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june grass

Your Online Magazine for Moms
June - July 2009 ~ Issue # 018

Give me the life of the boy whose mother is nurse,
seamstress, washerwoman, cook, teacher, angel, and saint, all in one,
and whose father is guide, exemplar, and friend.
No servants to come between.
These are the boys who are born to the best fortune.
~ Andrew Carnegie

If Andrew Carnegie, the second richest man in history, could understand the deeper value of a loving family, than so should we. June 12th is your opportunity to honor that "guide, exemplar, and friend" in your child's growing life ("guide" being the most important in my opinion).

Don't let this chance pass! To help you plan accordingly, I've provided a few Father's Day ideas and tips at the end of this issue. Enjoy!

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Side Note: If you prefer to see The Merry Mother on one page, read the scroll-down edition here.

In some general housekeeping news, due to my expanding waistband (there's a baby in there, thank you very much!) I will be moving The Merry Mother to a bi-monthly publication date. It will contain the same information and bonuses, but will arrive in your inbox every other month.

So, your next issue will come sweeping into your inbox on August 4th. However, I will be publishing additional articles, updating recall lists, and sharing new coupon codes on a regular (weekly) basis. If you haven't already, sign up for my blog, to receive automatic notices of these site changes and additions.

In Case You Missed It...

Here are some of the newest articles at The Essential Infant Resource for Moms (EiR) you may have missed.

  • Reading the Signs of Teething in Your Infant
      This article isn't hyperlinked. Why? Because it's on page three! It's this month's feature article.
  • Finding the Perfect Teething Pacifier (and Other Teething Toys)
      Using a regular 'ole binky as a teething pacifier is asking for trouble. In no time all, your budding piranah will devour that flimsy plastic and choking hazards will sprout everywhere. You need a real teething pacifier...or at least some decent teething toys.
  • "My baby has been diagnosed with acute enterocolitis"
      Posted by father Anand in India, read about his situation and my reply.
  • Baby Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors
      These baby safety tips will help you brave the elements and emerge with your infant from the protective winter cocoon of your home. Introduce your baby to the wonders of the world with the least worries possible.
  • Basic Baby Protection from the Sun
      The sun is both friend and foe in the summertime. Build a barrier of baby protection around your little one at all times as you enjoy the Great Outdoors. Just because your baby is young, doesn't mean she is somehow immune to the effects of the sun.
  • "Constipation Question"
      A post by an anonymous friend, read my suggestions for alleviating constipation in your infant.
  • Infant Swimwear: This Summer's Go-To Guide for Baby Fun in the Sun
      If it's getting hot where you live (apologies Aussie friends), this article provides a look at the newest beach gadgets and the cutest swimwear for your babies introduction to water.
  • Infant Bowel Movements: Deciphering the Key to Your Baby's Health
      Yes, it's unpleasant, but the various colors coming out of that end can tell you a lot about your baby's overall health and wellness. In this article, I delve into the "language of poo" and share the key to understanding the rainbow of colors your baby can produce and what (if anything) to do about it.
  • "Nap Time for My 6 1/2 Month Old"
      Becky shares her struggles with her daughters lack of napping during the day. Read her experience, and see the tips I shared with her to get her active baby napping again.

    The Merry Mother Survey

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    What Was Most Surprising to You About Being a Mom? ~ Results

    The votes are in. Here's what you said:

    • Nobody chose, being so nervous about the slightest cough and "checking in" every 15 minutes during sleeptime. (I guess I'm odd that way...)
    • 12.5% of you said how difficult breastfeeding was.
    • 25% of you shared surpise that you could really handle massive poop explosions and projectile vomiting. (You really are that awesome.)
    • 25% of you also confessed being shocked at just how exhausted you would feel in the first few weeks/months.
    • But the top winner was...drum roll...that motherhood really is the best (and hardest) job in the world. (38%!)
    Besides the standard answers, several of you took the time to share your own thoughts on what surprised you about motherhood. Here's a sample of what you said:

    • The lack of time you have for yourself.
    • How uptight and overprotective I would become!
    • How naturally it actually came for me, I had serious doubts about how I would do!
    • Just how much time must be dedicated to the Little Prince.
    • How much I loved breastfeeding - it was like having a glass of wine in the early days...a hormonal high!
    Thanks to all who took the time to participate! It is encouraging to remember how strange some things seemed at the beginning - and just how "normal" those things are now!
    smiley

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    How Do You Get Your Baby to Go to Sleep?

