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Oct 10, 2016 - Tips    No Comments

The Reasons You Should Get a Baby Monitor

baby-monitor
There are millions of different gadgets out there, that they advertise  you NEED for your baby, but in my opinion none are as worthy as a Baby Monitor. The reasons you should get a baby monitor  are so simple, yet so indisputable, that no other gadget out there, or other methods can replace it.

I bought a lot of stuff that I ended up not needing them, thinking I could make my motherhood easier, but it was only for a short while, or could’ve been easily replaced with something I already had or could easily make at home. So the bottle warmer, the bottle sterilizer, the humidifier and even the stroller were a waste of my money in the end. Made my life a bit easier, it’s true, as a new mom you don’t have everything figured out, but not for the long run.

Well, nothing I ever bought was more worth it than my baby monitor. So here are the reasons why you should get a baby monitor, as a new parent, and even for your second, third, and so on, baby.

Sleep

After the period of “waking at every sound or move” passes, you will need something that will get your baby’s cries right in your ear. Well not too close, but you get the gist. I can tell you I slept much more comfortable and relaxed, after I felt I can leave my baby sleep alone, of course, because I co-slept until then. But it was nice to know I will just hear him calling me, or asking for water, or something, and I would be right up with him in no time. Our rooms are separated by a thin wall, but I still couldn’t trust my deep sleep, from being too tired, to know when he needed me. It’s a life saver, I tell ya!

For naps

His naps, if you are not going to nap with him, are better to deal with. You can get some work done, noise or no noise, TV on or not, and you’ll be able to keep an eye on your baby, or an ear. When my baby monitor broke, from too many drops, when he was 2, I listened at the door for noises until the one I ordered came. I couldn’t do dishes because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hear him, or anything that involved noise. So I just sat there, with the door open, on the internet until he got up and called for me. We even took it on our holidays, so we could enjoy a cocktail outside while he napped. We would’ve not been able to do much during that time, otherwise.

Play time

There will be times when he’ll play better alone than with you, and you can cook or do laundry. You keep your part of the baby monitor with you and post the other so you can see what he is doing, of course most video baby monitors can be tilted or change the angle any time you want. He’ll probably be in his play pen the entire time, “talking” to his favorite toy. I don’t recommend a baby monitor without a video for this as he can do stuff, like climbing the gate for the first time, and you won’t have a clue from the noise he’s making. Also some come with an answering feature, so you can talk to your kid when he needs his mommy right away and you still have a few seconds of turning off the burners or oven and run to him. If you want to find out more about types and features, Baby Monitor Central is a great website with great info on this matter.

Baby sitting

It’s not that you don’t trust the baby sitter, it could be your own mother, or sister, or someone you will trust with your own life. Some video monitors come with recordings and also covering wide ranges. So you might be able to see your kid live or see how he behaved while you were not there. If you don’t have a baby yet, and you think you will not be the overprotective kind, just a piece of advice, buy one after you give birth, because you won’t know what kind of parent you’ll become, I had no idea until I held mine for the first time.

So these are the reasons you should get a baby monitor, for your benefits and for your baby’s as well. Make sure it has all the features you need, don’t go all “I can deal without night vision”, or “without room temperature display”, when you are searching for one, you will congratulate yourself when you’ll see how useful those things are, and choose something with good reviews. It’s worth it because you will need it many years after, not just a few months, and you need something that will survive that long, unless you drop it a lot, then it’s not the monitor’s fault.

What do you think about owning a baby monitor? Am I right to say it’s the one thing you can’t go without when a baby comes? At least in our household it was a life saver.

Jan 26, 2015 - General, Tips    No Comments

Traveling Around Europe With Your Toddler

Traveling toddler

We made arrangements to travel around Europe in May, so I need to make lots of lists, of things I need to take with me, of things I need to do before leaving, things I need to do while traveling. It will be a lot, especially when you travel with a toddler. Eric is 19 months old and he will be 22 months old. So no much difference, really.

He first needed a passport, which we made, and he is mostly set. Our plans for the trip needed to secure that Eric stays happy as much as possible. He needs to eat, to sleep comfortably, to nap when he’s tired, and to basically have whatever he has at home, and that is me and his father, a few toys, clothes and his schedule. So first we planned our way of traveling:

We chose to travel by train, mostly because of the liberty of moving that it gives us. Eric needs to explore the views, he needs space and needs to move around. He is already used to it, as we often go visit his grandma (my mom) to my home town. Plus, a train is cheaper than a plane, and more comfortable than a bus. It has a toilet, you can walk around, and no restrains. Of course a plane would be faster, but getting a toddler to sit still for the take off and landing could be challenging, or let me rephrase that, getting MY toddler to sit still, specially when his ears will feel weird and with all those strangers looking bothered by his complains, would be stressing. We also have two bus rides along the way, but no more than 2.5 hours and hopefully on acceptable hours. The train rides are no more than 6-7 hours at a time, and if more than that and we find night trains we’ll get the ones with bunk beds. Another thing we made sure of is to have traveling options without changing trains or buses, that would be too stressful.

