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Helping Children (and Families)
to Have a Better Night's Sleep

Pen and Cob's Corner

  • 4 Ways to Make an Easy Daylight Savings Time Change for Your Family

    daylight savings time sleep tips for babies and kidsEvery parent understands the importance of a schedule. Our bodies thrive on consistency and that goes double for little kids. When they go to bed and nap at consistent times, they have energy and great moods. But when their schedules are erratic and unpredictable, they’re somber and cranky. Plus, sleep deprivation can affect a child’s development.

    That’s what makes Daylight Savings Time so hard for a lot of parents. The “falling back” part in autumn is easy because everyone gets more sleep, but the “spring ahead” can be difficult.

    Fortunately, the time change doesn’t have to be a nightmare with a little preparation. Here are some essential tips to help your family adjust to Daylight Savings Time.

    1. Start adjusting early

    Daylight Savings Time starts on March 13th this year. It’s a Sunday, which is nice because it gives us at least one buffer day before we have places to be on Monday.

    Start your adjustment early – at least four days in advance. The goal is make the first day of DST as painless as possible by adjusting each previous day just a little bit.

    Each day, put your kids to bed 15 minutes earlier than the day before. You might have to adjust other daily activities to help their bodies adjust, like meal times, nap times, and snack times. Then, wake them up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. If you do this four days before DST starts, they’ll have adjusted for the hour without any hassle.

    2. Keep the rest of your routine the same

    During the adjustment period, don’t mess with any other parts of their routine. This is not the time to transition from two-nap-days to one-nap-days. It’s not the time to take a long car trip to visit Grandma. And it’s not the time to start new things, like dance or soccer. Focus on keeping everything the same until the adjustment has been made. It’s only four days, so this shouldn’t interrupt your life too much.

    3. Use lighting

    Our bodies use melatonin to regulate our internal clock. When it gets dark, our bodies increase our melatonin levels, which makes us sleepy. When it’s bright, melatonin is actually broken down by the light.

    You can induce sleepiness and wakefulness by adjusting the amount of light in your home. Close the curtains and dim the lights about 45 minutes before bedtime to put your child in the mood to sleep. Open the curtains and turn on lights as it gets near wake time.

    This is an excellent way to gradually wake up or put your child to sleep, without fussiness or tears.

    4. Be patient

    If you can, I recommend making the few days after the DST low activity. If you have to get the kids out of the house in the morning, this might be tough for you, but if your kids spend the day at home, don’t force them to stick to a schedule. Their bodies will naturally adjust on their own, even if you don’t intervene.

    I hope that helps! Daylight Savings Time usually isn’t a problem for most parents, but for some families it can be a tense few days. We’d love to hear about your DST challenges. Post your questions or comments on Facebook and we’ll help you out!

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professional, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 7 New Mom Tips for Getting Some Sleep

    how new moms can get sleepPinterest paints a rosy picture of new-motherhood, but the truth is that there’s a lot of sleepless nights ahead for new parents. It’s worth it in the end, but that first year is rough. You’ll spend a lot of time worrying about your baby’s sleep habits (and you should – they are important), but don’t forget to think about yourself as well. Here are some ways to for new moms to get some sleep.

    1. Sleep when the baby sleeps – I know you hear this a lot and it seems impossible because there’s always so much to do, but it’s the best piece of advice you’ll hear. The best way to get more sleep is to sleep when you can. When the baby is awake, there is tending to do, but when your little one falls asleep, you must take what you can get.

    2. Say no to extra responsibility – This is not the time in your life to volunteer for field trips, bake cookies for the bake sale, or take on an extra project at work. There will be time for all of that next year, but right now you should trim down your responsibilities.

    3. Accept help – Want to know a secret about super moms who always seem to do so much? They accept the help of other people and delegate tasks. Lean on other people (like your parents) who genuinely want to help. Grandma and Grandpa want to spend time with the baby? Great, how about giving a feeding and a bath too? You will be amazed at how many people will take things off your plate.

    4. You won’t sleep through crying – Some moms worry that they won’t hear their baby cry if they (the mom) are asleep, so they insist that someone be up. That isn’t the case. There’s something in your brain that rockets you awake when your baby cries.

    5. Don’t expect your baby to sleep through the night – An infant who wakes up every two hours is completely normal. Babies wake often to feed. Their little tummies run empty fast! Don’t become frustrated when your baby doesn’t sleep for hours. When he/she does fall asleep, put baby down and get some rest yourself.

    6. Take turns with your spouse – A full, uninterrupted night sleep is a wonderful thing. If one person is getting all the sleep, however, you’ll begin to resent each other. To make sure both people get some sleep, take turns getting up.

    7. Turn away guests – During the first couple months, lots of people will ask to stop over and see the new baby. Unfortunately, this is when families are just getting adjusted to the new little one and sleep is at a premium. Don’t feel guilty about turning people away until things settle and your family finds a routine.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 11 Facts About Newborn Sleep You Have to Know

    newborn sleep factsNewborns (and all children, really) sleep differently than you or I. As a parent, you’ll spend the first months of your child’s life obsessing over their sleep habits. You’ll find one trick that works for a while and then something will change and you’ll have to find something new. Here are some facts about newborn sleep you may not know.

    1. A bedtime routine is one of the best ways to help your child fall asleep, even for newborns. A good routine for a newborn involve lots of sensation, like a bath, gentle rocking, and close contact with mom or dad.

    2. Newborns lack a circadian rhythm. This means they don’t have the mental and behavioral cues to get sleepy when it’s dark. They develop these over time.

    3. The phrase “sleeping like a baby” describes long, deep, peaceful sleep… unlike any newborn I’ve ever seen. Infants wake up often, but that’s part of their design. They need to eat and be comforted.

    4. Babies have significantly shorter sleep cycles than adults, meaning they move into a light sleep mode more often, which gives them opportunities to wake up.

    5. Babies take longer to fall into deep sleep. You can identify deep sleep by their eyelids: if her eyeballs are still, they have entered the deepest part of their cycle.

    6. Sleep is key for brain development. During sleep, blood flow to the brain increases and proteins that make nerves are produced.

    7. You probably don’t have a bad sleeper. Many parents hear stories of that three month-old who sleeps through the night. Even if these are true, they are the exceptions, not the rule.

    8. Babies sleep more than it seems. You may be exhausted, but newborns sleep 16 to 20 hours a day.

    9. Night wakings are actually important. As much as you want your infant to sleep six hours, that wouldn’t be healthy. Young babies have tiny stomachs that burn through food quickly, so they have to wake up to refill their bellies. He/she also needs to sleep lightly as a survival tool so they can quickly respond to any adverse stimuli.

    10. Sleep begets sleep. For you and me, staying up a long time will make us sleep a long time, but that isn’t the case for babies, especially newborns. A rested child has an easier time falling asleep.

    11. Constant pressure is comforting and reassuring to your little one. Whether it’s a swaddle, your arms, or the Slumber Sleeper Bassinet, children are almost universally comforted by constant sensation on their skin. This comes from their experience in the womb. Helping recreate a sense of that environment will go a long way in allowing your child a more restful sleep.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professional, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 8 Tips for Moving from the Crib to a New Big Kid Bed

    moving to big kid bedThe day your child graduates from the crib is a proud day for a parent – their baby is growing up! – but a tough day for some children. If you’ve worked hard to make the sleep space a comfortable and familiar spot, you might deal with some anxiety when you insist upon a change.

    Here are some tips for moving your child to a big kid’s bed.