    Becky's dilemma (see above) prompted my thinker to wonder...how do other moms get their babies to take naps or go to sleep at night? And so here's this issue's question. What has worked for you? (and may work for others?) Side Note: This is an archived issue of The Merry Mother. To see the results of this survey, view the August 2009 issue here.

    Pages Coming Up at the EiR:

    If you haven't already, sign up for the Essential Infant Blog and be notified the moment these pages are online.

    Do you sense a pattern here?

    • Teething Babies: Your Complete Go-To Survival Guide
    • The Great Teething Fever and Diarrhea Debate
    • A Simple Teething Schedule for Busy Moms
    • Free Teething Chart for Your Baby Book
    • Simple Steps to Teething Relief and Other Teething Pain Tips
    • Natural Teething Remedies to Do at Home

    New iPhone Applications for Parents

    tracker
    Super Baby Tracker
    tracker 2
    Baby Tracker: Nursing

    Super Baby Tracker

    Hooray for iPhones (and iPod Touch)! Now you can track diaper changes, medical histories, feedings, sleeping time, etc. on your touch screen.

    It's especially useful when he's going to Grandma's for the day, since all you have to do is tell her to watch the screen. It will tell her when to feed him (and you can add what he should have), when it's nap time, etc.

    Baby Tracker for Nursing

    For those of you nursing moms, another application for your iPhone or iPod Touch is the Baby Tracker for Nursing. It helps you track which breast you started with last time and how long you've been feeding on each side. I'm positive you'll find it extremely useful!

    coupon

    sale
    Here are the latest and greatest coupon codes and sale alerts for you at some of the best baby boutiques on the web. I've become a firm believer in shopping online, especially when I can get free shipping.

    Lugging the kids from store to store has lost its luster, and ordering in my pajamas at 6 am in the morning has become somewhat of a shopping tradition.

    Don't forget, these are all companies I feel comfortable recommending. They have good products and services. I either use them myself, or know someone who has. I would never recommend or share a coupon code for a sub-par company selling sub-par products.

    So far, these have all past the test. However, if you've had a bad experience with any of them, let me know. My circle of store-analyzers is small (in relation to the world), so feedback is always appreciated.


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    MyStrollers

    stroller
    Peg Perego Euro Classic
    Most of you probably already have your stroller, but if you're like me, and your current stroller has become a safety hazard out on the sidewalk, MyStrollers is offering deep discounts on some extremely well-made (and normally unaffordable...at least for me) baby strollers. Extra bonus: They offer free shipping on all orders. (No minimum purchase!)

    Here's a smattering of the deals they sent me this week:

    • Bugaboo strollers and accessories are on closeout - deeply discounted until they are all gone. Savings: $200
    • 2008 Peg Perego Euro Classic Skate Stroller in Green Bubbles Savings: $429.00
    • Mutsy Spider Stroller in Black Savings: $120
    • 2009 Inglesina Classic Pram with Diaper Bag Savings: $609.00 ~ This goes back to regular price on June 6th.
    Search for these strollers at MyStrollers.
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    Robeez Baby Shoes

    robeez
    Dragonfly T-Strap
    Besides Isabooties, Robeez is my other favorite baby shoe manufacturer. Here's a hint: I always buy a little large. The elastic band around the ankle keeps the shoes on, and my baby has a few months to grow into them before I have to buy a larger size. (They are a little more expensive, but in my experience they last long enough to justify the extra upfront cost.)

    This week Robeez announced their "Spring into Summer Sale" that offers free shipping on any purchase of 2 or more pairs of shoes. (Sandals for summer...boots for winter?) It's a standard sale, so no coupon code is needed. They have not announced when this will expire, so I would act quickly if this interests you.

