Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is defined as the sudden death of a healthy baby under the age of one. The rate of SIDS dropped between 1984 and 2004, which many attribute to the efforts of the American Academy of Pediatrics to get parents to put the baby to sleep on his back. The reason for this new guideline is that many people think SIDS occurs when they breathe and then re-breathe carbon dioxide in the air. When a baby is on his stomach, the carbon dioxide traps near the face.
Preventing SIDS is still necessary. While the incidence of SIDS has dropped over the years, it is still a very serious risk for babies. Fortunately, however, us parents have several ways to help reduce the chance of SIDS and protect our little ones:
- Consider sleeping separately from your baby. The blankets, pillows and sheets on an adult bed might accidentally suffocate a baby. In addition, sleeping parents might accidentally smother the baby. Instead, place the baby in a bassinet or co-sleeper that sits against the side of the parent’s bed.
- Use mesh bumpers on the crib if you feel the need to use crib bumpers. Big, soft bumpers and baby quilts are pretty to look at but may be dangerous to the baby.
- Use a soother. Studies show that babies who use a soother while sleeping are two-thirds less likely to die of SIDS.
- Avoid smoking. Secondhand smoke may increase the risk of SIDS. If there was ever a good reason to stop smoking, this is it.
- Keep the room temperature comfortable. While some parents may think the baby needs to sleep in a very warm room, this is not necessary. Place the thermostat at a comfortable sleeping temperature for adults and use a sleep sack for the baby if you are concerned that the baby will be cold.
SIDS is unspeakably tragic. Fortunately however, reducing the risk of SIDS is possible through consistent efforts on the part of the parents. Speak with your pediatrician for more information and get other tips on how to keep your baby safe and about preventing SIDS.
What is more adorable than a little grin full of healthy baby teeth? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you keep your baby’s cute smile in tip-top shape by providing the absolute best oral care possible!
- Oral care should begin from birth.
One of the most common questions we hear in speaking with our wonderful MAM Moms and Dads is “When should I start providing oral care for my baby?”. A common misconception is that oral care need only begin from the emergence of the first tooth; in truth, however, oral care needs to begin from birth. Twice a day, a clean, wet washcloth can serve as an effective tool for you to massage bacteria off your newborn’s gums. Not only will this clean baby’s mouth, but the routine familiarizes baby with the routine of cleaning the mouth- this will be incredibly helpful when it comes time to begin brushing baby’s teeth. Another option, rather than a washcloth, is the MAM Oral Care Rabbit. Especially designed to expertly clean baby’s gums, the Oral Care Rabbit features ultra-soft microfibre ears parents can slip their fingers into for easy, effective maneuvering about baby’s mouth that a bulky washcloth does not allow.
2. Baby’s teeth need to be brushed daily.
We know—life with a baby is hectic and jam-packed with activity! Certain things can be lost in the shuffle and at the end of a long day, brushing baby’s teeth may slip. This, however, should really not be the case: it is simply too important! With your baby’s first tooth—which most babies will receive around 6 months of age, although variations in age of first tooth emergence are very common-- comes plaque formation on that tooth. Brush baby’s teeth at least twice a day (once after breakfast, and once after the last feeding of the day) to avoid cavities and painful infections.
Brushing technique: First brush the bottoms of your baby’s teeth, where the most contact between foods and teeth occur. Use a circular brushing motion with the bristles of the toothbrush aiming down, where the tooth and gum meet as this is where the majority of plaque forms. Use gentle up-and-down strokes while holding the brush vertically.
3. Make brushing time easy for parent and baby- minimize struggles with these techniques.
Brushing does not need to be a struggle between parent and child. To normalize the routine of brushing your baby’s teeth and therefore make it less of a struggle between parent and baby, try a few of these techniques:
4. Avoid these common mistakes.
- Link it with another daily routine. In the morning, brushing can be linked to getting dressed, followed by brushing, followed by breakfast. At night, brushing can precede a bedtime story and giving baby a MAM soother.