    1. Assess the situation

    There isn’t a book or guide that will tell you if it’s the right time, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s time for your child to move to a big kid bed. Most children make the switch between two to four years old. Don’t switch too early or you’ll cause sleep troubles.

    2. Announce the decision

    Before you make the switch, talk about it for several days ahead of time. Give your child some time to anticipate the change and make peace with it in her mind. See if you can get her to look forward to the change. Children of this age should be given encouragement of their big kid status and be given a sense of pride so that they can succeed in their new sleep environment.

    3. Give your child some control

    Don’t surprise your child one day with a bed and a missing crib. You’ll likely be moving too fast. Shop together for a bed. Make a day out of going to the store and trying out the different types. Within reason, let your child make the final decision.

    4. Place the bed in the crib’s spot

    Maintain consistency however you can so you reduce the amount of change you expect your child to tolerate. Put the bed in the same spot so your child sees the same things when she wakes up at night.

    5. Keep the favorites

    If you use any blankets or lovies, or anything like that, make sure they all make the transition to the big kid bed with your child so she can count on their familiarity. Also, for parents using the Slumber Sleeper they can move up in size to a twin sleeper making the bedding environment a very easy transition. Further, this helps children avoid the in and out of the new bed syndrome as they continue to get the reassurance the Slumber Sleeper offered them in the crib, making the transition effortless.

    6. Invest in side rails

    For safety, pick up a side rail attachment for either side of the bed to prevent your child from rolling out. This will also help them feel secure because they have “walls” like before.

    7. Maintain that routine

    You’ve been working on a bedtime routine for a year now, so don’t stop. Keep everything just the way it was (except now you can hop in bed for bedtime stories which you’ll both enjoy).

    8. Be empathetic

    Change is hard, especially for a little mind that’s still racing to understand the world. Don’t dismiss complaints or belittle your child, but don’t break the crib back out either.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • What Does it Mean to Be Overtired?

    what is overtirednessIf you have a baby, you are familiar with overtiredness.

    Overtiredness lies somewhere between tired and exhausted. It’s that window of time when your baby is too tired to fall asleep easily. You’ve probably been overtired yourself. You feel uncomfortable and antsy. You may even have a headache. But as an adult, you can calm yourself enough to fall asleep.

    A baby, however, doesn’t have the right control to relax themselves, so that anxiety remains. Often an overtired baby will simply stay awake until they are outright exhausted.

    How to recognize an overtired baby

    Your baby can become overtired about an hour after first feeling tired. Ideally you want to recognize the tired signs and put your baby to sleep, but if you miss them, you could end up in overtired territory. Here’s how to tell.

    • Your baby is suddenly hyperactive.
    • Your baby is fighting sleep.
    • Your baby is easily annoyed by the slightest sounds or sights.
    • Your baby isn’t making eye contact or interacting with you.
    • Your baby is clingy.
    • Your baby is whining or whimpering.
    • Your baby has sudden outbursts of emotion.

    Even though it’s a struggle, you should try to put your baby to sleep right away if you feel he or she is overtired.

    How to help chronically overtired children

    A child who becomes overtired frequently experiences chronic sleep deprivation. Keep in mind that sleep is an important part of growing up. It’s when the brain and body does a majority of its growing. So keeping your child from sleep is robbing them of their healthy development. Sleep deprived children exhibit some of these signs:

    • Undereating
    • Fussy behavior
    • Developmental delay
    • Gastrointestinal discomfort
    • Overstimulation

    The solution is simple: more sleep. Do not judge how much sleep your child needs based on what your friends say or what you read online. Judge the amount of sleep your child needs based on your child’s behavior. Did you cut back to one nap too soon? Are you letting him or her stay up too late at night and then waking them in the morning to start the day?

    Children who suffer from sleep deprivation take a few days to catch up. They won’t feel fine after just one night’s sleep. Spend a weekend prioritizing sleep. Make the sleep environments quiet and dark to really stretch out those naps. Keep rough play to a minimum and start sleep times as soon as they exhibit signs. You can work out of sleep deprivation, but it takes time.

    In short, when your baby becomes overtired, use that as an opportunity to examine your sleep routine and make the appropriate adjustments.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 7 Foods You Didn’t Know Are No Good for Babies

    bad foods for babiesSoda pop and candy may seem like obvious players in the black listed baby food department, but there are some foods that are GREAT for us grownups and bad for babies. Do you know all of them? We’ve listed seven foods that haven’t been known to sit well on baby’s tummy. Some of these may surprise you.

    1. Peanut Butter

    Kids live by their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; infants… not so much. The rich nutty flavor of this household staple is great for us but its sticky consistency can make it tough for a young infant to swallow safely. It is strongly advised to avoid feeding your baby peanut butter in his first months.

    2. Honey

    Yes, Honey! The gooey golden goodness packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties is not as great for baby as it is for us. This stuff isn’t exactly an allergen but it has the potential to cause botulism in infants under 1 year old.

    3. Acidic Fruits

    This isn’t an allergen either but it has been known to cause rashes and itching in babies. Use these ingredients sparingly in your baby care regimen and his diet

    4. Unpasteurized Cheese

    There is a slight risk with cheese of this caliber that many overlook. Young babies have difficulty digesting this common dairy product and are at risk for food poisoning. Fortunately, most cheeses that are sold in Unities States are in fact pasteurized but it’s better to be safe than sorry and read your labels.

    5. Drinking Whole Milk

    You would think that milk and babies go hand in hand but milk proteins and lactose found in the milk we grownups drink has been known to cause severe allergic reactions in babies. Tummy aches are another symptoms babies experience from whole milks. It is much harder for them to digest whole milk than it is for us. Formula and breast milk are made for baby for a reason. Don’t risk it.

    6. Grapes

    Surprisingly, the acidic levels of grapes is not the issue here, instead it is the size of the grape that can be dangerous. Grapes are easily a huge choking hazard for babies. Many recommend avoiding feeding them to babies younger than 10 months.

    7. Underwater critters

    I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the endless benefits of fish, but it isn’t quite safe for infants. Shellfish in particular is known to be a little rough on baby’s undeveloped immune system. Pediatricians have said to avoid feeding your baby fish until as old as two years old!

    Is there a particular food that surprised you when you found out it wasn’t as good for babies. Share your findings with us on our Facebook page and let’s discuss!

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 6 Ways to Strengthen the Bond Between Parent & Child

    quality time ideasFor any family, it’s important to set aside time to be spent doing various activities together. These activities, whether they last all day or only an hour, are valuable bonding experiences that a family can thrive from. Here are some of the best parent-child bonding activities:

    1. Charity Work 

    Planning a day of charity work with your kid is beneficial for many reasons. Not only are you getting the chance to spend quality time together, but you’re also helping your community and those less fortunate. The best part about this activity is your children learn valuable lessons along the way. Look into volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or find a marathon-style event to raise money for a good cause.

    2. Family Breakfast 

    Starting the day off as a family is a great way to get some bonding time in. If you want to have a family breakfast during the week, get the food going while your child is getting ready for school and your spouse gets ready for work. Better yet, save the breakfast for the weekend so you can take your time and enjoy together!

    3. Watch Home Videos 

    Breaking out the home videos for a viewing is a timeless family activity. The best part about this bonding activity is that you and your child get to reminisce on some of the best memories you had together. Treat it like a movie night, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the laughs and good times as a family. 

    4. Date Night 

    Plan a typical date night but instead of planning it around your significant other, do so for your child. After you get some dinner together, find something fun to do like bowling, a movie, or miniature golf. Another alternative would be having a home-cooked dinner and then playing a fun board game with the family instead. No matter which you choose, you’ll have a great time conversing and bonding.