Now that we chose the best way to travel, we thought to check out places we could possibly stay in. We really needed something that at least had a mini fridge, but having a microwave oven or a stove would’ve been awesome. We checked the cheapest hotels rooms with fridge and compared the prices to places on AirBnb, and  we realized that clearly studios or 1 bedroom apartments on AirBnb are our best option.

Why? Because we can save some money not needing to eat out that much, we can cook for the baby as we will know exactly what he eats. We can heat his meals, store his breakfast, store milk and yogurt, and be in better locations than the cheapest hotels. And needing a good location was key to our trip plan, because you need fresh water to drink, vegetables and bread daily, yogurt and milk, fruits and maybe a pharmacy. We also needed to be as close to the places we wanted to visit, the cities are big and a toddler can’t handle walking too much or being on the road too much without taking his nap.

So in case you are wondering why so much trouble for a trip, you need to know that we will be on the road for almost a month. This is our schedule:

We will leave town on May 2nd and head to Arad (still Romania) by train and stay there for a night, until May 3rd. The ride is 4 or so hours, so we figured seeing as our next stop is Budapest (Hungary) and that is not too close by either, we will need our rest.

We will most likely stay 3 nights in Budapest (Hungary) also from May 3rd to May 6th, on our way to Vienna (Austria), where we need to arrive on May 6th and we booked 3 days there, until May 9th, planning to visit AT LEAST the zoo there and meet up with a friend. Our next stop is Munich (Germany), from May 9th to May 12th. Next we’ll visit Verona (Italy) for a few days, from May 12th to May 15th, and we have a direct train ride from Munich. After Verona we booked 4 days in Trieste (Italy), from May 15th to May 19th, hopefully we’ll get nice weather as it’s close to the Adriatic Sea

Our fastest and the most direct route from Trieste to Pula (Croatia) is by bus, it’s a 2.5 hours ride so hopefully we will be fine. We”ll stay there from May 19th to May 23rd because we are still near the sea, and we love beaches and the sea smell. We’ll take the bus again from here to Rijeka (Croatia) for almost the same hours and again stay 4 days on the Adriatic Sea beaches, from May 23rd to May 27th. We take the train for our next stop in Zagreb (Croatia) and stay from May 27th to May 29th. We hope Croatia will be our meeting point with another good friend.

Then we leave by train for Belgrade (Serbia), and we hope we’ll meet some friends there and stay from May 29th to June 1st, then head home by train thru Timisoara (Romania), not sure if we need a night here or not, but at least we are close to home.

This is how our map looks like:

Europe Route

So all that planning doesn’t sound too crazy now, is it? Only the routes and cities we chose, but hopefully we’ll have fun and see as much of the places we visit as possible.

Feb 19, 2013 - Health, Tips    2 Comments

Finding Out Gender

Finding out Gender

Monday I had my 16 week ultrasound. I had it in my town because it was just a check-up to see everything is ok. And it was, regular heart beats, surviving skills ready, putting finger in mouth after first trying in his/hers eye, swallowing amniotic fluid. Me and my husband were so thrilled seeing our baby moving and showing his/hers entire body.

At the end we examined for a while the private parts and apparently he’s a boy. I think we will be more sure after 20 weeks, but my husband was all happy about it, but he was also a little sad because he got used to the idea that a baby girl would be so cute. So now he thinks we should try to have a girl too, even if before he said he doesn’t want more than one baby cuz he would want to offer as much as he can to one, so that he would have plenty. Now he has second thoughts, he says is a big chance we will try again in a couple of years if we have the means necessary to raise two kids.

So I’m thrilled my baby is healthy and big. I don’t believe he’s a boy, yet. I’m waiting for the more advanced ultrasound. He is growing fast, big for 16 weeks, but he doesn’t stay still for a moment and he’s so cute. He has 5 fingers at each hand, and we also saw a cute butt and his perfectly shaped spine.

I’m beginning to gain some weight, like a couple of hundreds grams per day. I hope is not too much. I still can’t eat meat, but I like eating something sweet from time to time, sometimes the sweet thing can be an apple, but chocolate is good too. So according to some sayings that if you crave sweet things is a girl, and sour/salty is a boy, I also crave cheese, so I can’t say if it is true or not.

Some other myths about gender are:
– If you pour salt in a pregnant lady’s head, without her knowing, and she scratches her nose, the baby is a boy, if she takes her hand to her mouth it’s a girl.

– If you are pregnant and dream rats, you’ll have a boy, if you dream flowers, it’s a girl.