- Set a great example for your little one. After all- monkey see, monkey do! Your baby looks up to you, naturally. Seeing you brushing your teeth is the ultimate motivator for your little one to do so as well. They want to be just like mommy and daddy!
- Come up with a silly brushing song that spans the two minutes or so it takes to brush. We all know how much babies love to sing- adding this element to brushing time can be the difference-maker between brushing being an exhausting chore or a fun bonding experience.
- Invoke your baby’s wild imagination. Come up with a brushing story- such as your toothbrush is their favorite animal, and is running around the jungle, eating up the germ bugs. Adding fun to the equation makes the experience nicer for everyone- the lack of resistance this can result in is just priceless.
- Involve your baby. Supervise them while they use the MAM First Brush or allow them to hold onto the brush with you using the MAM Trainer Brush, and encourage them to squeeze just enough toothpaste with you to cover the red indicators on their MAM toothbrushes.
These are some common mistakes parents make related to oral care. Most often they occur due to incorrect advice from peers or just due to parents playing copycat without realizing that these techniques are not advisable.
- Do not ‘clean’ your baby’s soother by inserting it in your own mouth. The bacteria in your saliva can seriously harm your baby as their immune system is much more fragile and less-developed as yours.
- Similarly, do not share cutlery with your baby and do not allow siblings or family members to share toothbrushes.
- Teething gels are commonly recommended as a solution for teething. These gels should most likely be avoided for children younger than 2.Benzocaine, the main ingredient in many of these over-the-counter gels, is intended to relieve teething pain in babies younger than 2; however, Benzocaine is associated with a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream. Because of this, benzocaine products should not be given to children younger than age 2 unless under the supervision of a health care professional.
We hope you find this post helpful as you look into providing the absolute best oral care for your little one! What did you find especially interesting? Are there additional questions you have? Please let us know in the comment section below- we look forward to hearing from you!
For additional information on MAM Oral Care:
 . "FDA Drug Safety Communication: Reports of a rare, but serious and potentially fatal adverse effect with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) benzocaine gels and liquids applied to the gums or mouth." FDA- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA, 04-07-2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm250024.htm>.
Summer is in full swing and many MAM Moms and Dads will be taking trips on planes this summer with their little one. While vacations are supposed to be fun, preparing for the trip and the traveling can sometimes cause anxiety for parents. Here are some tips for making the trip a little bit easier!
1- Allow for extra time to get through the gate and in between connecting flights. Trying to run from gate to gate with children can prove to be a difficult feat.
2- Try to get on the plane first and get off last. This way you have time to get situated before other passengers get on and time to gather yourself and your little one while everyone else gets off.
3- Keep a pacifier, bottle, baby wipes, toy and snacks handy. You never know when your baby will need something and having to dig through bags will only be frustrating for you.
4- If possible travel with a lightweight stroller and leave the big, heavy stroller at home.
5- Bring only one carry one. This one may be easier said than done but try to cut down on the amount of things you have so you don’t find yourself in the middle of a juggling act in the airport.
6- Nurse, feed or use a pacifier during take off and landing. This should help your little one with the change in pressure and the way it affects their ears.
7- Be considerate of other passengers. It is sometimes hard to calm your little one especially during flights but try to make an effort to calm your baby by taking them to the back of the plane to calm them if possible.
Hopefully some of these tips will come in handy during your next trip. What are some of the things you do help alleviate the stress of flying with little ones? Share your tips and comments with us and other MAM Moms and Dads!
This Valentine's Day, we want to help you celebrate by providing you with an opportunity to win MAM Love & Affection soothers and a MAM Anti-Colic bottle for the ones that we know are nearest & dearest to your hearts: your little ones!
Enter for your opportunity to win below: 25 lucky MAM Moms & Dads will be selected! This contest ends 2/25/13 and is open only to legal residents of Canada of majority age, excluding Quebec.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Our BPA-Free MAM Anti-Colic bottles are simply the best there are when it comes to fighting colic symptoms and reducing your baby's fussiness. Coupled with their beauty and their simple 3 minute microwave-sterilization process, MAM Anti-Colic bottles are truly is the whole package and have everything both parent and baby need!