    View the baby booties at Robeez.


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    eBeanstalk Toys

    One of my favorite things about eBeanstalk is how they've organized their store. They split their toys according to developmental stage, perfectly linking what your baby is learning with the best toys for learning it.

    I'm ashamed to share how often I've picked up a toy, only to realize later it was for the wrong age. eBeanstalk offers some great tips on how to choose a developmentally appropriate toy for your baby. Here they are:

    • For a newborn: Newborns briefly look at objects and try to imitate facial expressions. They can follow objects with their eyes and usually quiet down once they've been picked up.
    • For a three month old: Babies at this age enjoy "frolic play" as they reach for objects and repeat fun activities over and over again. They are starting to understand "no" and may start making noises and babbling.
      toy
      The perfect cause-and-effect toy
    • For a six month old: Your little 6-month old will search for hidden objects and reach for themselves in the mirror. They enjoy peekaboo, crumple paper, and will start figuring out to roll over to their back. They may even respond to their name at this age.
    • For a nine month old: At nine months, your baby can push toy cars, play pat-a-cake and look for hidden sounds. Toys at this age are often more interactive and interesting than previous toys.
    • For one year olds: At one year old, babies are becoming even more mobile. Look for toys that roll, or can be pushed by beginning walkers. They are also learning the important concept of cause and effect. (If I put this ball in there...what happens?)
    If you decide to stock up on Christmas and birthday gifts, eBeanstalk is offering free shipping on all orders over $65. Use coupon code "FREESHIP$65" at checkout to get your discount.

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    IzzyPrints

    izzy print
    Still haven't sent out that birth announcement? Looking forward to celebrating a first birthday?

    I discovered Izzy Prints a few weeks ago, to my great enjoyment. Upload a photo, type in the details...and you're done! They'll send you the finished result, all ready for addresses and stamps.

    Extra bonus? Not feeling uncomfortable with Great Aunt Janice when you realize that she never knew you had a baby 2 years ago...

    Use coupon code "d22a7" during checkout for a 12% discount on your entire order.

    Click here to browse through IzzyPrints.


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    Baby Brown's

    diaper bag
    Petunia Pickle Bottom
    Baroque Roll Touring Tote
    One of my favorite boutiques, Baby Brown's carries a wonderful assortment of nursery decor (I'm warning you...they're unbelievably cute), bedding, and clothing. But it's their diaper bags that have really brought them fame.

    My name is Heather...and I'm a diaper bag addict. I love them. I have no idea why, since I've used the same purse for the past 2 years...but there is something soothing about the hidden pockets and trendy designs that make me want to keep having babies just so I can get a new one. (sigh!)

    Whether you're looking for cute and tiny, or delux backpack (or in-between) Baby Brown's has enough selection to please everyone. This month they are giving shoppers $10 off of any order over $75 with coupon code "Affiliate". They are also offering free shipping on their crib sets (and orders over $99). As always, don't miss their sale section for great discounts on brand name items.

    By the way, if you're stumped on what to get your man for Father's Day, they carry the manly-man diaper bag: Diaper Dudes. These are so non-girly it isn't funny. Have mercy on the poor man and get him a diaper bag he won't have to hide in the stroller.

    Click here to visit Baby Brown's.


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    Snapfish

    If you have not discovered the wonder and convenience of getting your digital photos delivered right to your mailbox, let me be the one to introduce you. It's officially time to get those Christmas photos out of the camera!

    Besides the offer to the right, Snapfish is offering a killer discount (33%). For two weeks only, Snapfish is giving you a $10 discount on any purchase of $30 or more. Use the coupon code "SAVETODAY" in the promotional offer field during checkout to get the $10 discount.

    I personally use Snapfish for all our photos, and heartily recommend them. This offer is good from June 14th until June 31st. Click here to visit Snapfish.

    feature

    Reading the Signs of Teething
    in Your Infant

    signs of teething 1
    Good news! You don't have to be a psychic to read the signs of teething in your infant!