    5. Host a Party 

    Hosting a family get-together is one of the best ways to get your children, and the entire family, together for great bonding time. Invite as many aunts, uncles, and cousins as you can and have them bring a dish to make for a big family feast. Plan various fun activities that everyone can partake in, like Frisbee or family game of soccer. You can even buy poster board and everyone can take turns filling in their part of the family tree!

    6. Family Vacation 

    If possible, planning a family vacation is a guaranteed fun bonding experience. Research the best destinations that have families in mind in terms of the activities, events, and venues they offer. An obvious choice would be Disney, where both parents and kids will be able to have a great time together. Your children will be grateful to have spent all that time together in such a fun place.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Epidurals: What, Where & Why?

    What is an epiduralAsk any pregnant woman, “What is your primary concern about giving birth?” and she will tell you: THE PAIN! While it is true, there will be some pain involved when delivering a human being into the world, there are pain management options! No one needs to suffer while giving birth; if the woman in labor is no longer coping, new decisions will be made. These decisions often include either pain medication and/or epidurals.

    What is an epidural?

    An epidural is a form of pain relief used during labor, numbing the body from the waist down.

    An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist performs this form of anesthesia; the procedure starts with a local anesthetic, followed by the insertion of a long needle (used to guide a thin catheter) between two of the lower lumbar vertebrae in your low back. The medication is typically delivered continuously, replacing pain with a sense of pressure.

    Is an epidural safe?

    First and foremost, an epidural is a medical intervention, and all interventions have some degree of risk involved. Having said that, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are highly trained health care professionals who spend more years perfecting their area of specialty than any other medical professional. Given the length and duration that a woman spends in labor, epidurals have proven to be a very beneficial pain management approach, outweighing the potential risks associated with them.

    When to get it?

    The recommended time to request an epidural is during ‘active labor’ when she is between 3-7 centimeters dilated.  The procedure takes an average of 15 minutes to complete; the labor nurse is there throughout to assist the mom in remaining still.

    Does an epidural affect the baby?

    The short answer is no. The medications used during an epidural, may cross the placental barrier and might cause some delay in the newborn latching at the breast.  Continuous monitoring is used throughout labor and pushing to consistently track the baby’s heart rate.

    Why choose an epidural?

    • In most cases provides much needed pain relief.
    • Dose of medication can be varied for labor vs. pushing
    • It permits further pain medication if you require a cesarean.

    Are there any disadvantages?

    • When given ‘early’ an epidural can slow labor down.
    • Side effects can include an itchy or shivering feeling.
    • You will remain in bed, as your legs will not support you; it takes several hours after the baby is born for the legs to “wake-up.”
    • Some women will report having a “lazy leg” after delivery that can linger for days or weeks. This may or may not have to do with the epidural. Additionally, there are reports of low back pain, sometimes blamed on the epidural. Is this residual pain a result of birth trauma to muscles and ligaments in the low back, or the epidural? The answer remains unknown.
    • Other interventions include: an automatic blood pressure cuff and a urinary catheter to empty your bladder. More interventions may become necessary, particularly in a longer first baby labor, including the medication Pitocin, as epidurals combined with a long labor frequently slow down contractions. Pitocin is frequently used to bring the contractions back to a labor pattern that will better facilitate progress.

     

    In conclusion, an expectant mom needs to maintain an attitude that ‘giving birth is not a contest.’ You don’t get points for how you deliver your baby. We maintain there is only one goal: “Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby… However you get there.” While it is great to avoid interventions as much as possible while giving birth, it can also be quite helpful to know that there are options available to you to ultimately succeed in getting your healthy baby into your arms.

    sarah mcmyolerGuest Blog by Sarah McMoyler, RN, BSN, and creator of the McMoyler MethodTM

    Sarah McMoyler, RN, BSN, has seen over 25,000 Bay Area expectant parents come through her classroom doors for her signature McMoyler Method™ course. As a Labor & Delivery nurse, mother of two, childbirth educator, and triathlete, she views ‘Birth and Parenting as Extreme Sports!’ Just as athletes prepare for their event, so must expectant parents be ready for the biggest event of their lives.

    McMoyler Method™ was developed based on Sarah’s experience with couples arriving on the Labor & Delivery unit completely unprepared, not knowing how to cope with pain or how to communicate with the healthcare team. She developed the first condensed, childbirth class that is relevant to today’s busy, expectant parents, helping them establish realistic goals necessary to navigate effectively through labor & delivery.

    Her book The Best Birth: Your Guide to the Safest, Healthiest, Most Satisfying Labor and Delivery, brought national attention to her Bay Area classes with individuals and hospitals across the country asking for McMoyler Methodology. The Best Birth Online Class, powered by McMoyler Method™ was produced so that expectant parents can prepare for birth and parenting wherever they live.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 8 Amazing Perks of Being a Parent

    Amazing Perks of Being a Parent Even with all the chaos that comes with being a parent, the silver lining makes it all worth it. The reward for being someone’s mommy or daddy is unmatched. Here are 8 things that make being a parent one of the most awesome titles you will ever have.

    1. Knowing that your baby trusts you with his life

    When you gaze into your baby’s eyes, you know that they undoubtedly trust you more than any other person has before. Not only is this gaze adorable, it’s an honor.

    2. Dressing up your baby

    We know children are not dolls, and they will quickly develop their own personal style; but that small window where we get to dress our babies in whatever we like is just fun! The clothing available for babies and toddlers is absolutely adorable and sometimes witty. Since it’s pretty much not socially acceptable for us to wear a monkey suit to the grocery store, why not live vicariously through your 8-month-old.

    3. Understanding their babble

    For a good while, you’ll be the only person in the world that understands their baby’s language. You’ll act as an interpreter for other family members and friends. It’s almost surprising to you that grandpa doesn’t know “gummy boggle” means “I want my bottle now.” This secret language between you two is certainly a great way to feel connected.

    4. Being called “mom” or “dad”

    When you consider the meaning of such noble titles, hearing someone call you “mom” or “dad” is wonderfully empowering. It’s a reminder that you made a human life.

    5. Passing the torch

    Your child will of course become their own person and develop different passions. It’s still great when you see certain qualities and interests that you have manifest in someone else. Your child is your own little contribution to the world and a reflection of you.

    6. Being needed

    Knowing someone relies on you and literally NEEDS you can be a challenge, but it s also one of the GREATEST rewards in life. A sense of fulfillment comes from knowing your child wants and needs your help, insight, love and guidance. For some people, this is one of the few times in life they will feel valued. Being needed gives you a sense of unparalleled responsibility.

    7. Seeing the world through their perspective

    So many parents say having a child opened their mind to other world views they hadn’t even thought of before. When your child starts to make bold statements and ask pressing questions about relationships, death, and even politics we are forced to examine at the world a little differently.

    8. Love, Love, Love

    For many, the love between a parent and child is the only true unconditional love we will experience. Nothing compares.

    This list only scratches the surface! Tell us what your favorite part of being a parent is on our Facebook page.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 4 TGIF Family Activities Everyone Loves

    Family Activities Everyone LovesFriday night is party time for some and wind down time for others. It is the one weekday that signifies completion of the work week and introduces the joy of the weekend. For us busy parents however, it’s easy for us to want to crash on Friday and keep the festivities simple. There’s nothing wrong with saving your energy for Saturday and Sunday outings.

    After working all morning, spending the night in is a treat for you, and it could also be a lot of fun. Here are a few simple things you and the kids can do at home on a Friday night!

