9 The Merry Mother: November, 2008
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November 2008 ~ Issue # 013

Unlike New Years, when many families choose to look back over the year and look forward to the next, the Thanksgiving spirit is one of the present. It is neither looking forward or looking back...it is existing in the here and now. We take a meal to gather together and express to one another those blessings we have right now that fill our hearts with gratitude.

Despite where you may be as you read this, whether in America or Australia, set aside a meal this month to do just that. Express your thankfulness and joy for the gifts you've been given. Everyone around you will be blessed to hear it, including that little baby of yours! Just having you talk, gazing into her eyes will give her (or him) something to be thankful for - a mommy full of love.



Seeking Mothers...

We believe that you should not have to choose between quality of life, time with family, and earning an income to secure your future. You can have it all! And we're on a mission to help you have that balance. Work from Home with Our TEAM! Visit http://www.themomteam.com/stacyk TODAY!!

Treasures in this Issue...

In Case You Missed It...

Get the most out of this month's eZine.

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

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

Meet the Green Guru

green guru
Another Mentor Mom was added to the EiR this month. The Green Guru is our resident expert in all things relating to organic and natural mothering. From her two home birth experiences to adventures in cloth diapers, she'll be sharing her vast knowledge and enjoyable wit with us on a regular basis. Click here to see her homepage.

In case you missed it in the October issue, Tea Time with Danielle was the Mentor Mom introduced last month.

Your Pages

Here are some questions and comments added to EiR by you this month.



Baby Catalog

Baby Catalog has thousands of baby items online. From bedding to bath sets and everything in between. Promotions: They are offering a few specials for you in November:
  • $100 off Uppababy Vista Stroller
  • Free same day shipping on instock Dutailer glider rocker and ottoman. If you don't have a glider, this is a great time to get one!
  • Free Travel Bag ($19.99 value) with Sunshine Kids car seat purchase.
  • Free Ground shipping on all orders over $49.
  • Save 10$ off every purchase with SAVE10 coupon code.
Click here to see these specials (and more) at Baby Catalog.


Switching Stores

Do you or someone you love suffer with issues like Asthma, Eczema or Allergies? Do you or someone you love suffer with Arthritis, Weight Management, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease or Low Energy? If so, Visit my Website TODAY, and I will show you easy, low cost solutions! http://www.switchingstores.com/stacyk



Promotions: This product is FREE. BabyChapters.com is a free resource that lets you easily design your baby's book online to share with friends and family who live far away (on a private site). It's a FREE baby blog. When you complete your baby's first year blog, you can even order it to be professionally printed and bound in a hard cover book!

So...you do the fun part of writing memories, uploading photos, sharing with friends ~ and they do the hard work of putting it into a book! Click here to visit BabyChapters.com



IsaBooties is a eco-friendly, long-lasting baby bootie company. I LOVE their shoes. Darling designs, durable material, and (my favorite) I can purchase them a little big and let her grow into them. The elastic around the ankles keep them snug on her feet.

Promotions: Save 15% off your entire order with coupon "ecofriendlyfall" until November 11th. Click here to look around the site. You can also register to win 3 pairs of booties, a Belle Baby carrier, a Zah Organics Baby kimono outfit and matching blanket, and a handcrafted activity gym from Cariboo of New Zealand. Click here to enter the contest.


Tiny Prints

Beginning to think about this year's holiday letter? Tiny Prints offers beautiful designs you can customize online and get delivered to your door. I find it MUCH simpler to do things this way. New and improved - they've just launched a new line of holiday cards printed on recycled paper. Click here to see these eco-friendly holiday cards.

They also have an exclusive line of BabyGap cards found only at TinyPrints. Click here to see the BabyGap Cards.

Promotions: Get 5% off your entire order with code "AFLHOL". Expires 1/15/09.


Bed and Breakfast

I know this isn't directly baby-related, but I find that going on getaways with my husband definiately makes me a merrier mother. I use BedandBreakfast.com to help find a romantic hideaway - or a fabulous shopping weekend with girlfriends. You'll be surprised at how reasonable Bed and Breakfasts can be. For the same cost as a Holiday Inn, you get a calming setting, jacuzzi, and even a gourmet breakfast!

Promotions: If you live in the Northeast of the United States, you're in luck! Get $50 off a two-night stay in November. Click here to see the details.

Give Me Baby Bargains!

Yes! Please notify me of new coupons
and special baby sales.

(Emails are sporadic, as coupons come in,
with a twice a month maximum.)

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
E-mail Address*


5 Breastfeeding Challenges You CAN Overcome!

breastfeeding challenges
When Baby Ain't Happy...
Ain't NOBODY Happy!
{Photo by blinzelblinzel}
There are 5 common breastfeeding challenges that often confront new mothers. Luckily, you don't need to throw in the burp rag and give up! You can overcome these challenges easily.

Breastfeeding did not come "naturally" to me. I (and my babies) had to work through some tough times. Breast feeding is a process of learning about yourself and your baby. It's about working as a team (here's your pep-talk!). Sometimes it comes together like milk and cookies; while at other times it's more like oil and water. But if you keep mixing, eventually the two will come together.