– If you have the pregnancy glow, you’ll have a girl, if you don’t have anything special, it’s a boy.

– If you put your wedding ring on a thread above your belly and the ring moves back and forward, it’s a girl, if it moves in a circle, it’s a boy.

– If the baby’s heart rate is under 150 it’s a boy, if it’s above, it’s a girl.

Is fun to play with this myths, but I don’t know about you, but I like knowing for sure. We’ll go in march for fetal morphology and we will found out so much more about our baby.

Dec 6, 2012 - Health, Problems, Tips    No Comments

Constipation in Pregnancy

Constipation is a real pain in your behind if you are pregnant. I had diarrhea the last weekend and I managed to fix it with toasted bread, mint tea and bananas in just two days, one more day and I would’ve gotten to the doctor. Fixing this problem resulted in going back to the problem I had before diarrhea, which was constipation. So from Sunday I couldn’t go to the bathroom at all, this is my fifth day.

The first two days I was afraid of eating fruits and fibers as I didn’t want the diarrhea to return, I lost 1,5 kilos in the weekend and gained 2 back the first day of my recovery, but now I have to try harder, soon I will explode if not.

There is a type of yoghurt that contains fibers and fruits and helps a lot with it but I didn’t know I needed till last night when I realized four days past and nothing. I think I was more afraid of the diarrhea, cuz it kept me awake, I had stomachache in the middle of the night followed by bathroom trips.

But now I can’t tell you what do I hate more, being constipated, that means bloated, feeling heavy, nauseated because I feel full, in pain when gas tries to get out or when diarrhea hits and making me feeling nausea because of stomachache, sleepy because it wakes me in the middle of the night, cold because the bathroom is cold, but lighter because eventually there will be nothing else to get out. Sorry for too many details.

Nov 15, 2012 - Health, Tips    No Comments

Herbal Teas During Pregnancy

There are herbal teas and non herbal teas. The non herbal teas mostly contain caffeine which they can be healthy if you are NOT pregnant, because of the antioxidants, but the baby in your belly can’t process the caffeine as an adult can.

However the herbal teas are caffeine free so that is not the issue. But you should be proper informed about which herbal teas are good and which are not. Like my previous post there are good herbs and unsafe ones that you don’t want to mess with. Usually the teas labeled as Pregnancy Teas contain good herbs that can help during pregnancy, like red raspberry leafs.

A list of herbs that are used in teas and how safe or unsafe they are:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf (Likely Safe) – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains.  Many of the “Pregnancy Teas” commonly contain red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy.
    There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.
  • Peppermint Leaf (Likely Safe) – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence.
  • Lemon Balm (Likely Safe) – Has a calming effect and helps relieve irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • Ginger root (Possibly Safe) -Helps relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Dandelion (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) Rich in Vitamin A, calcium and iron; dandelion root and leaf can also help relieve mild edema and nourish the liver.
  • Chamomile (German) (Insufficient Reliable Information Available)High in calcium and magnesium, also helps with sleeplessness and inflammation of joints.
  • Nettles (Stinging Nettles) (Likely Unsafe) High in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium and iron. Used in many “Pregnancy Teas” because it is a great all-around pregnancy tonic. (*Note on the safety of nettles: Natural Medicines Database gives nettles a rating of Likely Unsafe, even though it is used in countless pregnancy teas and recommended by most midwives and herbalists. This may be in relation to which part of the nettles plant is used, the root or the leaves, and how much is used. According to other sources, the use of nettles is encouraged during pregnancy because of all its health benefits.)
  • Rose Hips (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – Very good source of Vitamin C and helps boost the immune system.
  • Alfalfa (Possibly Unsafe) – Has Vitamin A, D, E and K; particularly good in later pregnancy to boost Vitamin K, which helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
  • Yellow Dock (Possibly Unsafe) – Used to help treat anemia in pregnant women due to the high level of iron. Also contains Vitamins A, C and calcium. *(This may also be used as a laxative–talk with your health care provider about the use of yellow dock during pregnancy).

Source: American Pregnancy Association – Herbal Teas

I will get myself some red raspberry leafs for sure when the time comes, on my second trimester. I now drink very large cup of Chamomile tea every morning for the past few years, because all I know about it is that it is healthy to drink it. Is good for digestion, for when you have intestinal cramps and pain, for nausea and for digestive tract infections and airways, when you have a cold. So maybe the Chamomile here is not the German one they refer to, first because I’m not in Germany and second because there can be more types of the same plant.

Nov 14, 2012 - Health, Tips    No Comments

Plants and Herbs in Pregnancy

Yesterday was my birthday and definitely my last day of ovulation. Now I have to wait till, at least, 23 November, on Black Friday, to see if I get my period, and then wait another week to do the test. I’m so looking forward to that day!