    1. Movie Night

    Of course you can pop in a DVD or browse Netflix to find the latest and greatest family films and call it a night. Or you could not take the term “movie night” so literal and actually create a family film. Together with the kids write up a script or a brief story line, put together silly costumes and film it. Upload it online for your friends and family to see or burn it to DVD and watch it over and over again at home. That’s a fun night!

    2. Cook Dinner Together

    Believe it or not, preparing meals is a responsibility a lot of kids actually WANT to be a part of. With your supervision, your children can put together an amazing meal while bonding with you. There are tons of kid friendly recipes online that use simple every day ingredients. Joining you in the kitchen makes the night go by quickly for kids.

    3. Arts and Crafts

    The creative wheels are spinning during childhood and you might as well nurture them. You will also find that you are still creative as you were as a child when you join them in them in the festivities. Whether it’s through painting a coffee mug, drawing a picture or enjoying an activity based subscription box together, there are countless ways you and the kids can get crafty together.

    4. Game Night

    Game night is a family favorite for many reasons. The rush of competition, the laughter and joy it brings all makes your family feel closer to each other. You can teach your children sportsmanship, leadership and even teamwork right at home. Blow the dust off of your board games and card decks and make a Friday night tradition the kids can look forward to.

    Show us family night at your house with a photo. We’d love to see how you and your family bring in the weekend.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 8 Backyard Safety Tips for Kids

    Backyard Safety Tips for KidsEvery child needs plenty of active, outdoor play during the summer, but that comes with its own set of dangers. We’re serious about safety, so use these backyard safety tips to keep everyone healthy.

    1. Ponds, lakes, rivers, fountains or other water features – Children can drown in as little as an inch of water. Use fencing to prevent your kids from wandering too close to water. If you allow them to play in the water, make sure an adult is watching at all times.

    2. Swing sets and play sets – These are common in backyards all over the world and kids usually love them. Be careful with older models that don’t conform to modern safety standards (which change every year for many products). Check to see if yours has been recalled.

    3. Lawn maintenance equipment – Naturally, these aren’t intended for children to play with, but kids can get hurt if these tools are left around. Put them away properly when you’re finished using them. Do not allow children to play in the area they are being used. Make sure never to leave them running (like your mower, trimmer, tractor) unattended.

    4. Fire pit, grill or other cooking stations – It’s best to keep kids away from these while they’re being used. While children usually understand not to touch them, it’s easy to fall while running and injure oneself. An adult should always be near these objects if children are playing outside.

    5. Playing in the road – While many of us have summer memories of playing in the street, this isn’t safe. People drive much faster these days and don’t expect children in the road. If the game can’t be played in someone’s yard, take the children to a proper court.

    6. Mosquitos, ticks and other bugs – If the children are playing in the woods, make sure to use age-appropriate bug spray before they go outside. When they’re done, check them thoroughly for bug bites that need to be treated and ticks that need to be removed. A tick that isn’t removed can be very serious.

    7. Dress you children properly – The right clothing can make the difference and prevent your kids from getting hurt. Don’t let them wear flip-flops or open-toed shoes while they are climbing a swing set, and no loose clothing with strings that might cause strangulation.

    8. Spread woodchips in play areas – Woodchips are a great way to create a soft landing place beneath play sets or swing sets, or anywhere your kids play often. Some tree removal companies will give them away if you come pick them up yourself.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • The 6 Essential Summertime Sleep Tips

    Summertime Sleep TipsThe summertime poses some interesting sleep challenges for parents, especially for parents of infant children. Many children don’t get adequate sleep during the summer, which can impact their mood and development. Here are some summertime sleep tips to help you get through.

    1. Remove unnecessary bedding – If your child is still in the SIDS risk age, you shouldn’t have any bedding. For older children who might have blankets or pillows, take them out of the crib or off the bed so they don’t keep your child too warm.

    2. Make the space as quiet as possible – Depending on where you live, there might be more ambient noise during sleep times during the summer. Kids play outside later, people have parties and barbeques, cars are driving more often, etc. A white noise machine (or a running fan or air conditioner) is a great way to muffle those sounds.

    3. Hang some blackout curtains – Like adults, babies like to sleep in the dark. During the summer, however, the sun is up longer than usual. It can be tough to convince a baby to fall asleep before it’s dark, or keep them in bed until a reasonable hour. Pull the blackout curtains closed during your bedtime routine so your little one begins to adjust to the night time and leave them closed until it’s time to come out of the crib.

    4. Keep baby’s room cool – Young children sleep the best (and the safest since overheating is a factor of SIDS) in a room that’s between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have air conditioning, use a fan to keep the air moving and make sure blinds and curtains stay closed during the day so the run doesn’t heat the space.

    5. Use summer clothes – Your little one may look cute in footed pajamas, but they aren’t right for the season. Dress your little one in lightweight pajamas for sleeping. Choose natural fibers, like cotton, which are breathable. Consider what you sleep in: your baby doesn’t need much more.

    6. Don’t neglect the naps – We typically do a lot more during the summer, so it can be easy to go-go-go all day and forget to make time for naps. Even if you spend the day at the zoo or the pool, you need to break for nap time. A tired child falls asleep easily, but an overtired child will fight and resist sleep. Do your best to give a nap, even if it’s sitting in the car (with the AC running!) or stroller.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • The 8 Benefits of Swimming for Kids

    Benefits of Swimming for KidsIt’s still warm out, so there’s plenty of time to take your kids swimming. Not only is it a ton of fun, but it’s fantastic exercise that some children sorely need. Even if you don’t have a pool at home, there’s surely a public pool or YMCA nearby. Take the family for a day and watch how much fun everyone has! Check out these eight benefits.

    1. It’s a great workout – Swimming uses all the body’s muscle groups at once. It’s a great aerobic activity and it builds strength. It’s low impact, so young joints aren’t strained and it increases flexibility (because of the big sweeping motions). With an obesity epidemic on, kids need as much fun-fitness as they can get.

    2. It’s the safest sport for kids – Children are less likely to injure themselves swimming than any other sport. Even when roughhousing, there’s little danger of harm. There are no scraped knees, bruised wrists or conked heads in a swimming pool (well, usually).

    3. It improves coordination – Unlike other exercises, swimming requires the use of one’s entire body: arms, legs, feet, hands, and core. Children learn how to master all their muscle groups at once, which makes them more stable on land and at other sports.

    4. Swim play keeps them safe – Playing in a pool or lake under supervised conditions teaches kids how to behave in the water and keep themselves afloat. This is useful in the event of a disaster or emergency where kids end up in water (like a storm or capsized boat). Everyone should know how to swim. Drowning is the nation’s second leading cause of accidental death in children under 14.

    5. Swimming helps them socialize – No kid can resist a swimming pool. Put a few kids in a pool and they’ll figure out how to play one game or another. If your child is introverted or new to the area, he’ll undoubtedly make some friends at the pool.

    6. Swimming helps kids do better in school – Just like other forms of regular activity, swimming helps kids to better in school. During the developmental years, it’s important that all children get regular exercise to regulate their bodies. If you have a high-energy child, you know just how useful a few hours of activity can be.

    7. It’s a solo and a team sport – Your child can swim anyway he wants. He can do it alone for fun and exercise, he can horse around with friends, or he can compete on a team. There are plenty of swimming events (racing and diving) to participate in.

    8. It includes children with disabilities – Many children who can’t participate in land-based sports and games are able to support and move themselves in the water, making swimming an excellent way for them to stay fit and make friends.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 5 Steps to Handle Sleep Regression

    Steps to Handle Sleep RegressionYou thought you had it all figured out!