    Even though those little nubs are hidden beneath the surface, and your baby can't communicate (besides the wailing I mean), there are still little clues you can follow to give you a gosh-darn pretty-good indication of whether there is about to be a tooth eruption.

    With a little "elementary", dear Watson, you can endorse or eliminate the teething question from your "what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-her" equation.

    When Do Babies Start Teething Anyway?

    Three months is the absolute earliest teeth are known to sprout (and this is rare). Most babies start getting their first teeth around 6-9 months old (although some babies can still be waiting for those first two teeth at their first birthday).

    For more information on this milestone, including when you can expect the rest of his teeth to fall into line, check out this timeline.

    With that question answered, let's turn to our checklist of teething symptoms.

    The Signs of Teething Checklist

    Before we jump in with both teeth..ummm...feet...keep in mind that some of these symptoms may be spot-on, while others may not show up at all in your infant. Check through the list, and if a majority of the boxes are checked, it may be time to check out some remedies.

    Every baby will be different. My first breezed through teething. We didn't even realize she was teething until these white things started popping up in her mouth. My second...well...let's just say I'm SUPER glad her teething days are over. My third? Well...we'll see!

    • The Look and Feel Test - Signs of Teething #1

      A great way to start this grand-teething experiment is to use your eyes and fingers to poke around. If your baby is teething for the first time, concentrate on the bottom front. These are the first teeth to show up (the teething schedule can tell you where/when to expect the rest).

      Do the gums look a little red and swollen? Can you feel a small bump under the skin? Sometimes you can even see a rise or a lump in the gums for a few weeks. You could see a little bruising, white dots, or small openings where the tooth is splitting through. (They don't call it "cutting teeth" for nothing.)

      Don't see anything? Not to worry. Your baby could still be teething...keep working through the checklist.

    • Drooling, Drooling, and More Drooling - Signs of Teething #2

      Is your baby drenched with drool? Is there a rash starting on his chin? (Constant saliva can irritate the skin.) This flood of saliva is actually a good thing.

      First, it protects the mouth from being traumatized from the various things he is sticking in his mouth (think of it as a coating of cushiony goodness for tender gums).

      Second, antibodies found in the drool prevents the bacteria and viruses on those various items and body parts from settling down into the throat or intestinal tract and reeking havoc on his little immune system.


      Side Note: Excessive drooling isn't always one of the signs of teething. My brother constantly drooled as a baby (as dozens of wet-collar photos can attest). Years later we discovered he had a deviated septum, which made breathing out of his nose difficult. A simple procedure fixed this issue. If you feel your baby is drooling too much and it doesn't look like teething's the cause, speak to your doctor.
    • The Great Fever / Diarrhea Debate - Signs of Teething #3

      There's fierce debate among pediatricians about whether the presence of a fever or diarrhea is a sign of teething, or if it is unrelated. A fever under 100.4 degrees can be safely handled at home for a baby. Anything higher should prompt a phone call to your doctor.

      Besides a fever, some parents also may notice looser bowel movements during teething time. In fact, a study in Australia listed diarrhea as one of the most common symptoms of teething. To be safe, report any diarrhea (two or more loose stool diapers) to your doctor.

    • Constant Coughing - Signs of Teething #4

      The extra saliva produced in teething can cause some infants to cough or gag. Besides all the drool going out there is just as much going the other way, and irritating her little throat. However, as I'm sure you realize, constant coughing can be caused by other things as well. Watch for signs of a high fever, an infant cold, or the flu, just in case.

      This symptom is not as frequent as others listed here, but it occasionally does happen. If the coughing seems excessive, call your doctor for treatment options.

    • Chewing on EVERYTHING - Signs of Teething #5

      One of the most obvious signs of teething is your infant's desire to chew on everything. I once saw a baby crawl over to the kitchen cabinet so she could gnaw on the door knobs.

      Why this infatuation with gnawing? The counter pressure from biting on something helps to relieve the pressure under the gums caused by teeth pushing up. Indulge this chewing obsession with good teething toys or other tricks to provide relief.

