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The Best Defense Against Childhood Food Allergies: A Parent's Guide

baby food allergies


With all the new research on food allergy prevention, it’s easy for parents to feel overwhelmed. Parents have a lot of questions about how to help reduce their child’s risk of developing a food allergy, based on the new guidelines from the AAP and NIH. That’s why we put together this up-to-date guide on the latest research, to help families follow the new guidelines safely and effectively.


Food Allergy Prevention Is Important For All Babies

Food allergies are on the rise, with 1 in 13 children in the United States affected. These allergies can often be inconvenient for families. Worst of all, reactions can be severe, and sometimes even life-threatening - a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room every three minutes. But over half of the children with food allergies have no family food allergy history. Thus, all infants are at risk for developing food allergies.


What The Latest Food Allergy Research Tells Us

Fortunately, three groundbreaking clinical studies show that you can reduce your infant’s food allergy risk by up to 80%, by introducing them to allergenic foods early and often. As a result,  the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) have issued new recommendations supporting early, sustained introduction of allergenic foods such as peanuts for infants.  


Tips To Defend Your Child Against Food Allergies


Start Early


Starting around 4-6 months of age, babies enter a critical window where their immune system begins to develop either positive or negative responses to foods. Introducing allergenic foods during this window helps train your baby’s immune system to develop the positive response needed to reduce their food allergy risk. Although it is important to not delay, most infants (up to 11 months of age) will still see a benefit in food allergy prevention with introducing allergenic foods.  


Consult Your Pediatrician

Before you introduce allergenic foods to your baby, consult your pediatrician. They may want to conduct an allergy screening first, especially if your baby has severe eczema.


Introduce When It’s Best For Baby


When you’re ready to introduce allergenic foods, pick a time when baby is healthy. Also, make sure that an adult can monitor baby for at least 2 hours, to watch for signs of an allergic reaction. Introduce one allergenic food at a time, so it’s easier to determine whether your baby is having an allergic reaction to that food. (Wait 3-5 days between introducing each new allergenic food, as recommended by the AAP.)


Breastfeeding Alone Is Not Enough

According to the AAP’s most recent guidelines, there is not enough conclusive evidence to prove that breastfeeding can prevent childhood food allergies on its own. So, families should introduce their babies to common food allergens early and often, regardless of how they choose to feed their baby.


Introduce Peanut, Egg, and Milk

Combined, peanut, egg, and milk account for more than 80% of childhood food allergies.  More importantly, the landmark studies showed that introducing these allergenic foods early and often led to a significant reduction in food allergy development.


Sustain Exposure

Introducing your baby to allergenic foods only once or twice is not enough to help prevent food allergies. Studies show that feeding your infant allergenic foods multiple times per week, and sustaining this introduction for at least several months, are just as crucial factors as starting early. The studies exposed infants to allergenic foods 2-7 times per week for at least 3-6 months. In fact, one of the landmark studies continually exposed infants to peanut for 4 years.


We know that parents need resources and support to implement the new guidelines on food allergy prevention at home which is why we’re proud to partner with Ready, Set, Food! Their gentle, guided system slowly and safely introduces baby to the most common food allergens (peanut, egg, and milk) in pre-measured amounts consistent with the new clinical guidelines. Learn more about Ready, Set, Food! below.


About Ready, Set, Food!

Ready, Set, Food! is an innovative system developed by a team of allergists and parents that  can help reduce your baby’s risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%. The system gradually introduces common food allergens in the amounts used in landmark clinical studies, for maximum safety and efficacy. Plus, it easily mixes with breastmilk, formula, or puree, so it makes following the new guidelines simple and easy for parents everywhere. Ready, Set, Food! contains only organic, non-GMO peanut, egg, and milk, and is recommended by over 230 pediatricians and allergists.


And just for our Newton Baby families, use code NEWTON20 to receive $20 off any Ready, Set, Food! subscription.

To learn more about how Ready, Set, Food! can help give your baby the best defense against food allergies, and take advantage of this exclusive offer for Newton Baby families, visit their website here.


Top 7 Newborn Sleep Tips That Will Help You Get More Sleep


Your baby will learn a lot from you over the years. Perhaps the first and most important skill you’ll teach your baby is how to sleep. Fact is, sleep isn’t an innate skill—it must be learned. And while we don’t sleep train until 4 months from their estimated due date, those first few months are an opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy sleep habits. By doing so, you’ll help your baby take better, more consistent naps (you can shower! Drink hot coffee!) and sleep more soundly at night (yes, please!) You can start putting these tips into action right away and they’ll continue paying off for months to come.