I surprised myself this weeks. I ate more fruits then I usually do, lots of milk, and I checked everything that could go wrong with my plan. The I’m Expecting App was fun for research but I also checked the internet a lot. I wondered if poppy seeds during pregnancy can affect it but there is no conclusive  info anywhere.  Of course the poppy seeds they make opium with are not good, but there are different kinds of poppy seeds and some, the safe ones I guess, are used in food industry. I decided to avoid any poppy seeds as much as I can, and it will be hard seeing that my favorite breakfast is this:

I also found a cool site for pregnancy that helps you stay healthy and strong. It is called American Pregnancy Association and I found some cool stuff about plants there. I found out that not all plants are good during pregnancy and they have a list you can follow and be safe. For most of the plants I couldn’t get a precise translation to my language but the ones that I was interested in were not that hard to find.

The list of likely unsafe plants are:

  • Saw Palmetto – when used orally, has hormonal activity
  • Goldenseal – when used orally, may cross the placenta
  • Dong Quai – when used orally, due to uterine stimulant and relaxant effects
  • Ephedra – when used orally
  • Yohimbe – when used orally
  • Pay D’ Arco – when used orally in large doses; contraindicated
  • Passion Flower – when used orally
  • Black Cohosh – when used orally in pregnant women who are not at term
  • Blue Cohosh – when used orally; uterine stimulant and can induce labor
  • Roman Chamomile – when used orally in medicinal amounts
  • Pennyroyal – when used orally or topically

Fortunately the list for the safe plants has some popular names so they are easier to find:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains. Some studies have even reported that using red raspberry leaf during pregnancy can reduce complications and the use of interventions during birth. You may see pregnancy teas that are made from red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy. There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.
  • Peppermint Leaf – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence
  • Ginger root – Helps relieve nausea and vomiting
  • Slippery Elm Bark – (when the inner bark is used orally in amounts used in foods) Used to help relieve nausea, heartburn, and vaginal irritations
  • Oats & Oat Straw – Rich in calcium and magnesium; helps relieve anxiety, restlessness, and irritated skin
  • Blond Psyllium – when used orally and appropriately
  • Black Psyllium – when used orally with appropriate fluid intake
  • Garlic – when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods
  • Capsicum (Cayenne, hot pepper) – when used topically and appropriately

They also include a list of plants with insufficient reliable information that is best you ask someone with experience in the field:

  • Dandelion – Rich in Vitamin A, calcium, and iron; dandelion root and leaf can also help relieve mild edema and nourish the liver
  • Chamomile (German) – High in calcium and magnesium; also helps with sleeplessness and inflammation of joints
  • Nettles (Stinging Nettles) – High in vitamins A, C, K , calcium, potassium, and iron. Used in many pregnancy teas because it is a great all around pregnancy tonic. Note on the safety of Nettles: Natural Medicines Database gives Nettles a rating of Likely Unsafe, even though it is used in countless pregnancy teas and recommended by most midwives and herbalists. This may be contingent upon which part of the Nettles plant is used (the root or the leaves) and how much is used. According to other sources, the use of Nettles is encouraged during pregnancy because of its health benefits.

Source: American Pregnancy Association – Natural Herbs

Nov 12, 2012 - Health, Tips    No Comments

I’m Expecting App for Android

My husband did a sweet thing for me a few days ago. He installed on his android phone this application I’m Expecting. I started using it this days and it is great. You can see the evolution of your baby and compare it with other moms. You can keep track of your doctors appointments, weight and symptoms.

You can add the day of the conceiving and it will tell you what your symptoms can be during the week you are in. It tells you what is happening to your body, what diet you should follow and it sends you to all this useful sites that can help you understand better the state you are in.

You can ask question and it can help you get a proper answer from appropriate forums. There are other soon to be moms that you can interact and make friends with so that you will have someone who understands what you’re going through to talk too.

Or if you don’t want to interact and you simply have a question you can search for it in the forums. Last night I searched about pain during intercourse in the forums, if maybe someone else asked that question already, and someone did. It seams that it happens when you are ovulating so it explained a lot of pains all this years.

Then I searched if intercourse the day after the ovulation is still helping, and I found out that sperm stays alive 5 days in your body so for me from Nov 7 to Nov 11, excepting the 9th cuz we didn’t feel to good, I have all the sperm I need, if we want a break today, we can have it.

It also has a due date count down for the days till the birth, not the weeks, which seems a loooong way to go. I also didn’t know that I already am in the second week and I can have symptoms already, and the top 3 symptoms for other moms are bloating, fatigue and breast tenderness. I didn’t experienced the last one, but instead I felt the first two along with headache and dizziness.

It’s a very useful application and is fun and easy to use it.