    • Mr. Grumpy Pants - Signs of Teething #6

      Like I mentioned above, my first was a teething angel. My second would transform into this little horror of fussiness and irritability. If we put her down she'd scream to get picked up. If we picked her up she'd scream to be walked. If we walked she decided she wanted to be put down. It was a frustrating cycle.

      It helps to put yourself into your baby's booties. Teething is often the first real, sharp pain your baby feels. Especially at first, he may not know what to do about this soreness and pressure in his mouth. As he grows older, he may become more accustomed to this uncomfortability and may become less fussy with subsequent teeth. \

    • Sleep? What's Sleep? - Signs of Teething #7

      If your baby is Little Miss Teething Perfect during the day, sometimes all she needs is to turn out the light to magically transform into Your Worst Nightmare. There are all kinds of distractions going on during the day that can effectively help her ignore the bad feeling coming from her gums.

      Once it's time to "nigh-nigh," that little pin-prick of pain can easily pop to the front as a throbbing agony that keeps her (and you) awake. In this situation (speaking from experience here), give her an extra bottle or nurse to soothe her, then try to put her down again. You may have to break her of the habit of Midnight Snacks once this teething episode is over, but in the meantime it will help her quiet down and go to sleep. (Nothing lulls an infant to sleep like a full tummy!)

      Besides an extra feeding time, you could also choose to give her medication to help get through the night. If this option appeals to you, always talk to your doctor before giving your infant medication.

    • Ear Tugging and Cheek Rubbing - Signs of Teething #8

      It is not uncommon for a parent to bring a baby in for a sure-fire ear infection, only to discover that all that tugging and fussing was really related to teeth about to punch through. (Yes, I've paid that $30 doctor co-pay lesson.)

      The nerves in the gums travel up the jaw line, so some babies feel that ear tugging and cheek rubbing provides relief to the soreness in their mouth. To save yourself a pointless doctor visit, see if any of these other symptoms are present, and read up on how to identify an ear infection in your baby before loading up the car.

    • Bye Bye Appetite - Signs of Teething #9

      Some parents notice a marked decrease in appetite as one of the signs of teething in their infant. I would personally concur with this one. Favorite foods are left untouched, relied-upon bottles are abandoned.

      Loss of appetite can also be a sign of other issues, so always look for more than just this clue when deciphering the signs of teething. If you notice it has been several days of poor eating or that she is losing weight, contact your doctor.

    • Bleeding and Bruising: The Ultimate Parent Freak-Out - Signs of Teething #10

      signs of teething
      It is not uncommon for up-and-coming teeth to leave bruises on a baby's gums. In fact, sometimes, before a tooth makes its final push to freedom, there can be a sudden gush of blood that fills your heart with terror. Before you over-react and send your baby into hysterics, let's see what's actually happening.

      Occasionally, a small pocket (or cyst) of blood will sit above the emerging tooth. The tooth, not be dissuaded by some pansy-pocket of blood, pops the balloon (so to speak) and a gush of blood is the result.

      Look at your infant. Is he conscious and acting normal? Great. Just wipe away the blood, feel around the tooth and double check that that is the source of the red stuff. If it is really caused by teething, he shouldn't act any differently, because, to him, it won't feel any different.


    flower logo
    If you've gone through The Signs of Teething Checklist and your baby seems to be passing most of the tests, chances are you're going to start seeing some white bumps in her mouth over the next few days.

    If your baby is acting normal and isn't showing any of these symptoms, then be happy! You may have an Easy Teether in your midst!

    So what to do if your infant is NOT an Easy Teether? Is he stuck with the choice of suffering or drugs? There's hope. Here's where to start...


    The Next Feature Article in the August 4th issue will be:

    How to Deliver Teething Relief ASAP to Your Hurting Baby


    infant activities

    I think if I had to make a list of my children's favorite things to play with, it would be water. The obsession started as infants and has progressively grown over the years.

    In fact, it is not unusual for my 5 year old to be in the bathtub for 2+ hours. (It really is a matter of refilling the tub every once in a while. It's amazing how much laundry I get folded...)