    Your baby was finally sleeping well. Maybe not all the way through the night, but with just a single wakeup or two, you are finally getting some sleep yourself. And then it happens… sleep regression.

    Suddenly your precious one is up several times a night, demanding attention and requiring you to go through your old tricks (feedings, rocking, cuddling).

    Take these steps to get through this difficult time.

    1. Understand the cause

    Sleep regression can be caused by a number of things. He might be going through a growth spurt and especially hungry. He might be teething and in pain. He might be beginning to have vivid dreams that he doesn’t understand. Try to figure out why your child is waking up. The solution might be as simple as some baby Tylenol before bed or more solid foods.

    2. Let them cry a bit

    I’m an advocate of the cry-it-out approach (at least not the cry-all-night system), but a few tears are OK. You have to learn to read your child’s crying. There’s a difference between light moaning and full-on screaming.

    If your child wakes up at night, by all means go in and comfort him, but leave him in the crib. Be loving for a few minutes until he comes down and then let leave, even if he protests a bit. Wait 10 minutes. If he’s still crying, go in again and calm him down. Repeat until he falls asleep (which will be a lot sooner than you expect).

    3. Try co-sleeping

    Often children go through a sleep regression when their development reaches a new level, like they understand that mom and dad are still around somewhere, but they can’t see them. A simple solution might be to put your child in a place in your room where he can see mom and dad.

    NOTE: Bed-sharing is dangerous for children under one. Do not bring your little ones into your bed.

    4. Use some old methods

    White noise, rocking, cuddling, walking, feeding, swinging, patting… go to whatever used to work before. A sleep regression is usually temporary. In a week or two, things will settle back to normal as your child adjusts. In the meantime, don’t think you’ll introduce sleep associations again, just get everyone back to sleep.

    5. Accept that this will be tough

    There’s no sure-fire solution to this time period. It’s all about your child’s development; something you can’t rush. You will have better sleep again. Until then, double up on coffee in the morning and get to sleep earlier at night.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 7 Sleep Tips for Parents with Newborns

    Sleep Tips for Parents with NewbornsFor most people, getting a newborn to sleep isn’t that hard. Their bodies are exhausted from all growing that they’re usually inclined to fall asleep after each feeding. It’s not always that simple, though. Sometimes you have to work to get a newborn to sleep. You’ve met their needs (they’re clean, dry, and fed), so how does one convince an infant to sleep?

    1. Skin-to-skin – Sometimes babies are just lonely and want to feel that physical connection to mom and dad. Strip your baby to just the diaper and lay him or her against your bare chest.  Your baby will enjoy the warm sensation and eventually quiet down. Wrap yourself in a blanket or a shirt for skin-to-skin contact.

    2. Swaddling – Swaddling prevents the falling-like sensation of the startle reflex and takes your baby back to a comforting and secure place – the womb. Our Slumber Swaddle and Slumber Sleeper are designed to create a safe and comforting sleep environment.

    3. Fill that tummy – Just like you and I, babies love that full tummy feeling. It helps them fall asleep without a care in the world and prevents them from waking up a moment later. Even though their little stomachs need to be constantly replenished, a feeding just before sleep gives you both as much peace and quiet as possible. If you’re clever, it’s possible to feed a baby without waking them up (because the sucking motion is so instinctual).

    4. White noise – White noise is wonderfully simple. When your baby was in the womb, he or she heard noises from inside and outside mom all the time. Noise is comforting. You can pick up a fancy white noise machine if you like, but anything that makes constant noise will do: a fan, an air conditioner, a radio at low volume, etc.

    5. Bedtime routine – A bedtime routine won’t help you on day one, maybe even during the first month, but over time it will be enormously effective. It creates a predictable cue that sleep is coming. Eventually at the beginning of the routine, your baby will start to become drowsy. You can even perform bedtime routines before naps, but they’re usually shorter (for example, no bath).

    6. Diaper changes – You’ll find that a diaper change makes your baby more alert. They’re not in mom or dad’s arms, their body is exposed and their limbs are being manipulated. When your baby wakes up at night and inevitably needs a change, do it before the feeding so your baby can fall asleep with the bottle (and even through the burp).

    7. Stay in baby’s room – If there’s no comfortable place to sit in baby’s room, you might be tempted to let him or her fall asleep on your lap in the living room, or you might take a stroll around your house. It’s best to let baby fall asleep in their room so they become accustomed to it.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Why Self-Soothing is Important (and 5 Tips How)

    Self-Soothing is ImportantSelf-soothing is an important skill that all babies have to learn eventually. It’s how we all calm ourselves so we can fall back asleep. During the first few months of life, mom and/or dad do all of the soothing. They nurse, comfort, rock or sing to babies to get them to relax.

    But imagine you’re a baby. One minute you fall asleep in mom’s loving arms, the next you wake up alone in a crib. That can be scary! If baby wakes up where she went to sleep, she’ll be relaxed and inclined to fall back asleep.

    But you want your baby to learn to do it on their own at some point so you can actually get a full night’s sleep. They can self-soothe in a number of ways: thumb-sucking, reinserting a pacifier, rubbing a special blanket, or anything else they find calming.

    When do babies learn to self-soothe?

    When babies are born, they aren’t capable of regulating their emotions. They need parents to step in and comfort them when they become angry or scared or frustrated or tired. Some babies gain the ability to self-soothe around three months old. Most have it by six months. You want to start working at self-soothing by six months before any strong sleep associations have formed.

    Why should babies self-soothe?

    Simply, for better sleep! Babies who self-soothe sleep longer and with fewer interruptions. When they wake during non-feeding times, they can quickly fall asleep without waking up anyone else. Plus mom and dad get some sleep too!

    Self-soothing does NOT mean ignoring your baby or letting her cry until she falls asleep.

    How does one teach a baby to self-soothe?

    It’s pretty simple, but you have to stick with it. Once you commit to teaching self-soothing, stick with it unless you think your baby is too young to learn, then you should wait a few more weeks.

    1. Wean baby from the swaddle. They usually need their hands free to self-soothe. That’s why the Slumber Sleeper is perfect, because baby feels safe and secure, but her hands are free to get to her mouth.
    2. Create a strong, consistent sleep routine. There should be a strong signal that it’s sleep time (for night sleep and naps) and several steps that lead to sleep so baby understands the cues.
    3. Lay baby down drowsy, but awake. You want baby to fall asleep without mom or dad’s arms. It might take her a few more minutes to fall asleep, but that’s OK. The goal is to get baby to fall into sleep on her own.
    4. Don’t rush into baby’s room at the first cry. You want to get her a minute or two to self-soothe before you do it for her.
    5. Teach self-soothing before age one. Children who never learn to soothe until after one year old have trouble doing it until they are as old as four.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 5 Ways to Toddler Proof Your Home

    Toddler Proof Your HomeAn accident or injury can occur in any part of your home, and especially when there are small children present. Some safety hazards are obvious, such as a toy truck left lying at the top of the stairs, but others are not so easily identified. Toddler proofing your house is a necessity when they begin to walk around and explore their environments. Here are some house safety tips for parents of toddlers:

    1. Fall Hazards 

    Falls are one of the most common injuries that children can sustain, but when they become inquisitive toddlers, this percentage multiplies. Wall-mounted baby gates are one of the best ways to prevent your child from taking these tumbles. Installing them at the top and bottom of stairs is your best prevention method, while applying padded bumpers to hard and sharp furniture items will keep them safe during spills.