We're so confident that you'll love our MAM Anti-Colic bottles once you give them a try that we're going to sample them to 100 randomly selected MAM Moms and Dads! Enter below for your chance to win a sample of the MAM Anti-Colic bottle! Contest open only to legal Canadian residents of majority age, excluding Quebec.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Looking for the MAM Anti-Colic bottle in a store near you? It is now available from your local Walmart, Sears, and Shoppers Drug Mart!
We have drawn our winners to our month-long MAM Walmart Anti-Colic Bottle contest, and are pleased to announced that the following MAM Mommies were randomly selected as winners!
Grand Prize Winner: Jennifer Taylor
Silver Prize Winner: Kaela Evert
Bronze Prize Winner: Larissa Pridmore
Congratulations, MAM Mommies!! Your prizes will be to you and your little ones soon! To all of our wonderful MAM Moms and Dads who did not win this time, not to worry! Subscribe to the MAM Canada Blog to take part in more exclusive contests, and keep your eyes out for an exciting MAM Anti-Colic bottle sampling opportunity coming to you later this month!
Thank you all, and have a wonderful weekend!
Ah, babies. So adorable. So ready to snuggle. So ready to start reading!
Wait-- Babies read?
No, technically babies can't read. As we all know, babies are preoccupied with learning things such as what mommy's mobile phone tastes like, exploring the perpetually new world around them, and how to make the biggest mess possible while playing. Regardless however, they reap immense benefits of being read to early and often. Here are five reasons you should regularly read to your baby:
Kids grow up rapidly! One minute, we describe them as this many inches long, so-and-so months old and then the next they're pushing five feet tall! No, they don't stay small for very long. But reading to your baby, holding him or her in your arms while enjoying a book, will slow down that growing-up process for both of you. It will allow you to snuggle up with your special little one and create an intimate moment of shared fun and learning whose memory will perservere.
Studies have shown that reading to babies (even newborns!), helps them develop their vocabulary. At first they will have no idea what you are saying, what your words mean, and why you make the faces that you do when the words come out. However they slowly begin to absorb the repeated sounds you make and associate them as sounds that identify the images in books. This step in cognitive development is key!
Just for the love of it
Reading to your baby is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover some of the cherished books you loved as a child. You'll be amazed how much fun it is; it takes you back to your youth, when you yourself were just discovering the power of alliteration and developing your love of reading. In fact, remembering how excited you were to learn to read will inspire you to read more to your baby!
Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is an immensely popular baby's book.
Baby see, baby do
For better or worse, children emulate the behaviors they see in their parents. This means that if your baby grows accustomed to you reading to him or her and can pick up on your enthusiasm and love for reading, he or she is likely to develop the same passion for it. It's only natural. For babies born in the digital age rife with many bright, loud distractions
It's an investment
There's no proof that reading to your baby will get them into the best university someday, but there is evidence that it will help him or her do better in school. Educators consistently report that kids who were read to frequently and read frequently as a result perform significantly better in school than their non-reading peers. A baby does not know to best prepare themselves for future academic achievement, but this where our role as parents is integral; by investing time reading to our babies, we give them a gift that will last a lifetime.
Ah, babies. So adorable. So ready to snuggle. So ready to start reading! So grab your baby's favorite MAM soother, snuggle under a blanket, grab a great book and start reading!
Now we need your help! We and many parents need advice for the best books out there. What were some of your all-time favourites when you were a child, and what books do your baby love?
New moms are often exposed to well-intentioned but unnecessarily dire warnings about soothers and a rumored negative impact on breastfeeding.
However, most breastfeeding moms use soothers, and even the staunchest pro-breastfeeding advocates (i.e. La Leche League and Dr. Sears) concede that soothers can be a huge help to the breastfeeding Mom rather than a detriment.