You know that saying? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, if you're experiencing breastfeeding challenges like these, it's time to shake things up and do things differently.

Common Breastfeeding Challenges

Breastfeeding Challenges #1:
Inverted Nipples

When you press the areola (the darker-skinned area around the nipple) between two fingers, the nipple should protrude and become erect. If it seems to sink and disappear into the areola instead, it is said to be "inverted" or "tied". This will cause problems with breastfeeding. The baby will have a hard time grasping the areola and getting milk from the ducts (making him grumpy!).

Oftentimes the "flat" nipple will go soft after a few minutes of sucking, making it hard for your baby to maintain his latch.


The Solution:

This problem is easily solved. If you discovered your nipples were inverted before delivery, you'll need to purchase a breast shield. This hollow-dome device will be worn inside your bra during the day (although you may not want to wear them outside the home). The circular area creates a gentle uniform pressure around the areola, causing the nipple to protrude. Eventually the nipple will naturally take this shape and you'll be ready to nurse.

If you discovered your nipples were inverted after delivery (or if the shields didn't work) a lactation consultant or nurse at the hospital can help you draw out the nipple with a breast pump before putting the baby to breast. The suction created by the machine can make an otherwise flat nipple stand out enough for your baby to latch on properly. Usually this kind of intervention is only necessary for a little while.

The Medela Contact Nipple Shield is a shield that you use while your baby is nursing. There's a little cut-out notch for his little nose to go. It will help draw out your nipple and help him maintain his latch even if your nipple goes soft and doesn't stay erect. If you put a little dab of lanolin cream under the plastic, it will help hold it in place. Note: These shields come in different sizes, so click on the link above to see the size best for you.

December's Feature Article Will Be:
Award-Winning Baby Christmas Gifts:
The Ultimate Learning Toys


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

  • Michael Pena (Crash) a son, Roman, on October 2nd.
  • Dierks Bentley (Country singer) a daughter, Evalyn Day, on October 4th.
  • Mike Cameron (Milwaukee Brewers) a daughter, Lilo Christina, on October 3rd.
  • Paris Bennett (American Idol) a daughter, Egypt, on October 5th.
  • Casey Mears (NASCAR) a daughter, Samantha Mae, on October 7th.
  • Allen Iverson (Denver Nuggets) a daughter, Dream Alijha, on October 7th.
  • Eric Mangini (New York Jets) a son, Zach Brett, on October 11th.
  • Paul Boyd (Inside Edition) a son, Matthew Ryan, on October 11th.
  • Lisa Marie Presley (singer) two daughters, Finley and Harper, on October 7th.
  • Geoff Jenkins (Philadelphia Phillies) a son, Justyce Tyler, on October 15th.
  • Mike Dirnt (Green Day) a son, Brixton Michael, on October 11th.
  • Elton Brand (Philadelphia 76ers) a son, Elton Peace, on October 16th.
  • Gillian Anderson (Last King of Scotland) a son, Felix, on October 15th.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War) a daughter on October 22nd.
  • Lil Wayne (rapper) a son, Dwayne Carter III, on October 22nd.
  • Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers) a daughter on October 22nd.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) a daughter, Ava Rhea, on October 20th.
  • Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers) a daughter on October 22nd.
  • Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live) a son, Archibald "Archie", on October 25th.
  • Kai Hibbard Zwiestra (Biggest Loser) a son, Jacob Lawrence, on October 27th.
  • Annabeth Gish (Brotherhood) a son, Enzo Edwards, on October 25th.

infant activities

0-3 Months: The Spa Massage

Take all your infant's clothes off, leaving her diaper on. Lay her on a thick soft towel. Using a milking motion, gently squeeze down each arm and leg. Slowly move your hands from the center of her ribcage around her sides. Dance your fingertips around her skin while singing softly.

This activity encourages body awareness, emotional and social development and provies good tactile stimulation.

3-6 Months: Just S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Place your baby on his tummy. Place some attractive favorite toys and books just out of reach. Encourage him to get the objects any way he can. Avoid teasing him, but encourage him and reward him when the slightest effort is made. This activity exercises his gross motor skills and builds up social development.

6-9 Months: Baby's Cupboard

At this age, one of her favorite activities will be emptying your kitchen cabinets. Set aside a cabinet that is filled with safe exciting objects she can explore. Plastic bowls, measuring cups, muffin tins, spoons, and a few favorite toys will keep her occupied and happy while you are making dinner.

This activity helps her practice her "grab and reach" techniques (fine motor skills) as well as sensory development and visiual discrimination.

9-12 Months: Sand Man

Set up a large dishpan ontop of a large mat or several unfolded newspapers. Fill the pan with clean sand or cornmeal. Provide your baby with shovels, plastic cups, spoons, or any other toys you think he would enjoy.

This activity builds up his fine motor skills (pouring and digging) and introduces him to the concepts of "heavy," "light," and "empty".