    2. Windows 

    Did you know that every year more than 4,000 kids end up in the emergency room after tumbling out of a window? It's crucial to install window guards or window stops on all upper-level windows to prevent your child from opening the window completely. Also, toddlers can be strangled by cords on blinds and shades, so place cribs and other furniture away from windows.

    3. Airborne Trouble 

    If your home was built a while back, there may be lead in the paint under the topcoats on your walls and windows, as well as in old floor varnish. When lead dust gets stirred up during a home renovation, or when paint starts to chip, the toxic particles put your child at risk. These particles can cause developmental and learning problems in children, so it's important to hire a contractor who's certified in safely removing leaded materials.

    4. Kitchen Safety

    The kitchen can be a very dangerous place for a young child. Between the sharp silverware, all the electrical appliances, and plenty of places to climb and reach to, you may have a lot of toddler proofing to do here. Make sure almost all breakable and sharp objects are well out of reach of you child, and that they can’t climb up anything in the kitchen.

    5. Silent Killers 

    Radon and carbon monoxide are two very dangerous home hazards that are virtually invisible. For radon, an inexpensive test kit that's available at home-improvement stores will be reliable to make sure your home is safe from this toxic chemical. Also, make sure you are regularly testing the carbon monoxide alarms in your house. There should be a detector in every bedroom.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 7 Tips to Maintain Healthy Sleep While on Vacation

    Maintain Healthy Sleep While on VacationIt’s vacation season, so many of you may be packing up for a week or two away from home. When you have little kids with you, it’s important to continue to make sure they get proper rest, especially when you’re away and everyone is excited. Here are some tips to help you be sure everyone gets their sleep on vacation.

    1. Your baby still needs naps

    Just because you’re out of the house doesn’t mean naps stop. You may have to make special arrangements so you can be a dark and quiet place during nap time, but that’s just how it goes. If you’re visiting attractions of theme parks, head back to the hotel for a bit.

    2. Bring the big stroller

    You might be tempted to use one of those tiny umbrella strollers when you’re out because they are so light, but these are poor places for your baby to sleep if he or she gets tired. Bring the big stroller so he/she can recline and get cover from the sun.

    3. Take turns nap-sitting

    It can be a drag to spend two or three (or four or five for infants) hours every day waiting for your child to take a nap. Take turns with your spouse so only one of you has to wait around at a time.

    4. Maintain your routine

    If 8 PM is bedtime, keep it that way. Your child is much more likely to get healthy sleep if the schedule stays the same. It might affect your vacation plans, but that’s life as a parent. Keep everything else the same: bottles, baths, pajamas, etc.

    5. Practice!

    If you’re using a travel bed or crib for your trip, have your baby sleep in it a few times before you leave home. This will make it familiar so there isn’t any anxiety in the hotel room.

    6. Bring a familiar lovey

    It’s healthy for your child (at a young age) to have a transitional object to help them self-soothe at night. Make sure you bring this along. If your child doesn’t have one, consider implementing one before you go away.

    7. No sleep training

    Being away from home is NOT the time to work on your sleep training program. Hopefully you know you’ll be traveling in advance so you don’t get interrupted by the trip. When you’re asking your baby to sleep in a new environment, help them soothe however you can and manage the sleep training when you get home.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Is My Baby Sleeping Too Much?

    Is My Baby Sleeping Too MuchSleep is a tough subject to relate to most parents. Children are all different. Some need more, some need less. Most of the time, parents are concerned that their children aren’t sleeping enough, but sometimes parents wonder if their child sleeps too much.

    Newborns sleep a LOT

    The first two to three months of your baby’s life is full of rapid growth, which is exhausting. They’ll spend most of their non-eating time asleep. If your baby seems perpetually lethargic during this period, everything is normal.

    Some parents have to gently wake their children with a breast or bottle every 2-3 hours during the first couple weeks to make sure they eat, but otherwise babies will wake up when they’re hungry. The best measure of development at this stage is if your child is wetting at least eight diapers a day. If your child is not producing enough wet or dirty diapers, speak with your doctor.

    What about after the newborn stage?

    Around three months, a good day of sleep is about 15 hours. If it’s a couple more than 15, that’s OK too. That typically breaks down to 11-12 at night and three or more hours during the day.

    Awake time is important too, however. Children need time to soak in their surroundings, interact with loved ones and explore their world. If your child is sleeping more than 18 hours in a day, there might be an underlying medical condition at play. Consult with your doctor.

    What about the toddler stage?

    As your baby gets older, his/her sleep needs will lessen and consolidate to a long afternoon nap. Instead of three one-hour naps, you’ll drop down to two, then one long one. So if your two year old falls asleep for three hours after lunch, nothing is actually wrong. It’s just his/her body becoming better at sleeping and managing to stay down.

    Mind your own instincts

    A parent’s instincts are the best tool to gauge something like this. Do you feel your child is missing out on learning because he/she is sleeping? Do they want to go back to sleep soon after waking? Do you feel like your child isn’t hitting milestones because he/she hasn’t had enough wake time to practice? (Keep in mind that every child is different; there’s no date a child should hold a spoon, sit up, walk, etc.)

    One other thing: be grateful if you have a baby that sleeps easily. Many parents envy you!

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 7 Natural Baby Foods Babies Love

    Natural Baby FoodsThe baby food market is known for buzzing about being organic promoting healthy growth. Regardless of the brand, here are culinary champions straight from nature that you can guarantee nutritional benefits from. Here are 7 of our favorites for baby’s diet.

    1. Squash

    Plain old squash straight from mother earth acts as an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It’s creamy consistency and natural sweet flavor makes it perfect for babies! Serving squash with garbanzo beans is one of our favorite combinations. You’ll find that you love squash too when you discover all the great dinner ideas!

    2. Yogurt

    This beloved classic snack is known to boost the immune system while aiding the brain and heart’s health. Yogurt is also an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium! There are ton of yogurts on the market, but they are not equal. When choosing a yogurt for baby, opt for plain organic choices with no sugars added. We find that yogurt works well with mandarins other fruits. There are countless ways to serve yogurt, so be creative!

    3. Avocados

    This rich source of “good” fat is similar to the composition of breast milk. Because avocados are an unsaturated fat, it is safe for baby and offers some benefits toward his development. You can mash avocados with other foods of your choice but we love the combination of avocados and apples spread on toast!

    4. Mandarin oranges

    Antioxidants and vitamin C contents are high in this delicious fruit. The size of mandarins makes them super easy for babies to eat in pieces as finger food. If you choose to buy canned mandarins, be sure to purchase brands that house the fruit in water rather than sugary syrup.

    5. Lentils

    This inexpensive legume is packed with more nutritional power than you could imagine. Lentils are an excellent source of protein, and are known to increase energy,  and encourage both heart health and digestive health.  Combined with veggies and your favorite assortment of seasonings, lentils make a great dinner for growing babies. We love lentils with a bit of oregano.

    6. Blueberries

    The flavonoids in the bluest of blueberries are excellent for your baby’s brain and eyes. Serving these mashed, warm or along with yogurt can make blueberries easy for baby to enjoy. The anthocyanins are even said to have benefits for the urinary tract as well.

    7. Spinach, Kale & Collard greens

    The high contents of iron and folate found in dark leafy greens are great for both you and babies for many reasons. Babies particularly benefit from the vision, iron and bone health advantages. Pureeing and steaming these greens make them perfect for baby consumption.

    Got any fun baby food recipes you’d like to share with us. Share your recipes on our Facebook page!