  1. Help your baby overcome day/night confusion

Have you noticed that your baby sleeps like a rock during the day, but wants to party all night? This is a very common occurrence for newborns that’s known as day/night confusion. Think back to when your baby was in your womb just a few days or weeks ago. While you were up and about during the day, the motion lulled her to sleep. Then, as soon as you’d lie down to sleep, she’d start kicking and moving because the stillness stirred her awake. Here’s how you can help your baby work through day/night confusion so you can both catch more Z’s after dark:

  • During the day, expose your baby to plenty of natural light.
  • When you feed and change your baby during the day, engage with your baby and keep the room bright.
  • When you feed and change your baby during the night, keep the room dark and minimize interactions with your baby.
  • After a nighttime feeding, change and swaddle your baby and put her right back to sleep.


  1. Create an environment that’s conducive to sleep

Use black out curtains to make your baby’s room completely dark. Darkness sends a signal to your baby’s brain that it’s time for sleep. Use continuous white noise during day and nighttime sleep. White noise is very comforting to babies—it mimics the sound they’re used to from being in the womb—and also blocks out background noise in the house or from the street that could disrupt baby’s sleep.


  1. Follow a basic routine

With a newborn, you don’t have to follow a rigid schedule, but it’s helpful to have a routine. When your baby wakes from a nap, change her diaper, have a little play time and tummy time, feed your baby, and then swaddle and put her right back to sleep. You may have heard that you should never wake a sleeping baby, but this isn’t entirely true. If your baby is taking a long nap, cap the nap at two hours and gently wake your baby. This will help make sure that you fit in enough feedings during the day, which can help result in longer stretches of sleep at night.


  1. Swaddle your baby

You might think that your baby doesn’t like being swaddled because she fusses at first, but all babies feel most secure once they’re swaddled. Swaddling helps prevent the Moro reflex from startling them awake. As a result, your baby is better able to stay asleep and connect sleep cycles, leading to longer naps and nighttime sleep. In most cases, if your baby is breaking free from the swaddle it means that the swaddle isn’t snug enough. (Be sure to stop swaddling once your baby is able to roll from back to tummy, around 3 to 4 months of age.)


  1. Establish a bedtime routine

Even though bedtime tends to be a moving target until around 3 to 4 months old, it’s still a smart idea to have a routine that you repeat most nights before putting your baby to bed. A simple routine may include a bath, lotion, diaper, jammies, and a feeding. Even very young babies will begin to pick up on the cues that this series of events signals that it’s time for sleep.


  1. Practice laying your baby down to sleep drowsy but awake

The key word here is “practice” because it won’t always be perfect. Many newborns fall deeply asleep during or after a feeding and that’s okay during those early weeks. At the same time, look for opportunities during the day when you know that your baby is sleepy and ready for a nap so that you can put her in her crib drowsy but awake and give her the opportunity to fall asleep without being fed, rocked, or held to sleep every single time.


  1. Avoid an overtired state.

When babies are awake for too long, they can become overtired. When this happens, the stress hormone cortisol floods their brain and makes it even more difficult for them to fall asleep. To prevent this from happening, offer a nap every 60 to 90 minutes from when your baby last woke up.


Article by Carolynne J. Harvey – Baby Sleep Expert, Author of “Dream Baby Nights©” & Founder of Dream Baby Sleep®. Feel free to schedule a free 15-minute sleep consultation by visiting You can also join @dreambabysleep on Instagram every Friday for Free Question Friday.


About Dream Baby Sleep

Dream Baby Sleep® is a loving group of certified experts who are successfully teaching families throughout North America how to create and maintain healthy sleep. Our diverse education and team dynamic empower us to customize a plan catered to your family’s personal needs. By studying the temperament of your baby, parenting style and family dynamic we’re able to draw from all sleep training methods available to create success for your family.

