Tag Archives: baby

Hyland’s Teething Tablets Recalled – Should You Be Concerned?

Hyland’s Teething Tablets have been recalled due to inconsistent levels of belladonna in them. The FDA states that there have been reports of serious adverse effects due to these inconsistent levels, as belladonna can be highly toxic.

This is one of those recalls I almost hate to see. I used Hyland’s Teething Tablets with great success on two of my children – the youngest didn’t react in any way to them. No comfort, no bad reactions either. They were such a blessing with my two oldest that it was hard to recognize that for my youngest they would not be the solution to teething pain.

Hyland’s Teething Tablets have been used safely for decades. Are the inconsistent levels really a problem, or is the FDA being really picky?

Personally, I’d like to see consistent levels, especially with the reports of adverse effects. The amount of belladonna is incredibly small, and I find it hard to imagine that there’s enough to cause harmful effects, but if there are some, we need to be aware of that fact.

Of course, we also need to remember that acetaminophen and ibuprofen can have adverse effects too. It’s not like the usual OTC medications are 100% safe or anything.

I know not all doctors approve of Hyland’s. I remember mentioning them to my pediatrician when my son was an infant. His response was along the lines of, “well, you could give him the whole bottle and not hurt him,” and an implication that it wouldn’t do any good either.

It’s also a good time to remember that all medications need to be kept out of reach of children. Hyland’s Teething Tablets don’t have a childproof lid. That’s nice when you’re trying to deal with a fussy baby in the middle of the night, but makes it all the more important that you keep those medications safely out of their reach.

If you have Hyland’s Teething Tablets on hand, take a look at this recall and either dispose or return any you have right now. It’s better to be safe.

When Do You Wean?

When it works, breastfeeding is a delightful activity for mother and child. It provides the best source of nutrition for an infant, as well as health benefits to the mother. It’s the most environmentally friendly way to feed a baby as well, needing no extra equipment such as bottles, and no need to buy can after can of formula. But inevitably the time comes when you start to think about weaning.

There are a lot of differing ideas about when to wean. Some say sooner, some say later. But what really matters is what works for you.

Early Weaning

Some say to wean early. My mother-in-law tried that when I was breastfeeding my first, wanting me to wean at 6 weeks, then six months, and on it went. For some mothers, that’s the right choice because they can’t afford the time it takes to breastfeed, or it’s painful for them, or they have to work and no place to pump. These things happen, and it’s not always possible or reasonable for a mother to continue breastfeeding, even when she wants to.

And of course some simply don’t want to. It doesn’t appeal to them for one reason or another. While this means they’re going to have to use formula, I’m a firm believer in bodily autonomy, and that means they have the right to not breastfeed.

Weaning at One Year

A lot of moms wean their babies at one year. It’s a time recommended by many pediatricians. Babies no longer feed exclusively on their mother’s milk by this age, and are easily enjoying pureed foods. It’s also felt to be a safe time in most cases to introduce cow’s milk, as an allergic reaction is less likely as baby gets older.

Weaning at Two Years

Age two is another popular time, as the World Health Organization recommends at least two years of breastfeeding. The baby has become a toddler and can chew many foods.

Child Led Weaning

Child led weaning is my personal favorite. It’s more comfortable for mother and child, if the breastfeeding relationship has lasted this long. You rely on signals from your child to decide when to wean.

This age varies tremendously. My two oldest self weaned by 18 months. My youngest is firmly in favor of continuing the breastfeeding relationship, at age 20 months.

Child led weaning can lead to extended breastfeeding, with children aged 3, 4 and more before they want to wean. It takes some extra dedication to breastfeeding to let your child decide when it’s done. On the plus side, you get to enjoy the closeness of breastfeeding for as long as your child cares to continue it.

When breastfeeding works, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of the mother-child relationship. No one can get as close to a baby as a mother who is breastfeeding. Giving a bottle of expressed milk lets others participate, but it’s not the same as nursing a suckling child. It can be more than an obligation; it can be a delight.

As for my current breastfeeding situation, I’m giving very gentle nudges toward weaning, mostly making other drinks more readily available. She’ll take the hint or not, it’s not a major matter of stress for me, although I’m ready to be done.

Can Disposable Diapers Ever Be the Green Choice?

Not every family wants to use cloth diapers. I strongly prefer them to disposables, having used both types, but washing cloth diapers isn’t something that all families are up for.

What are the chances for a disposable diaper to be a green choice? Does that ever happen?

Green and eco friendly are hard words to define. In general, something that creates waste and cannot be reused is not going to be as eco friendly as something that can be used over and over, and even handed down when you’re done with it.