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 4 Things That Occur When Kids Don’t Get Enough Sleep

    When Kids Don’t Get Enough SleepGetting proper rest and recovery from sleep is important at any age, but even more so when kids are growing and developing. Sleep deprivation in kids can cause many detrimental consequences that will not only affect their day-to-day life, but also their future. Here are a few things that occur when kids don’t get enough sleep:

    1. Self-Regulation Issues

    A lack of sleep can cause a child to lose their ability to control themselves, which affects their emotions and moods. Studies have actually shown a link between short sleep duration, late bedtimes, and poor overall sleep quality with aggression, impulsivity, and being short-tempered. Also, kids who aren’t getting the amount of sleep they need can also show symptoms similar to children with ADHD; these symptoms include inability to sit still, stay on task, and focus.

    2. Lack of Growth/Development 

    When a child doesn’t get the necessary amount of sleep their body needs, it could negatively affect their growth and development. Getting enough sleep guarantees that our bodies are producing the right amount of hormones and chemicals at the right times to keep growing. Also, being well-rested allows a child the ability to pay attention, acquire and comprehend new information, and think critically. Without these abilities, kids won’t have access to the mental faculties they need to learn the basic skills they need.

    3. Health Problems 

    If your child fails to get the proper amount of sleep, their immune system and white blood cell production can suffer. When the immune system isn’t running at its optimal efficiency, children are much more susceptible to getting sick. Another health issue that can come from sleep deprivation occurs mentally. Research has shown a link between persistent sleep difficulties in childhood and mental health problems like depression, anxiety disorders, and alcohol abuse later in life. If all of these health problems can be avoided with some extra sleep, this is an important aspect to keep in mind with your children.

    4. Memory Loss

    It may be subtle, but when a child lacks the proper amount of sleep they need, their ability to retain information and memories can suffer. You probably know that on the days when you are most tired, you're forgetful and unfocused, but sleep deprivation can lead to permanent cognitive issues. The less we sleep, the less we benefit from the memory-storing properties of sleep. Additionally, a lack of sleep can cause "brain deterioration," according to a 2013 study, which may at least in part explain memory loss in seniors.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 11 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Child’s Pediatrician

    Choosing Your Child’s PediatricianChoosing a pediatrician for your new baby is an intensely personal decision. You want to find the right doctor that you can stick with through the years so your child becomes comfortable. Here are some things you ought to consider as you make your decision.

    1. Is the doctor accredited? This is usually a simple check that’s worth 10 seconds of your time. Is the doctor licensed? Where did he go to school?

    2. What are his office hours? Obviously you need someone who holds office hours that work for your schedule. If you work 9-6 and your so does your doctor, you’ll constantly be rescheduling your life to make an appointment.

    3. What is the staff’s demeanor? Your child will be interacting with the doctor and his staff (administrators and nurses). You want these people to be calm and kind to alleviate fear.

    4. Can you make phone calls? Are they returned timely? Oddly, some offices don’t take phone calls. They force you to make an appointment. But you’ll want the flexibility to be able to ask the doctor or a nurse a quick question.

    5. Does your doctor have any hospital appointments? If your child is hospitalized, will your doctor play a role in the care or will you have to find a new doctor with hospital access?

    6. What are the other physicians like? Many doctors practice in a group. If you need care on your doctor’s day off, you’ll end up with another doctor, so make sure they are acceptable substitutes.

    7. Does the doctor coordinate specialists? If your child develops a complex illness, will your doctor work with the other specialists or push you onto a different pediatrician to handle the load?

    8. Does the doctor speak in plain English? You want a doctor who will skip the medical jargon and tell you straight what’s going on with your child. Does he throw big terms at you (that you can’t possibly know) or speak plainly?

    9. Does the doctor care? Or is he just trying to cram as many patients (and billings) into the same day as possible?

    10. What are the doctor’s values? Some people have some specific requirements in a doctor for spiritual/personal/religious reasons. Your doctor doesn’t have to agree with those requirements, but be willing to provide care that fits in line with them.

    11. What is his reputation? To answer this question, you’ll have to ask around. Ask people you know what they have heard about the practice. Get some testimonials from current or previous patients about their experiences.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Looking Forward by Looking Back: Baby Products That Change the Way We Live

    Baby Products That Change the Way We LiveFlashback to 1989…

    The only moms who were “wearing” their children were the hippies. They were criticized for being too attached to their kids. These moms were also big into breastfeeding, which (at the time) was considered offensive and inefficient.

    Some realized how better it was to keep their children close to their bodies, but these women didn’t have many options. Most baby carrying devices were a wrap of some sort, a long swatch of fabric that wasn’t easy to use.

    Although wearing your baby was a new concept in the US, people had been doing it in Europe since the 70s, starting in Sweden. Medical experts concluded that eye contact and physical closeness between parent and child was important for healthy bonding.

    Björn Jakobson was inspired by this research and developed a product that could facilitate closeness and the bond between parents and their newborn babies. BabyBjörn launched its first baby carrier, "Hjärtenära" (close to heart), in 1973.

    It took over thirty years for the concept of wearing your baby to be accepted in the United States. It just wasn’t fashionable until a black and white advertisement in Harper’s Bazaar featured a svelte new mom model showing off her Bijorn carrier.

    The sleep sack, a hybrid blanket and sleeper was also popular in Sweden a long time ago, but only gained ground in the States during the 90s. The sack provides warmth and comfort to baby without the looseness of a traditional blanket, which helps prevent SIDS.

    Flash-forward to 2015…

    Wearing your child isn’t just a popular trend. It’s recommended by doctors, nurses, midwives, and parenting experts. Attachment parenting (and breastfeeding) continues to grow and develop. Children are thriving.

    Presently in the United States, there are more than 20 companies producing carious designs of baby carriers and wraps so parents can maintain a better bond with their children. These devices not only soothe baby so he/she can grow without stress, but they are fantastically convenient.

    We have established a new paradigm in how to best care for children; one that includes the importance of emotional well-being and growth.

    At Swanling Innovations, we’re trying to base our work on the same concept; the principals of bonding and giving children a sense of security. Through safe, secure sleep, children grow up feeling loved, comforted, and without stress.

    Our sleep aide, the Slumber Sleeper, is a modern sleep solution for infants and children. It’s an integration of traditional European concepts (that have been working for centuries) that we’re trying to bring to American life.

    We hope to revolutionize how children self-soothe, giving them and parents the rest they deserve.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 7 Reasons to be an Attachment Parent

    Reasons to be an Attachment ParentBelieve it or not, you are probably an attachment parent already.

    Attachment parenting is a parenting style where mom and dad create a close bond with their baby. It’s not a new phenomenon (actually it’s very old), but there are some other parenting styles that people adopt.

    1. Attachment parenting gets a bad rap

    For some reason, attachment parenting has been sensationalized in the media as the hippy mom who lets her children do whatever they want, breastfeeds until age five, and showers as a group. That isn’t attachment parenting.

    2. Attachment parented children have a place of safety

    By building a comforting relationship with your child, he is more likely to be adventurous and try new things. You aren’t creating a dependency, you are giving your child a sphere of safety they can return to after their new experiences. When they know there is somewhere safe to return to, they will become more outgoing.

    3. Attachment parented babies feel less anxiety

    Long-term exposure to anxiety can have an impact on a person’s psychology. That’s why it’s important to meet your baby’s needs as quickly as possible so they don’t spend too much time in that anxious state. When babies are kept close and monitored by their parents, their needs are met quickly and they spend more time in quiet contentment.

    4. Attachment parenting fosters learning

    Infancy is the most crucial learning period of your baby’s life. Experts believe that since attachment parented infants feel safe, less stressed, and secure, they are in a more optimal position to learn.

