9 The Merry Mother: September, 2008
Merry Mother Logo
{Photo by B&K Weaver}

September, 2008 ~ Issue # 011

I cannot believe it is September already. As I reflect on the fleeting days of the summer zooming by, I am reminded yet again of how precious time with our little ones really are, and how fragile life really is.

Yesterday a young family in our church lost their son, Renner. He was 8 weeks old. As we prepare to mourn and support this family, I found myself clutching both my children a little harder. What a gift life is! How fleeting! May we be good stewards of the life God has given us. May we be good stewards of the children He has given us - since who knows how long we will get to keep them.

If you want to see more about Renner (and perhaps donate to help out his family) you can see his little blog here.

I apologize for starting this month's issue with this sad event. It's my prayer that this little reminder will cause you to look at your baby with fresh eyes. Play a little more, laugh a little more, cuddle a little more. What a great gift we have been given in our children.

Treasures in this Issue...

Get the most out of this month's eZine.

Print it and read it at your leisure throughout the day.


In Case You Missed It...

Here are some of the new articles published recently at The Essential Infant Resource for Moms that you may have missed. As always, sign up for the Infant Blog and be notified instantly of all new or altered pages!
halloween baby contest

Infant Advice Line ~ Can YOU Help?

There have been a few more posts to the "Infant Advice Line". Take a moment to share your thoughts and help out another parent.


2008 Baby Halloween Photo Contest Launches!!!

It has arrived! The 2008 Baby Halloween Photo Contest is here! Enter a photo of your adorable baby in the contest, and win this year's prize package full of goodies!

As a Merry Mother subscriber, you will be choosing the ultimate winner in the November 4th edition of the Merry Mother! Of course, if you don't have your baby's costume yet, it's not to let to find the perfect costume, and then upload it!




Tired of trying to pile the rest of your groceries around a huge box of diapers in the cart? Weary of trips to SAM's just for diapers? Diapers.com is fast becoming a mother's diaper dream. They have everything. And they'll ship to you for FREE for orders over $49.

Promotion: A great refer-a-friend program pays YOU $1 for every time your friend orders anything on the site. (Not bad, eh? A promotion that pays you!). You just have to register online. Your friend even gets an additional $10 off her first order. Click here for more information on Refer-A-Friend.


Coco BonBons

If you haven't already, nows the time to start shopping for your baby's fall/winter layette. Coco BonBons offers an amazing collection of baby clothing. In fact, their Fall/Winter 2008 collection has just been released.

Promotion #1: In order to get ready for winter, they are clearing out their summer clothes. Save 70% on summer outfits. Purchase ahead for next year, you'll be so glad you did! Summer clearance for girls. Summer clearance for boys.

Promotion #2: If you need to stock up on cold-weather clothing, Coco BonBons has a generous coupon for 20% off to give you. Just use BUYCOCO in checkout for an immediate 20% off your order. Click here to see the fall/winter collection.



Whether you're going back to work or just going out, SitterCity provides background checks, parent-reviews, CPR certifications, and all other kinds of benefits to help you find the perfect sitter or nanny.

Promotion: Get 10% off your registration for a monthly or annual SitterCity membership. Use promo code SCSAVE10 at checkout to claim your savings.

Give Me Baby Bargains!

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Breastfeeding vs Bottle Feeding:
A Fair Analysis

In the final championship game of breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, it is knowledge that will determine the winner. Are you positive you know all the rules?

Can you evaluate each "team's" strengths and weaknesses fairly? Move past the general "favorites" and get a realistic view of what both sides bring to the table.

The breastfeeding vs bottle feeding decision is a big one. It will dictate much of what happens in that first year. Here's a play-by-play analysis of both side's main arguments.

I've breastfed two babies. I've formula-fed two babies. I've got nothing to lose by sharing the blessings and the curses of both breast and bottle feeding.

Breastfeeding vs Bottle Feeding: Go Breasts!