There are times, however, that a disposable diaper makes sense.

That would be when water usage matters. If you’re living in an area with a severe drought, having water available for drinking is far more important than using water for washing diapers. That’s a place you can cut back on your water use.

When that kind of situation happens, the important thing is to pick the most environmentally friendly disposable diaper you can buy. Don’t be fooled by the eco claims of major brands – they’re usually too vague and use words that don’t have any legal meaning to make themselves sound good.

The trouble is that even the more environmentally friendly disposables aren’t that much better than the traditional disposables. They don’t use bleach, they use renewable resources for parts of the diaper, they don’t use latex or fragrances. But they cost more than traditional diapers as a rule, making this as much a budgetary decision as a green one for most families. There’s usually a limit for how far we can vote with our wallets while raising a family.

Biodegradable diapers are another option. You can throw these into your compost pile, although due to the human waste involved the compost should then not be used on food plats. Safe enough for anything you aren’t going to eat, however.

Some come as covers with biodegradable liners that you dispose of in your compost. Biodegradable doesn’t work so well in a landfill, as they get covered too quickly to properly biodegrade. If you just throw them in the trash, you aren’t taking advantage of their biodegradability.

When it comes right down to it, I still have to recommend cloth diapers over other diapering options. Preferably organic cloth diapers.

But if it happens that you must use some sort of disposable, don’t reach for the easiest solution or the greenest looking package. Take a better look and find the balance between caring for the environment and being kind to your wallet. Sometimes the answer you want isn’t the one you can afford.

Women Shouldn’t Breastfeed Where?

It amazes me how shocked some people get about the idea of breastfeeding in public. Until fairly recent times, mothers had no other choice. They did not just stay home when they had a baby, yet that’s what some people think mothers should do now if they aren’t willing to give their baby a bottle.

I came across this article about 9 Most Awkward Breastfeeding Situations via Mother Nature Network. The situations and reasoning they have are pretty ridiculous from my perspective.

Don’t breastfeed in church? I like my mother’s description: Feeding God’s creation in God’s house in God’s way. Where does that go wrong exactly?

There’s an article on the subject linked to the gallery on this one. It’s not as bad as the gallery, but some of the comments are depressing, especially the ones who think that women nurse in public to get attention.

No… and if you think you only ever see women nursing in public by flopping her breasts out for all to see, you’re probably right.

They’re the only ones you see. The rest are so discreet you don’t notice them at all. And there are more of them.

Nursing in public is not done to get attention. It’s not sexual. It’s nothing like urinating, defecating or having sex in public. It’s feeding a baby. Not so different from feeding oneself, except baby’s food comes directly from the mother’s breast.

No, it’s not always discreet. Babies don’t always allow that. They pull off randomly. As they get older they move the mother’s clothing around. They don’t all tolerate a nursing cover, nor should they be expected to. It gets hot under those things, and the ability to have eye contact with their mother as they nurse is a big thing for babies.

I truly detest the notion that moms should just stay at home with their babies. It’s usually stated as being in the baby’s best interest, but it isn’t. It’s isolating to the mother and child. It’s also impossible in many cases, such as when the mother needs to run errands. And there’s no reason to expect any human being to be chained to their home 24/7 just because they’re caring for another human being. We all have the right to a social life.

That said, I’ll agree that when possible sick babies should be kept at home. It’s not always possible, and most moms try their best.

Of course, if a mother were to refuse to breastfeed in public and doesn’t carry bottles of either pumped breastmilk or formula, then she’ll be criticized for having a hungry, screaming baby. Breastfeeding is much pleasanter for all. If the mother gets a little exposed, you only need to look away. It takes more effort to get away from the screams of a hungry baby.

Breastfeeding in public has allowed me to take my kids when each was a baby on airplanes and not disturb the other passengers. They just nursed through takeoff and landing, and didn’t need to cry at all. I’d call that a win even for anyone sitting close enough to realize what I was doing, although usually I’d be traveling with enough family that no strangers would be right by me.

Breastfeeding in public has allowed me to run errands even when my babies were small and nursed more frequently. It’s great for soothing babies who would otherwise be screaming as I tried to get things done out of the house. A full tummy solves many problems when you’re that young.

Breastfeeding in public has allowed me to participate in church services. It has allowed me to enjoy a good meal out with friends and family.

I won’t say I flaunt anything, as I try to keep things covered, but do people sometimes see a bit more than they would if I weren’t breastfeeding? Absolutely. You can’t control a baby that perfectly. They wiggle, move and play. They pull clothing aside. They remove covers.