    So if that sounds like a good goal to work for, use these games to introduce your little one to the wonders of water - at any age. They're easily done in the baby pool outside, or in the tub inside on rainy (or for my Aussie mothers) wintry days.

    As always, if your baby just isn't into water, there are many other great activities you can do for fun. Either look through the newsletter archives or check out my reviews on popular baby activity books for good ideas.


    0-3 Months: The Bubble Bath Song

    bubbles
    {Photo by Turkinator}
    Lay a washcloth at the bottom of the plastic baby tub to help keep her from sliding around. Fill the tub with warm water and add a small amount of baby bubble bath solution (make sure it's for babies!). Place her gently into the tub.

    Wash your baby's body parts while singing "The Bubble Bath Song".

    This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face.
    This is the way we wash our face, (Your Baby's Name) and Mommy.

    Change the words as you wash different areas. Clean our neck...rub our chest...scrub our back...bathe our arms...soap our legs...etc.

    What is she learning in this activity?

    • Body awareness
    • Language and listening development
    • Sensory stimulation


    3-6 Months: It's Raining, It's Pouring...

    Use a turkey skewer to poke several holes on the bottom and sides of a plastic pop bottled (cleaned out of course!). After your baby is seated safely and comfortably in the water, fill the bottle with water and hold it up, so your infant can see the water pouring out of the holes.

    Hold the bottle over his tummy and arms, letting the drops gently tickle him. If your baby is not easily startled, let the rain drip on his hair!

    What is he learning in this activity?

    • Sensory-Motor development
    • Social interaction

    6-9 Months: Water Ballet

    splash
    {Photo by Monroe Dragonfly}
    Kicking helps your baby strengthen her leg and stomach muscles, which is very important in crawling and (eventually) walking. Lay your baby in the water on a seat or baby tub so she is reclining slightly.

    Encourage her to kick either by praising her natural attempts to do so or by gently holding her toes and helping her.

    While she's kicking, try singing this song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

    I am kicking my little feet.
    I am keeping quite a beat.
    I am splashing with my toes.
    Look at how far the water goes.
    I love bath time, I love kicks.
    I love learning water tricks.

    What is she learning in this activity?

    • How to move her legs (gross motor skill development)
    • Social interaction and trust
    • Rhythms and listening skills

    9-12 Months: Spongy Shapes

    The next time your at the grocery store, head to the cleaning section to purchase a package of multi-colored sponges. Cut them into basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles and rectangles.

    As he plays in the water, throw in the sponges and let him explore their shapes, color, and what happens when he squeezes one. When it looks like he's getting bored, press one sponge against the side of the pool (or bath). As most the water inside is removed, it will stick to the side (like magic!).

    He will love pulling them off and trying to put them back on. As he plays, point out the different shapes and colors.

    What is he learning in this activity?

    • Colors and Shapes
    • Cause and Effect (when I squeeze, water comes out!)
    • Sensory stimulation

    12-18 Months: Watercolors

    Not only will she enjoy this activity at 18 months...she'll enjoy it at 2 years, 3 years...5 years... Purchase a set of nontoxic body paint in a variety of colors. After she's seated comfortably (and safely) in the pool (or tub), open up a tube of paint and place a dot of color on her arms.

    Spread the color with your fingers, encouraging her to do the same. Add different colors to different body parts, naming each as you go. Let her rub them around, and then add some more.

    As a precaution, don't spread any paint on her face. Non-toxic or not, a paint-free face is a happy face.

    What is she learning in this activity?

    • Colors and body parts
    • Self-awareness
    • Sensory stimulation

    heather's hints

    Fruity Baby Muesli

    food
    {Photo by tschorda}

    This is a very healthy breakfast for your little riser! Packed with fiber for healthy digestion, a great bone builder, excellent eye-sight developer, and cancer-protector.

    The picture to the right is an example of muesli, but your Fruity Baby Muesli will look different than what's pictured here.