Blessing of the Breasts

Breastfed babies tend to have less sicknesses in the first year. They tend to swallow less air while feeding, which means they burp less often. There are natural laxatives in breastmilk that almost eliminate the possibility of constipation in your newborn.

Breastfeeding also helps your body get back to normal sooner. The hormone that causes your body to produce milk is also the hormone that jump-starts the shrinking of your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. That, and the added calorie burning, is a benefit many mothers look forward to.

This is just the first inning for breastfeeding benefits. For the rest of the benefits, see The Benefits of Breastfeeding.


Curse of the Bottles

Once you've started with the bottle, it's difficult to change your mind. You can restart your breastfeeding, but it takes time and you'll probably always have to supplement with formula.

Although formula is nutritious, it lacks the antibodies mother's milk provides. These antibodies help protect your infant from many common newborn sicknesses.

Formula is expensive! Even if you get free samples, working all the bottles, formula, nipples, etc. into the budget can be eye-popping.

Rather than rolling over and unbuttoning your shirt, those late night feedings will include a trip down to the kitchen, and the preparation of a bottle of formula - easy tasks during the day, arduous tasks late t night.

Finally, perhaps the worst curse of all: formula-fed babies generally have incredibly STINKY poopy diapers. Purchasing a well-sealed diaper pail and some air fresheners is a must! This high-stink-factor is due to the nutritional by-products not being thoroughly absorbed into the bowel. Breastmilk is absorbed extremely well. Little undigested matter passes into the stool, which de-stinkifies (how's that for a word!) the poop.

October's Feature Article Will Be:

How to Breastfeed: Step By Step Instructions


Any words of wisdom for the new parents? Share your celebrity parent thoughts here.

  • Galen Gering, (Passions) a boy, Jensen, in July.
  • Matt Guerrier, (MN Twins) a daughter, Ava Grace, on July 31st.
  • Bo Bice, (American Idol) a boy, Caleb James, on August 5th.
  • Clay Aiken, (American Idol) a boy, Parker Forest, on August 18th.
  • Tyler Florence, (Food Network) a daughter, Dorothy Tyler, on August 8th.
  • Dave Tollefson, (NY Giants) a son, Tucker Niles, on August 8th.
  • Kevin Kasper, (Cleveland Browns) a son, Braylon Robert, on August 8th.
  • Glen Perkins, (MN, Twins) a daughter, Lyla Cynthia, on August 10th.
  • Busy Phillips, (Made of Honor) a daughter, Birdie Leigh, on August 13th.
  • Josh Hamilton, (Texas Rangers) a daughter, Michaela Grace, on August 14th.
  • Matt Damon, (Bourne Supremacy) a daughter, Gia Zavala on August 20th.
  • Gwen Stefani, (singer, No Doubt) a son, Zuma Nesta Rock on August 21st.
  • Jason Lee, (My Name is Earl) a daughter, on August 10th.
  • Clay Walker, (country music singer), a son William Clayton, on August 5th.
  • Matt Ware, (AZ Cardinals), a daughter Jaiden Elizabeth, on August 23rd.
  • Matt Schobel (Philadelphia Eagles), a son Matthew John, on August 25th.
  • Diane Farr (NUMB3RS) twin daughters, Sawyer Lucia, and Coco Trinity, on August 27th.

infant activities

{Photo by SarahFelicity}

0-3 Months: Bouncing Balloons

Just because your baby can't interact with her world, it doesn't mean she's not intrigued by it! A shimmering, bouncing balloon will provide plenty of stimulation for her growing brain. Tug on the string, letting it move around the room. Does your baby try to track the exciting object? If she's closer to 3 months, allow her to try to touch the balloon with her hand, batting it around. (Of course, never leave your baby alone with a balloon.)

This activity encourages visual focus and eye coordination skills.