Instagram: @dreambabysleep

 Newborn Sleep Tips

Sleep Changes: Pregnancy Sleep by Trimester



Pregnancy SleepOne of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re pregnant is to get adequate sleep. It’s recharging and restorative for a body – yours! – that’s working harder than it ever has before on the complex and important task of creating a life. But ironically, pregnancy can also make it tough to get the sleep you need. Here are some sleep changes you can expect in each trimester of pregnancy:

First Trimester

The first trimester can be a time of heightened nerves and trepidation. So much is going on in your body, and you’re looking down the long road of the weeks and months ahead. Just that alone can interfere with your sleep time and quality. But there’s more than can disrupt sleep the first 12 weeks:

  • Morning sickness. The queasiness that frequently accompanies the early stages of pregnancy can be triggered by an empty stomach – so if you suffer from morning sickness, you may wake up earlier than you need to thanks to that combination of hunger and nausea.
  • Early in pregnancy, your progesterone levels skyrocket. But one side effect of the progesterone surge is that it can make you drowsy and draggy, as well as interfere with the quality of nighttime sleep (that is, you don’t spend enough time in the restorative, restful phases of sleep).
  • Tender breasts. Even before your belly swells, the first trimester brings changes to your body – sore, full, tender breasts – that can make your usual coziest sleeping positions harder to achieve.
  • Urinary frequency. Time to blame progesterone again! Another effect this hormone has is to relax smooth muscle throughout your body – and that includes the muscle that helps hold urine in your bladder.

Second Trimester

These second 12 weeks bring pretty dramatic changes to your body, and it stands to reason that second trimester sleep is affected. The good news here is that your hormones have settled down and you will probably be less bothered by nighttime trips to the bathroom, as your uterus is still too small and high up in your pelvis to press on your bladder much. Here’s what you might encounter:

  • Size matters. No denying it now – you’re getting big enough that the positions in which you may usually settle for sleep are either uncomfortable (such as stomach sleeping) or unadvisable (back sleeping). To increase your chances for a good night’s rest, experiment with pillows – sleep on your side with a pillow against your back and another between your knees.
  • This is the reflux or backup of stomach acid into the esophagus. What happens is that your growing uterus restricts the diaphragm, which interferes with normal digestion. This is made worse when you lie down and try to sleep.
  • Leg cramps or restless leg syndrome. Some pregnant women are susceptible to muscle cramps, which may be caused by low iron levels. Restless leg syndrome, a condition in which you feel tingling pain up and down your legs that only ceases if you move around, may also crop up at this time.

Third Trimester

In the third trimester of pregnancy, sleep can be disrupted by a number of issues, from your burgeoning belly making it tough to get comfortable, to good old-fashioned anxiety about what’s on the horizon. Here’s what else might be keeping you awake at night:

  • Urinary frequency. It’s baaack! In your final 12 weeks, the size and weight of your baby presses on your bladder, increasing the urge to go.
  • Joint and back pain. Carrying around your heavy belly puts stress on your lower back and your joints, the latter of which may also be more vulnerable to injury because pregnancy hormones soften the ligaments that connect joints. All this means greater frequency of aches and pains that can make comfortable sleep even more elusive now.
  • Both your increased girth and a higher incidence of nasal congestion during pregnancy can make you snore at night. This may bother your bed partner more than you, but it can also cause you to wake more often during the night, disrupting sleep.

If any of the above sleep-disturbing issues become problematic or worrisome—and can’t be alleviated with some commonsense measures—talk to your healthcare provider right away; he or she may have some solutions you haven’t thought of. A final bit of advice: Take naps!

Win And Share Spring Giveaway- Over $1300 in prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Newton Crib Mattress from Newton Baby

  • Twist Gift Set from Kiinde

  • On-The-Go Backpack in Leaf Print from TWELVElittle

  • Sleep Tight Bundle from Oilogic

  • Family Premium Yearly Subscription from Tinybeans


Giveaway ends 3/28/19 at 11:59 pm ET and the winner will be announced within 48 hours after it ends. No purchase necessary. Open to US residents only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. Must be 18+ years or older to enter.



1. Promotion Description: The 'Win over $1300 in prizes for you and your friend! ' ("Sweepstakes") begins on 03/25/2019 at 12:00 AM (Eastern Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 03/28/2019 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time (US & Canada)) (the "Promotion Period"). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Newton Baby inc ("Sponsor"), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.

2. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of USA, contiguous 48 states who are 18 or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the "Promotion Entities"), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.