I can limit that and do, but there’s only so much to be done for it. I’m not a mind reader, so there’s no way to know in advance that baby’s going to pop off at a particular instant despite suckling strongly just a moment before.

Moms, don’t let articles and commenters get you down about where you breastfeed. Most states acknowledge your rights to breastfeed your baby any place you’re allowed to be.

The Delights of Extended Breastfeeding

Most of us know that breast is best for baby, and if it works for you, to breastfeed that baby for at least one year. It doesn’t work for everyone, for a variety of reasons, but when you can manage it, breastfeeding is wonderful.

I have to say, extended breastfeeding in some ways is even more fun. More challenging at times, but so much fun!

Toddlers Can Be Playful Breastfeeders

My 15 month old is an absolute wild child when it comes to breastfeeding. She’s all over the place, standing up, sitting down, getting back into that old cradle hold, trying to flip upside down while still latched. It’s practically a comedy routine some days.

She knows what she wants and when she wants it, and can come up to get it.

Sometimes it’s clearly a game to her. She’s not always serious about getting any actual milk out. It’s the attention and the bond, plus making sure her siblings know that Mommy is hers!

Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding

There is a great list of benefits of extended breastfeeding posted on KellyMom that she appears to keep updated. But here are a few of my favorites:

1. Nursing toddlers benefit nutritionally.

I love seeing this one after being warned by my pediatrician to be sure to start giving whole milk in case I didn’t realize that my daughter was weaning. I think I would notice! The whole lack of nursing thing.

I assume the pediatrician’s point would be that a gradual weaning might not be noticed as quickly as it should be. I think I’m pretty aware, overall, of how much my daughter nurses. Having had two older children self wean, I’m also pretty familiar with the routine.

But nutritionally you just can’t beat breastmilk for babies and toddlers. It’s a significant source of fat and protein, as well as other nutrients that toddlers need.

2. Nursing toddlers are sick less often.

How could any mother not love that? Sick toddlers are a lot of work. Anything that helps them get sick less often has to be a good thing!

3. Nursing a toddler is normal.

Yes, normal! Despite the many who want to know when you’re going to get around to weaning that baby, nursing a toddler is a very normal thing to do.

4. Extended nursing makes for smarter children.

Aw geez, this might be a disadvantage! She’s smart enough already!

Kidding, kidding! Although she is doing things already that her older brother and sister weren’t doing so young.

All the fats in breastmilk, particularly the omega-3, help with brain development, which is vital during the first 2 years.

5. It’s good for the mother’s health.

Extended breatfeeding continues the general benefits to the mother of breastfeeding. Easier weight loss, less chance of osteoporosis, less chance of various cancers, it’s pretty good stuff.

Disadvantages of Extended Breastfeeding

None of the disadvantages of extended breastfeeding really bother me. They are pretty minor to me and how I want to live my life. Nonetheless….

1. Social disapproval.

The longer you breastfeed, the more you’re going to be getting the question of when you’re going to wean. Some people get pretty disgusted by extended breastfeeding, as though it’s any of their business. Some even compare it to child abuse, which says more about their frame of mind than it does about breastfeeding.

The disapproval that some breastfeeding mothers feel in public increases if you breastfeed a toddler in public. More people will feel you shouldn’t be doing that in public. Your toddler may well be making it harder to be “discreet” about the whole matter.

2. Not all pediatricians are aware of the benefits of extended breastfeeding.

Actually, this is a disadvantage to having a pediatrician who is unaware of the benefits, not really a disadvantage to extended breastfeeding. No fault of breastfeeding that not all doctors keep up on current research.

But it can be annoying to hear from your child’s doctor that you’re doing it wrong, or that you don’t need to breastfeed anymore.

3. Weaning may be a challenge.

I’ve never found it to be so, but your mileage may vary. My older two self weaned, so there never was a challenge.

But if the time comes when you do decide to wean your child on your schedule rather than his or hers, there may be more of a battle. Toddlers know what they want and they can try to get it. You may have to be a bit stubborner.

4. Your toddler can delete your blog posts while you’re breastfeeding.

Yes, I’ve been nursing my toddler while typing this up. She swung up when I was a bit more than halfway through, hit a few random keys and poof! My post vanished as my browser window went back a few pages.

Thank you WordPress autosave!

As for Me…

Our current plans include breastfeeding until my daughter self weans or until around age 2, at which point I’ll probably be working on encouraging weaning. If she’s like my older two, she’ll choose self weaning in a few more months, and that’s fine.

I’m not especially looking forward to weaning. My last baby, and I love the closeness. I have days where I’m ready to be done with it all, but more days where breastfeeding is such a treat that I dread when I have to give it up.