    First, if your baby is younger than a year old, it will be pureed into a smooth baby-food consistency. Second, the apple will be shredded and without a peel. (Peels are choking hazards for children under three.)

    This breakfast is so yummy that it's not uncommon for me to serve it to everyone for breakfast! I'm confident your family will enjoy it as well.

    Bon appetit!

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    Ingredients and Directions

    • 1/3 cup rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
    • 1 dried apricot, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbs raisins
    • 2/3 cup apple juice
    • 1/2 cup apple, peeled and grated
    Put the oats and wheat germ into a bowl with the dried apricot and raisins. Cover with juice and let soak overnight (or at least 2 hours).

    Add the apple to the soaked cereal and blend in a blender.

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    Freezer Notes

    This breakfast should not be frozen. However, if you double it, it can last in the fridge for several days. Spoon out the amount you want to serve and then refrigerate the rest. This prevents your baby's saliva from spoiling the food prematurely.

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    When Can My Baby Have...?

    • 6-month old babies can have rolled oats, and raisins (pureed).
    • 7-month old babies can have diluted apple juice.
    • 8-month old babies may have wheat germ, apricot, and shredded peeled apple.
    • If your baby is close to a year old and has mastered the art of chewing, there is no need to blend this together.

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    Nutrition Notes

    • Rolled Oats and Wheat Germ

        Rolled Oats and Wheat Germ are a high-packed punch of fiber your baby needs to keep his digestive system flowing. (Is he struggling with constipation? Slip in a little of this fiber goodness for help.)

        They are cancer-fighting, free-radical annihilating fighting machines that are essential to over-all body health. Getting your baby hooked on this good food early on could set the foundation for years and years of healthy eating habits!

    • Apricots

        Apricots have a higher level of minerals than other foods. This higher concentration is helpful in overcoming anemia, asthma, and bronchitis. They also have a lot of Vitamin A - a vital ingredient in healthy skin and eye-sight development.

        Apricots also contain lycopene, an important protective nutrient that helps stop cancer cells from developing. Finally, it's high fiber content classifies it as a natural laxative.

      food two
    • Raisins

        Raisins are one of the top sources of the trace mineral Boron that everyone's body needs. This mineral is vital to growing strong healthy bones (and keeping them that way). Surprisingly, raisins can also be as beneficial to your eyes as carrots!

    • Apples

        Most of the nutritional content of apples are found in the skin. Apple skin is a choking hazard to babies, so this makes the nutritional benefits a bit less than a regular 'ole apple. Still, there are good things found in shredded apple pulp! Like the other foods above, apples have a good dose of fiber, a top 3 health requirement for humans. They are also strong cancer-preventers.

    • Apple Juice

        Apple juice has a lot of sugar, and so should not be offered to your baby more than once or twice a day. Water down the juice and be sure to purchase only pasteurised juice that has been treated to remove any E. coli bacteria. Apple cider is freshly squeezed directly from apples (in season) and is not recommended for babies, since they are not pasteurized.

        Also, do not offer your baby sugar-free juices, since they contain Splenda or Nutra-sweet, which are chemically-altered sugar. The long-term effect of those chemicals on young children have not been scientifically explored. Personally, my family avoids those products all together, but I would especially avoid them with young children.

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    How to Get Your Baby to Try Something New

    Most babies are not "adventurers" in regards to their foods. They tend to like a few things a lot and prefer to stick with those. Don't be swayed! A diet that varies will give your infant the best balanced nutrition. Here are some tips to introduce new foods.
    • Start with a favorite food, like applesauce. Then offer every-other-bite with the new food.
    • Take the new food, and place a little inside his favorite food. Over a period of days, increase the "mix in" amount as he gets used to the new taste.
    • Spread some of the new food on his tray, letting him touch and taste it at his own speed.
    Remember that, statistically, you'll have to introduce this food to him at least 7 times before he is used to it. Stick with it, and he'll come around.
    If you are interested in making your own baby food at home (and saving hundreds every year), I've reviewed several of the best "how to" books on the market. Read these baby-food book reviews here.


    recalls

    There have been 4 recalls since the last Merry Mother was published in May. Just as a reminder, these are all pdf documents. You will need a PDF Reader installed on your computer to read them. If you don't have one, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free at this site.