3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by 48 hours by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively "the Prize Claim Documents"). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

4. Prizes:

- 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [Newton Crib Mattress] (approximate retail value or "ARV": $300)

- 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [Twist Gift Set from Kiinde ] (approximate retail value or "ARV": $99)

- 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [On-The-Go Backpack in Leaf Print from TWELVElittle ] (approximate retail value or "ARV": $165)

- 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [Sleep Tight Bundle from Oilogic] (approximate retail value or "ARV": $50)

- 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [Family Premium Yearly Subscription from Tinybeans] (approximate retail value or "ARV": $50)

- 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [(1) Enter today!] (approximate retail value or "ARV": $100)

Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor's good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses within USA, contiguous 48 states. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.

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Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the entrant. Any attempt by an entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void that entrant's Entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor's database clock will be the official time keeper for this Sweepstakes.

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In the event of a dispute concerning who registered online to participate in the Sweepstakes, the registration will be declared to have been made by the authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, education institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. A potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the email address. If a dispute cannot be resolved to Sponsor's satisfaction, the entry will be deemed ineligible.

8. Winner's List: To obtain a copy of any legally required winners list or a copy of the Official Rules, send the applicable request and a self-addresses, stamped, #10 envelope to Newton Baby inc cc: Win over $1300 in prizes for you and your friend! at 295 Fifth Ave Suite 1112. Request must be received no later than 48 hours + 6 MONTHS for the name of the winner and, by the end of the promotion, for a copy of the rules.

9. Sponsor: The Sweepstakes is sponsored by Newton Baby inc, 295 Fifth Ave Suite 1112,

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Sleep 101 from Dr. Deena

by Dr. Deena Blanchard


Sleep, it may be the one thing that new parents crave most. With three boys, I have definitely seen my fair share of sleepless nights. As a pediatrician and mom of three, you can bet I get asked A LOT of questions about sleep. Below are some of the more common questions.

How can I create a safe sleep environment for my baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends creating a safe sleep environment for your baby. A safe sleep environment is one where a baby is placed on her back to sleep on a firm mattress. Having a breathable and firm mattress like The Newton Crib mattress is a plus! There should be no bedding, pillows, blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals in the crib. The room should be kept between 68-72 degrees F and it is important to not overheat your little one. One light layer more than you are wearing is perfect. It is important not to place wedges or sleep positioners in the crib with your little one.

Why is temperature important for sleep?

The ideal sleep temperature is 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Overheating can be a risk factor for SIDS and makes sleep less comfortable. Using a breathable mattress will help in the air circulating and avoid your little one getting a sweaty head which can interfere with sleep.

When will my baby sleep through the night?

Every child is unique and there is not a one size fits all answer to this question. In addition, every family is different and therefore the choices that work for your family may be different than other families. These difference are okay as long as children are sleeping in a safe sleep environment.

Newborn and young infants will wake frequently at night to eat. Most babies will feed every 2-3 hours in the first 6-8 weeks of life. As a general rule of thumb, if your baby is gaining weight well and has regained their birth weight, you do not need to wake them up from sleep to feed them.

Around 6-8 weeks of life most babies will start to sleep one 4-5 hour period without eating. Keep in mind, it may not be the time you hoped for. It may be 7pm-11pm. After that most babies will feed every 3 hours for the rest fo the day.

Somewhere between 4-6 months of life your little one will be able to sleep for even longer periods. Perhaps only waking once a night to feed. Most babies can sleep 10-12 hours at night after 9 months old without waking to feed.

What is a sleep routine and how and when should I create one?

I always say it is never to early to create a sleep routine. However, it is important to have realistic expectations about how long your little one can go without eating. Around 6-8 weeks of age your baby is starting to know the difference between day and night but they are still developing sleep patterns. Help your little one by looking for sleep cues and trying to help them settle before they are overtired. Try to place your baby down drowsy but awake to help them practice and learn to fall asleep.

My baby has started rolling over! Should I keep going back in the room and turn them over?

You should always put your baby to sleep on their back. If your little one can roll, you do not need to keep going in and flipping them back onto their back. Having a breathable sleep surface, like the Newton Crib Mattress, will allow your little on to get the air they need and comfortably adjust themselves for sleeping, and give you the peace of mind to let them settle on their own and get great rest as well.