Here are 6 facts that explain how soothers and breastfeeding play well together.
1. Babies have a strong need to suckle. 'Comfort nursing' is when a baby nurses not for nourishment, but to soothe or entertain himself (also known as 'non-nutritive sucking'). In effect, when a baby comfort nurses, he uses his mother as a soother. Sometimes that’s absolutely fine and a lovely bonding experience for mother and baby. However, breastfeeding moms often need to tend to many other tasks and soothers can assume the role of 'comfort nurser' for her. Older babies may even prefer the soother for this, since they can also look around and move about while they comfort nurse.
2. Soothers keep the peace. Sometimes your baby is hungry but you are temporarily in a situation where you cannot feed him. In these instances, the soother can tide baby over for a short time until you can tend to him. This temporarily resolves the problem of a screaming infant in an already stressful situation: parents can appreciate how crucial this can be.
3. Babies know the difference. When baby is very hungry, he will no longer accept a soother as a substitute for the breast. As long as your baby is gaining well, you don’t have to worry that he is using the soother too much.
4. You can always take it away. Babies may come to depend on the soother, but unlike your child’s thumb, when you decide to wean your baby off his soother it can easily be taken away. The thumb proves more difficult in this case.
5. Soothers soothe colicky and teething babies. In these situations, the soother may be preferable to the breast. Sometimes colic is caused when babies cannot digest their food well, and teething babies are likely to bite or nurse in a manner uncomfortable to mom.
6. Soothers make sleeping safer. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends putting baby to sleep with a soother, as it decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Used judiciously, soothers and breastfeeding complement each other beautifully, and make breastfeeding easier for baby and mother.
Cribsie Awards- Win MAM Anti-Colic Bottles!
25 MAM Moms and Dads will be randomly selected to win 2 MAM Anti-Colic Bottles- learn why and how below!
MAM Anti-Colic bottles have been selected as *finalists* in the prestigious Cribsie Awards in the 'Best Bottles for Gassy Babies' category!
Shown to significantly reduce colic symptoms in 80% of babies and possessing the unique ability to be microwave-sterilized in a mere three minutes with no extra parts, MAM Parents like you all wisely choose the MAM Anti-Colic Bottle for YOUR little ones. The next step is to make other parents aware which bottle is best for their baby by voting for the MAM Anti-Colic Bottle to win the Cribsie Award!
Vote here - once you do so and confirm your vote, you will be sent a confirmation e-mail to the e-mail address you provide to register.**Please forward this confirmation e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your mailing address and baby's gender. This information coupled with an official Cribsies vote confirmation letter will constitute a valid entry. Voting for The Cribsie Awards and entry for this contest ends 3/17/12 at 12:00 A.M.(EST)**
Thanks, all! We hope you have a lovely week! As always, please post below with any comments or questions.
Great news, MAM Moms and Dads!
To celebrate the new year and the launch of our microwave-sterilizing anti-colic bottles in Walmart (2/1/12) and Shoppers Drug Mart (3/1/12), we're hosting a big photo contest on Facebook!
MAM Anti-Colic bottles' patented bottom-vented system allows air to flow into the bottle, reducing pressure, vacuum, and air bubbles in the liquid; this is how the anti-colic bottle is able to reduce colic and gas in 80% of babies. This remarkable feature along with its simple 3-minute microwave sterilization process (no bags or additional parts required) frees both mom and baby from the stress of feeding time. This leads to a smooth, simple, and relaxed feeding experience in which parent and baby can bond.
To enter our contest, please visit http://on.fb.me/stressfreefeedingcontest; we ask that you upload a photo of your baby looking relaxed and stress-free. Your fellow parents will vote to determine which photos most qualify- the most votes win prizes as detailed below!
Gold Prize: 25 Anti-Colic Bottles
Silver Prize: 10 Anti-Colic Bottles
Bronze Prize: 5 Anti-Colic Bottles
4th Place-20th Place Prizes: 1 MAM Anti-Colic bottle
Good luck and please comment below with your thoughts!