    Although these reports are always free, they take a lot of work to update every month. Please consider giving a small donation in return for the reports. $1, $2, $5...the amount is really irrelevant. I just appreciate the gesture! After all, I've a family to feed too!


    Toys Recalled


    Playpens and Play Yards


    Clothes and Shoes

    closing

    Your "Mom Moment" (You've Earned It)

    june moment
    {Photo by slack12}

    I'm a sucker for beautiful photography. Take a deep breath and lose yourself in this photo. Of course, if you're looking for more of these "moments", visit the Mom Moment Page.


    Don't Forget Dad on June 12th!

    This may be entitled The Merry Mother, but we wouldn't even be mothers without the dads. Here's some simple ideas to can bless that oh-so-important man in your baby's life.

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      Send him a funny e-card. It's simple. It's fun. It's cheap. My favorite place to find humorous cards online is at BlueMountain. I can spend all day in there, chuckling. Peek around, you'll feel better afterwards...and he'll get a great card. (For great Daddy quotes, check out this page.)

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      Serve him (and the rest of the family) breakfast in bed. Go easy on yourself by buying pastries the day before and scrambling up some eggs. Or, if you like to "kick it up a notch" choose easy recipes that can (for the most part) be assembled and prepared on Saturday. My favorites?

      divider
      Do something he enjoys. Bike riding? Browsing at a gun show? Going to a baseball game? Help him enjoy his favorite activities by enjoying them with him. Even if it isn't your idea of a good time, sharing his interests will communicate your desire to care and love him. (After all, you've BOTH had to make sacrifices for your children!)

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      Give him a new electronic toy. It's not a requirement, but if you'd like to spend a little money on your honey this year, Buy.com has some great specials for electronic gadgets your man is sure to love. (I have no idea when these deals expire, but you do get free shipping.)

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    Bless him with a Manly-Man Diaper Bag Are you amused at seeing your husband lug the paisely-and-flowered diaper bag around town? Have mercy on the poor man and consider getting him a Diaper Dude. It is the ultimate "thanks for lugging around that pink bag for 6 months" gift. (Hint: Use code "Affiliate" and get $10 off any order of $75 of more.)

    Know Someone with a Baby?

    Help someone you care about be a Merry Mother! No one will ever have to pay for a subscription, so send a friend a copy of this online magazine.

    Step-By-Step Email Instructions

      1. Highlight the web-link below by left clicking and dragging the mouse: http://www.the-essential-infant-resource-for-moms.com/Merry_Mother060209.html

      2. Right click, and chose "copy".

      3. Open your email message, right click and chose "paste" to insert the link into your email.

    Did Someone Forward this Issue to You?

    Sign up for your own free bi-monthly subscription.

    Thank You Readers!

    I hope you've enjoyed reading the June issue of The Merry Mother. The next issue will be published on August 4th.

    Thank you so much for reading and subscribing to this online magazine. It is a labor of love. I'm happy to know others enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it.

    My growing subscriber list shows that you have been sharing it with your friends, and for that, I am deeply grateful. After all, this online magazine is focused on one thing: helping us all become merrier mothers - because merry mothers = merry babies!

    signature


    P.S. Be sure to check back at The Essential Infant Resource for Moms, your friend-next-door for questions-answered, stories-told, and laughs-had.

    Newsletter Archives

    All the previous editions have been archived and are available for you to examine at your leisure.

    You can find the link to this page at the Merry Mothers Only Page.



Balancing
Baby and Home

Declutter Tip # 05

Baby steps to a clean house...

You don't have to have all your towels in the bathroom.

Store 2-3 bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths in the bathroom and store the others away out of sight or in another closet.
(It will depend on how many use that bathroom.)

This prevents constant laundry pile-ups and keeps your bathroom uncluttered.
Rotate the towels every few days or once a week.

Get More Free
Tips From
Declutter Mastery

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