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.

State Breastfeeding Laws

  • Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws with language specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
  • Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
  • Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming).
  • Twelve states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty (California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia).
  • Five states and Puerto Rico have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign (California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont).

Several states have unique laws related to breastfeeding. For instance,

  • The state of Virginia allows women to breastfeed on any land or property owned by the state.  Puerto Rico requires shopping malls, airports, public service government centers and other select locations to have accessible areas designed for breastfeeding and diaper changing that are not bathrooms.
  • At least two states have laws related to child care facilities and breastfeeding. Louisiana prohibits any child care facility from discriminating against breastfed babies. Mississippi requires licensed child care facilities to provide breastfeeding mothers with a sanitary place that is not a toilet stall to breastfeed their children or express milk, to provide a refrigerator to store expressed milk, to train staff in the safe and proper storage and handling of human milk, and to display breastfeeding promotion information to the clients of the facility.
  • California requires the Department of Public Health to develop a training course of hospital policies and recommendations that promote exclusive breastfeeding and specify staff for whom this model training is appropriate.  The recommendation is targeted at hospitals with patients who ranked in the lowest twenty-five percent of the state for exclusive breastfeeding rates.
  • Maryland exempts the sale of tangible personal property that is manufactured for the purpose of initiating, supporting or sustaining breastfeeding from the sales and use tax.
  • California, New York and Texas have laws related to the procurement, processing, distribution or use of human milk.
  • New York created a Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights, which is required to be posted in maternal health care facilities.

Things for Thursday: Week 28

Sophie the Giraffe

Today is the first day of 3rd trimester! I am entering the final phase and part of me wants to shout from the clouds and the other simply wants to go home and get my birthing plan and playlist (lots of Beatles, some George Strait and Bob Marley) ready. But today is not about me, today is about the baby because today is also day one of my weekly Things for Thursday posts (it may the last too, I’m not very organized).

Sophie the Giraffe (by Vulli) was bought for us by Grandma B after I have bought 5 or 6 for friends. Every one of my friends’ kids seem to be teething and each one of them has this shoved in their mouth constantly. Sophie the Giraffe is basically a cute little dog toy looking thing (I have a feeling ours might actually be shared with Wembley Dog) that has pointy ears for good gum rubbing, a long neck and four long legs for biting down on and a happy face to assure you and child that she actually loves being gnawed. It’s what she lives for. Somehow it’s sanitary without being boiled or washed (don’t ask too many questions people, I once ate gum off the bottom of a desk as a dare – not not my desk or my gum – and I’m pretty close to being fine). Sophie will set you back a whopping $20 odd bucks, Barnes and Noble seems to be the cheapest right now at around $18.

Seriously, get it or regret it. And if the cost bothers you, try a dog toy from the dollar store. It could work.

Our Sophie is sitting on the shelf, still boxed, waiting patiently for her little boy to come along and chew off an ear and drool all over her face. It will be the best times of her life… and mine too.

Holding it all in at work

The hardest part of pregnancy is probably not something that you might have expected. It’s not the stretch marks (none yet thank god) or the weight gain, the lack of sleep and alcohol and sushi, or the influx of hormones – I’m starting to bum myself out here – its work. The place you spend more time than any other. Chances are that you’re the only pregnant person in the office and while you’re coworkers might seem pleased for you – they probably don’t want to hear about it. And that’s the hard part – it’s what you want to talk about. You carry around 20 extra pounds every day, spend 20 minutes more trying to figure out what you can wear that is comfortable and professional; try not to belch, breathe heavy, throw up or sweat to death at your desk while your insides are squished and kicked and your cubicle neighbor orders food that smells like 3-month old scrambled eggs and yet talking about it more than once a day is a big no-no.

So what do you do?
1. Sign up for BabyCenter daily updates (to be delivered to your phone, not work).  This will help you to feel like you’re not the only working pregnant woman out there (even though it may feel that way with all prenatal yoga classes being held at 11 am on Fridays)

2. Keep a blog, or a journal. It feels better to get stuff out, even if no one is listening.

3. Rely on your husband (partner, whatever) – text him, send him emails. This is the burden he carries – you schlep the 20 pounds, he schleps your anxiety!

4. Learn to bottle your feelings. Ok, this is probably not a good idea, but there maybe an inkling of good in the statement. You’re excited now; imagine how you’ll feel when the baby finally gets here! And sharing each tiny yawn through photos and videos is still taboo. And they wonder why mothers have such a hard time going back to work after giving birth!

5. Read this article from The Onion every day: “Pregnant-woman-acting-like-no-one-ever-got-pregnant before.”