5 Steps to Prepare Your Sleeping Baby for Daylight Savings Time

You know you’re a parent when you start thinking (or worrying) about how daylight-saving time (DST) on Sunday, March 10th is going to interfere with your baby or toddler’s sleep. Fear not! With a solid plan, you can sail through DST with minimal disruption to your child’s sleep.
Daylight Savings Time Starts on Sunday, March 10th at 2am.  We will move our clocks forward one hour. This means 6am is now 7am – and 7pm is really 8pm.
  1. Plan ahead. About 7 to 9 days before the time change, start shifting your baby’s nap and bedtime by 15 minutes earlier every few days. For example, if your baby goes down for a nap at 1 p.m. every day, put him down at 12:45 p.m. for a few days, and then at 12:30 p.m. for a few days, and then at 12:15 p.m. for a few days. That way, on the day of the time change and beyond, when you put him down for a nap at his usual 1:00 p.m. naptime, he has no problem falling asleep because you prepared ahead of time. Do the same with bedtime, and be sure to move mealtimes up accordingly as well.
  1. Adopt the new clock immediately. If your baby normally takes a 9 a.m. nap, on March 10 (and beyond), put her down for a nap at 9 a.m. If your toddler normally goes to bed at 7 p.m., put him to bed at 7 p.m. Don’t overthink it—on the day of the time change abandon the old clock and embrace the new one right away.
  1. Start the day no later than 7:30 a.m. While DST may be the only day of the year when your child actually sleeps in, allowing her to do so beyond 7:30 a.m. can throw her sleep schedule off for days to come. In most cases, it’s not worth it. Got an early riser? Set awake for the day no earlier than 6:30 a.m. On the morning of the time change and every day after, wait until 6:30 a.m. to get your baby. Being consistent with this wake time can help improve early rising.
  1. Install blackout shades. Longer, brighter days are glorious; bedtime battles are not. Blackout shades block the sunlight from entering their room so they can drift off to dreamland even when bedtime is at 6:30 p.m. (If blackout shades are still on your to-do list, you can create a temporary solution by hanging black construction paper or tinfoil with painters’ tape over the windows—of course be sure that all parts are out of your child’s reach.)  
  1. Get outside. Sunlight naturally helps set the body’s internal clock. On the day of DST, try to get outside at least twice—ideally before and after lunch. If you have a baby, place her play mat in a sunny spot by a window.
There’s no need to lose sleep over the time change because following these steps can help rapidly reset your child’s internal clock. Have your baby sleeping better in no time! And the best part is, Mamas, DST means that spring is just around the corner!
By Carolynne J. Harvey – Sleep Expert, Author of “Dream Baby Nights©” & Founder of Dream Baby Sleep®
About Dream Baby Sleep
Dream Baby Sleep® is a loving group of certified experts who are successfully teaching families how to create and maintain healthy sleep. By studying the temperament of your baby, parenting style and family dynamic we’re able to draw from all sleep training methods available to improve sleep. If you have additional sleep questions feel free to schedule a free 15-minute sleep consultation by visiting
Instagram: @dreambabysleep

 daylight savings tips

How to Create a Safe Nursery: Tips from Dr. Deena

how to create a safe nursery



Setting up a nursery for your little one is a fun and exciting task. You get to choose colors and decor and make this space a unique space for your little one and your family to enjoy. Aside from colors and theme choices, it is important to choose safe products. Here are some tips on how to set up an adorable and safe nursery for your family.

1.) Create a safe sleep space: Choose a crib that meets current safety standards and a mattress that is firm yet breathable. Make sure there are no gaps between the mattress and the crib. Don’t place any pumper, pillows, blankets or stuffed animals into the crib.

2.) Anchor the furniture: It is hard to imagine that your tiny baby will one day be on the move. The goal is to avoid accidental tip-overs.  Anchor bookcases and dressers to the wall so that they don’t accidentally fall or get pulled down onto your little one.

3.) Choose cordless blinds: Blinds with cords can be a strangulation hazard as your little one starts to move. When setting up the nursery, choose cordless blinds and as a bonus blackout shades to help keep the room dark so your little one will be able to use that as a sleep cue.

4.) Be mindful of where you hang artwork: The availability of adorable artwork for your little one’s nursery can definitely inspire your creative side. Avoid hanging artwork over your little one’s crib or changing table.

5.) Window Safety: The CPSC recommends installing window guards to prevent falls. Keep chairs and furniture away from windows to prevent your little one from using them as a way to climb up near a window.