12-18 Months: Mountain Climbing

Learning to climb the "mountain" (a.k.a. stairs) of your home is an important (yet fun!) skill your infant will need to master. Most babies don't need much help going up, it's going down that's the concern. Teach your baby to descend safely by helping him turn around hon his belly - feet first - and find the stiars with his feet. Guidance is important at the beginning. Use consistent words like "turn around" and "feet first" each time your baby approaches the stairs.

This activity helps develop his blanace, gross motor skills, strengthens his lower body and helps teach him about height and depth.

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

Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Broccoli

Include your baby in the Thanksiving celebration with this age-appropriate (and delicious!) baby food recipe just for her.

  • 2 1/3 cups sweet potates, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/3 cup broccoli, cut into florets
Put sweet potatoes and carrots in a steamer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue to cook for about 7 minutes or until all the veggies are tender. Blend the vegetables with 6-7 Tbs of water from the bottom of the steamer to make a puree.

Short on time? Stick the veggies in separate Ziploc Microwave Steamer bags, cook according to directions, and then puree with a little formula, breastmilk or water.


Age and Freezer Notes

Your baby should be 4 months for sweet potatoes, 7 months for carrots, 8 months for broccoli. To freeze: cook the vegetables as directed, pureeing well. Place into an ice-cube tray and freeze. When ready to use, defrost in the microwave (make sure you stir well to eliminate hot spots).



Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, which is helpful in vision development. Carrots are also high in Vitamin A. Broccoli is high in Vitamin C, gives good fiber, and is loaded with other cancer-fighting nutrients.

heather's hints

Tear-Free Travel Tips for You and Your Baby

Have a trip planned to see the in-laws for the holidays? Worried about baby's first plane ride? Here are some simple suggestions to help you elminate baby-stress.
  • Consolidate! Try to have a suitcase and a carry-on for each person. Don't forget to pack a few diapers and other essentials in the carry-on bag in case the suitcase gets "diverted".
  • Bring a baby carrier or other device to help you carrier your baby. You'll have to check your stroller and sometimes its a long walk between check-in and baggage claim at the next city! If you need to bring a car seat, this ingenious device turns that car seat into a stroller, eliminating one more piece of heavy carry-around luggage.
  • If you bottle feed, be sure to pack a bottle washer (the long scrub brush) and pre-mix your formula for the plane ahead of time. They won't allow you to take bottled water on the plane, but they will allow milk. The formula will be fine non-refrigerated for a few hours. Pack enough formula to last for the trip.
  • Call ahead to your airline to request a bassinet on the plane. If you forget, you can check in early, but those already reserved will get first dibs!
  • Have a bottle or a pacifier in your baby's mouth during take-off and landing. The sucking will help protect his ears from the changes in air pressure.
  • Pack a tiny medicine bag with common medicines you may need during the trip. It's amazing how many times I've kicked myself for forgetting the gas drops or the infant tylenol on a trip. Who wants to spend quality family time driving to Walgreens? Think and pack ahead.
  • If you're going overseas, double check that your baby will or will not need a passport. In many cases, babies as young as 4 months are required to have their own papers.
  • Finally, check the weather at your destination. This will help you pack accordingly and avoid impulsive shopping sprees that purchase something you already have at home!
There are a few other helpful traveling items that can go a long way in helping your traveling holidays stay happy. Click here to see these new and useful traveling products.

There have been 9 recalls since the last Merry Mother was published in October.

Crib Recalled

  • Delta Drop-Side Cribs from 1995 - 2007 one fatality
  • Convertible Crib by Playkids U.S.A. one fatality

See Recall Report #1: Dangerous Cribs


  • My Way Baby Walkers

See Recall Report #5: Walkers.

Clothing Items Recalled

  • Rack Room Shoes, Girl's Flowered Sandals
  • Warning About Carter's Clothing from Fall 2007

See Recall Report #16: Clothes, Shoes and Blankets

Toy Items Recalled

  • Nerf Blasters
  • Battery Operated Toy Speed Boats
  • Halloween “Casper” Figurines
  • Wooden Toys by Earth Friendly

See the 2008 Toy Recall Report

The 2008 Halloween Baby Contest Finalists!

The polls have closed - it's time for YOUR final vote on which baby is the cutest Halloween baby of 2008.
The top three entries with the most votes are...envelope please...

halloween contest 1

Isaiah as Tigger

halloween contest 2

Bella as a Flower

halloween contest 3

Nathaniel as a Sleepy Pumpkin

Vote for The Cutest Halloween Baby of 2008

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
First Name*
Which Baby Should Win?*
Isaiah as Tigger
Bella as a Flower
Nathaniel as a Sleepy Pumpkin

Please only one vote per subscriber!

A slideshow showing all of the
adorable Halloween photos entered in the contest has been created.

Click here to view all the photos in a slideshow!


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

The next issue will be published on December 2nd, 2008. 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.

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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

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 Mother Members-Only Page.

All the photos on this page can be found at www.flickr.com and were used
according to licensing requirements.