3-6 Months: Target Practice

By now, kicking his legs is a favorite pastime. Take this new skill to a new level by providing a multitude of items for him to try to hit with his feet. As he is lying on his back, hold up a pillow, soft toy, your hands, or pie tin within easy reach of his legs. If he doesn't immediately catch on, guide his feet to the target and praise him when he touches it.

This activity introduces him body awareness, eye-foot coordination, and improves listening skills.

6-9 Months: Hide and Seek

Sitting in front of your infant, take a small toy and wave it around in the air while saying, "Round and Round and Round it goes. Where Mommy hides it, nobody knows!" Then place the toy in Mommy's sleeve, or baby's pants, or other obvious places. He will delight in "finding" the toy. After a while, ask him to do it he while you say the words. He will wave the toy around in the air, and you will be grabbing for the camera.

This activity teaches cause and effect, coordination, and communication skills.

{Photo by happykatie}

9-12 Months: Outdoor Explorers

Before the weather turns, take some time to introduce your baby to the world around her. Tour the outside, letting her touch bark, smell flowers, touch petals, or pick up a rock. Tour the inside, letting her switch the light switches, pull down the towels, push some buttons on the radio, or have other harmless indoor adventures.

This activity teaches eye-hand coordination, helps stimulate her senses, and encourages good listening.

12-18 Months: Tube Talk

Using two empty paper-towel or toilet-paper tubes, hold one to your mouth and talk to your baby. Give the other to your baby and encourage him to imitate you. Make a variety of silly noises, encouraging your baby to copy you. You will both dissolves into giggles in no time!

This activity builds up his articulation and speech improvement, encourages good listening and works on language development.

Eventually, he may begin to lose interest in playing these games. Don't force anything. If that seems to be the case, simply try out some of the infant activities in previous newsletters.

Most of these activities were adapted from Baby Play and Learn. This book is available for purchase at the Essential Book Emporium.

heather's hints

A Trimmer Tip

It's a common newborn problem. What do you do with those razor-sharp infant claws?

You could purchase expensive "mittens" to place over his hands during the day. The persistent scratchs on your son's face and arms show how practical those are. You could put socks on his hands. Embarrassing, yet occasionally efficient.

That leaves clipping. You pick up those incredibly tiny fingers and try to maneuver the sharp-clipping-instrument over just the nail... Okay...Show of hands...How many of you have clipped too much? Blood and tears? anyone? Sadly, I'd have to raise my hand on that one. Those fingers are just so small!

Fortunately, there's another solution to the claw-conundrum. File! Don't clip!

Pick up a Emory board and file away those tiny little nails. It's the easiest way to avoid his and your tears!


There have been 7 recalls since the last Merry Mother was published in August.

Crib Recalled

  • Mother HubbardÂ’s Cupboard Cribs
  • Davenport Cribs by Baby Appleseed

See Recall Report #1: Dangerous Cribs

Stroller Recalled

  • Additional Strollers by Phil and Teds

See Recall Report #10: Strollers.

Bassinet Recalled

  • Simplicity Bassinets - two fatalities

See Recall Report #2: Bassinets and Portable Wooden Cribs

Toy Items Recalled

  • Learning Pots and Pans
  • Strollin' Along Stroller Activity Bar by Taggies
  • Wooden Puzzles, Infant Rattles, Pacifier Holders, and Stroller Toys

See the 2008 Toy Recall Report


I hope you've enjoyed reading the September issue of The Merry Mother.

The next issue will be published on October 7th. So watch your Inbox! smiley

Add Your Comments!

I'd love to hear what you thought about this issue. Did your baby enjoy the activity of the month? Did you try out this month's hint? Leave your comments and thoughts for other readers to enjoy. Due to space, I've removed the "Family Meal" portion of the eZine. If you enjoyed that section of the newsletter and want it back, let me know.

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Thank You Readers!

Thank you so much for reading and subscribing to this newsletter. 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 is newsletter is focused on one thing: helping us all become merrier mothers - because merry mothers = merry babies!


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

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