6.) Fire safety: Make sure to have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your little one’s bedroom.

      Your baby’s sleep environment should be one of the safest spaces in your home. Getting off to a safe start when you first set up the nursery can be really helpful. Have fun, be creative and create a magical and safe space for your little one to call their room.


      -Dr. Deena Blanchard is a board-certified pediatrician and partner at Premier Pediatrics in New York City. Dr. Deena regularly contributes to leading parenting blogs including Big City Moms and Momtastic, and has also been featured on AOL, The Huffington Post, The Bump, CBS, CUNY-TV, and more for her skillful health and parenting tips. Dr. Deena earnestly supports Newton Baby’s products and initiatives that encourage safe, healthy sleep for babies, so much so that she proudly counts on Newton Baby for her little ones at home.

      New Mom? Make sure to take care of you, too.


      The Fourth Trimester: Dealing with Postpartum Feelings

      Some people—accurately—call the first several months of motherhood the “fourth trimester.” The reason that’s such an apt description of this tumultuous time is that you’re still stewing in a hormonal brew; you’re exhausted and possibly overwhelmed; and your body is still not even close to yours again. Here are common postpartum feelings, so you know you aren’t alone:


      Exhaustion: Okay, being more tired than you ever thought possible before isn’t exactly an emotion, but the kind of bone-weariness common to new motherhood triggers other feelings. It’s hard to cope with the emotional and physical demands babycare when your mind and body are screaming for rest. In this fourth trimester, the most important thing you can do, not just for your own wellbeing but for your baby’s sake, is to prioritize sleep as best you can. If that means handing the baby off to your partner, mother, or friend, do it. Sleep whenever you can; all other pulls on your time and attention can wait.


      Anxiety: Wait, what? You’re just sending us home with this baby by ourselves? If that’s what you thought when the hospital staff wheeled you and your newborn to the door and waved goodbye, you’re hardly alone. You have so many questions! Can I swaddle the way that awesome nurse did? What if the baby won’t latch on without that wonderful lactation consultant by my side? What if I don’t fall in love with my child? If you’re experiencing anxiety, it helps to know that no one is a baby expert right out of the gate, and that bonding is a process, not a lightning bolt. And even fragile looking newborns are far heartier than they look.

      Confusion: You may feel an internal struggle between your emerging identity as “someone’s mother” and the person you were before. Even though intellectually you’re well aware that you’re not going out for cocktails with your girlfriends quite yet (instead, you’re a baby cocktail bar yourself!), don’t be dismayed if you stare at your baby in certain moments and wish she would just sort of disappear so you could sleep late, putter around your house, read a book, see a movie, or enjoy a leisurely dinner, a shower, a conversation… anything. Don’t hold these feelings in; talk to your partner or a sympathetic friend.


      Joy: It’s true! You will feel pure bliss bubbling up in these early weeks, no matter how grueling the rest of the time might be. Sure, those happy interludes will probably take place when the little one is (finally) peacefully asleep, and you can stare at his sweetly composed face with understandable awe. But even more amazing will be the times – and we swear, they’re coming – that your baby looks into your eyes, smiles, coos, laughs, and the joyful moments will happen more often and stretch out for longer.


      Doubt: Did I do the right thing by offering the baby I swore I’d exclusively breastfeed a few ounces of formula, so I could sleep while my husband fed her? Was the woman at the grocery store right and I should have put a hat on him (or, you know, not put a hat on him)? Should I have started saving for college when my baby was still an embryo? And heck, should we have done this whole procreating thing at all? Doubt and second-guessing are part of the landscape now, as you’re finding your parenting feet. To counter the worst of it, remind yourself that you, like every mother in the history of time, are doing the very best you can.


      Sadness: This one is tricky, and can be serious. Sadness in the immediate postpartum period is very common, and part of its cause is hormonal. All those pregnancy hormones plummet after you give birth, throwing you into a muddle of chemical confusion for a few days or even weeks. Then there’s the sleep deprivation, which heightens and intensifies all emotions, particularly negative ones. This is what you’ve heard called the “baby blues,” and for most women this emotional jumble of zig-zagging between joy and tears gradually dissipates. But please take note: If your sadness overtakes you, if it lasts longer than six weeks or includes any of the following symptoms, please talk to your doctor right away:


      • Severe mood swings and/or excessive crying
      • Difficulty connecting with your baby, or feeling you can’t possibly be a good mother
      • Withdrawing from loved ones
      • Inability to sleep even when the baby doesn’t need you
      • Loss of appetite
      • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, shame, and guilt
      • Intense irritability or anger, or panic attacks
      • Recurrent thoughts of harming yourself or your baby


      Postpartum depression is not in your head, and it can be treated. For more information, Postpartum Support International

      Need better sleep? Get advice directly from two top pediatricians.


      Dr. Deena Blachard and Dr. Sara Connolly answer all of your questions on how to get your baby to sleep better. You find all you need to know about how much sleep is enough, crib safety and much more.

      Note: This video was a live video, so the giveaway mentioned has now ended. Please join our mailing list to get alerts of the latest great giveaways.

      The Truth about Colic from Dr. Deena

      By Dr. Deena Blanchard


      "Could it be?" Parents will ask in hush whispers? The “C-word”? That's right, colic. Colic is a word that can draw fear in the hearts of even the most experienced parent. As a mom of a child who had colic, I can say first hand that those weeks are really challenging as a parent.


      What exactly is colic?

      All babies cry some and some cry more than others. For most babies, crying will start to increase around the second week of life and peaks at six weeks of life. Colic is defined by the rule of threes. Colicky babies cry for more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week. Commonly, babies with colic will cry around the same time every day, with the most common times being late afternoon/early evening. Between periods of crying and fussiness, colicky babies will act in an age-appropriate manner. Typically colic will start around 3 weeks of age, peaks around 6 weeks of age and greatly improve by 14 weeks of age.


      What causes colic?

      The truth is that no one knows exactly what causes some babies to have colic. There is some thought that it represents the upper limits of crying that most infants do. Babies with colic can be difficult to soothe and what works on one day may not work the next. There are other theories that think it may be related to an immature gut and nervous system. We do know that parents DO NOT cause their little ones to have colic. It is important to realize that there is nothing you have done as a parent to cause your baby to have colic.


      Should I talk to my pediatrician about my child’s symptoms?

      Absolutely! It is important for your pediatrician to rule out other causes of prolonged crying such as food intolerance or reflux.


      Is there anything I can do to help my baby?


      After your pediatrician rules out any underlying disease; the most important thing is to realize while these can be a challenging few weeks, your baby is healthy. Infants with colic are healthy, growing and thriving developmentally.  It may seem impossible to believe but the crying will not last forever. Some tips for soothing a fussy baby include: introducing a pacifier, white noise, rocking, swaddling, and bouncing with your infant. Some studies have shown that using probiotic drops in infants with colic can help reduce the amount of crying. Walking with your baby in a baby carrier or going out for a stroll (or drive in the car) can help as well. Keep in mind some of these things will work at times but nothing will work all the time.

      Unfortunately, babies this age are not predictable and that can be frustrating when your little one is colicky. As adults, we tend to be rational, thinking, planning individuals but sadly our little ones are not. You may have done X yesterday and your baby slept for four hours straight. Then you do the same today and it doesn't work. Babies this age act unpredictably, and worked today may not work tomorrow. If you can accept that randomness from about 2-13 weeks of life, it will make it easier to get through (yes, easier said than done).

      Seriously though, will this ever end?

      As a parent when your little is crying for even a few minutes it can feel like an eternity. The symptoms of colic start to improve around 8-10 weeks of age and dramatically improve by around 14 weeks of age. The other good news is that having colic as an infant does not predict your little one’s temperament as they get older.


      Having a baby with colic can be really frustrating and challenging as a parent. It can be truly nerve racking! It takes a village to raise a child and there is no shame in asking for help. It is okay for you to need a break. Let family or friends watch the baby so you can nap, shower, go out with a friend, or do something that is relaxing for you. If no one has reached out to you, they may not want to bother you. Ask for help. If you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, start by calling your pediatrician. They can help you and provide you with more resources.


      When you are in the trenches, it is hard to imagine that this period will ever end but once it passes you start to forget just how hard it was. Keep in mind, it's nothing you did or didn't do, and just because your child is on the more fussy end now does not mean they will stay like that forever. My seven year old cried every day for weeks 3-10 of life and he is the sweetest, most adorable, easy going child. So hang in there. As with most things in life, this too shall pass.

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