    5. Attachment parented children learn how to build relationships

    Children who were raised in an attachment parenting environment tend be more popular in school and have more friends. When a person learns how to form a close relationship with someone at a very young age, they carry that sophistication with them through their life.

    6. Attachment parented children have better relationships with their parents later in life

    We all understand that our job is to make productive, healthy people, but we all wants to be friends with our kids as well. When parents and children form close bonds in early in life, those bonds remain forever. Once the child-rearing years are behind you, a valuable friendship remains.

    7. Attachment parenting calls for positive discipline

    Positive discipline is far more effective than negative. Positive discipline encourages children to repeat behaviors (like good manners, sharing, etc.), whereas negative discipline only teaches kids to avoid the punishment. The attachment parent can discipline positively for best results.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 6 Tips to Encourage Independent Play in Babies

    Encourage Independent Play in BabiesAs much as we love our kids, at some point we have to put them down just so we can get some things done. It’s also good for their health and development if they spend some time occupying themselves. After all, you can’t be by their side their entire life. If you think your baby is ready to starting playing independently, here are some tips.

    1. Meet all baby’s needs first. It’s tough to expect a baby to try something new if something is bothering him. Before asking he play by himself, make sure he’s not hungry, thirty, wet or tried. He should be just coming off a nap so his mind is fresh.

    2. Change environments. Your baby can’t complain to be bored like a toddler, but if he’s staring at toys or his play mat uninterested, try switching rooms. If you give him something new to do, he’ll likely start playing again.

    3. Provide open-ended toys. Some toys (like game sets) have very specific ways of playing with them and you can’t really deviate. But toys like blocks, play houses, dress up clothes and art supplies offer endless possibilities and your baby won’t become bored so quickly.

    4. Make sure you are providing attention. You’ll find it hard to get your baby to play independently if he is starved for attention. Make sure you are giving undivided attention several times a day so he always feels it’s available from you.

    5. Stop by often. When your baby is playing independently, stop by every few minutes to jump in on the action. Do this especially when he begins to seem unsettled. Each time you step away, stay away a few minutes longer. This will teach him that solo play time is safe and mom/dad is always near.

    6. Give a quick how-to. Your baby might not be aware that he can play with toys by himself if you’ve always done it with him. Show him how to bang his piano or bounce a ball. This will encourage him to try.

    7. Make toys easily available. We love a tidy, organized home, but it doesn’t do your kids any good if they can’t access their toys. Keep them low and in containers kids can access whenever they want. Will this mean you’ll have rooms strewn with toys? Yes, probably, but it’s good for their development.

    8. Encourage their favorites. If your child shows an interest in a particular toy or topic (like birds or outer space), make sure there are plenty of play options that relate. Your child is likely to play by himself if he’s really interested.

    luxe floor pillowGuest Blog by Cindy Perry, Inventor of the pello, Luxe Floor Pillows

    Cindy, a Texas girl, put herself through college working at a children’s library and sewing at night. When she met her husband and had her two boys, she decided to stay home to care for them while designing window treatments and bedding.

    When Cindy’s first son was learning to sit up, he would always fall through the pillows she set around him, hit his head, and cry. Besides, setting her child down on the hardwood floors on just a blanket always seemed so cold. Using her years of sewing and design skills, Cindy took inspiration from a woman in her breastfeeding class and got to work. With some scrap fabric and a few tweaks, pello was born! pello is a luxefloor pillow that helps children feel safe, warm and protected.

    For more information, visit mypello.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 6 Tips for Dealing with Temper Tantrums

    Dealing with Temper TantrumsWe’ve all seen them: the kid having a meltdown on the grocery store floor, rolling around and screaming. When it’s not our kid, we can look away and pretend it’s not happening. But what happens when that is our child? Use these tips to help beat tantrums.

    1. Understand the Nature of the Beast

    Your child is not the first or the last to throw a temper tantrum. In fact, these childish antics are to be especially expected between ages 1-3. There are countless triggers. Sometimes toddlers lash out in frustration simply because they can’t tell you what it is they want.

    Instead of losing your cool, understand that your child has clocked out mentally and they are completely beside themselves. Scientifically speaking, your toddler has allowed his emotions to supersede the frontal cortex of the brain. You know… the part that makes decisions and puts forth our better judgment. There is very little you can do change the toddler’s mental state in this moment, so spare yourself the pity party. You are still as great a parent as the next person.

    2. Give Them Choices

    The word “no” can trigger rage in a passionate toddler seeking his independence. Instead of barking commands, try to give your child a choice in what happens next. For example, if your goal is to get your little one to bed, give them specific choices like “Do you want to wear your red pajamas or your blue pajamas?” By prompting a toddler to focus on making a decision you are giving them control of their own lives while passively encouraging them to do what it is you need them to do.

    3. Hug it Out

    Human touch is powerful. Going in for a hug may not be what you want to do when your little one is having a meltdown, but sometimes a strong hug is all your toddler needs. We all want to feel safe and understood even when we’re freaking out. When you’re hugging your irate toddler, let your toddler vent.

    4. Ignore the Mayhem

    “Ignore” may seem like a harsh word, but the fundamental benefit is nipping a bad habit in the bud. Getting angry along with your toddler usually escalates the tantrum. Instead try to say things like “Mommy is going to leave you alone until you calm down,” or “Let me know when you’re ready to talk.” Giving too much attention to temper tantrums simply enables the behavior to continue. When you give these meltdowns no play, you show your toddler that their unruly behavior is not an effective way to communicate a message.

    5. Laugh if Off

    It’s natural to feel embarrassed when your child is having a public tantrum. The silent judgment you feel from the stares of strangers doesn’t help. Instead of bowing your head in shame, try to have a sense of humor about it by sharing a laugh with innocent bystanders. They are more than likely to smile back at you and be sympathetic.

    6. Flee the Scene! 

    In the event that your child’s tantrum has sent them into absolute menace-to-society mode, take ‘em outside. Sometimes children are not comfortable with their environment or perhaps need a second to collect themselves. Now’s the perfect time to give your toddler a hug, a pep-talk and the air they need to get back down to planet earth.

    luxe floor pillowGuest Blog by Cindy Perry, Inventor of the pello, Luxe Floor Pillows

    Cindy, a Texas girl, put herself through college working at a children’s library and sewing at night. When she met her husband and had her two boys, she decided to stay home to care for them while designing window treatments and bedding.

    When Cindy’s first son was learning to sit up, he would always fall through the pillows she set around him, hit his head, and cry. Besides, setting her child down on the hardwood floors on just a blanket always seemed so cold. Using her years of sewing and design skills, Cindy took inspiration from a woman in her breastfeeding class and got to work. With some scrap fabric and a few tweaks, pello was born! pello is a luxefloor pillow that helps children feel safe, warm and protected.

    For more information, visit mypello.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 5 Tips for Starting to Potty Train

    Tips for Starting to Potty TrainPotty training is never easy for parents or children. Some kids even become afraid of using the potty and outright refuse to use it. However, it’s an inevitable part of growing up, so every parent needs some tips to get started when the time comes. Here are some steps to try.

    The Introduction

    Slowly introducing the potty to your child’s life is a great first step on the road to potty training. A subtle introduction is helpful at first, especially if you have a feeling that your child may have fears of the toilet. Try reading children’s books on the subject, or including your child in the process of choosing a starter potty to begin the process.

    Equipment

    Choosing the perfect potty for your child is another initial step to begin potty training. Whether you end up buying a full potty that sits on the floor, or a potty seat that goes on top of a toilet, make sure to involve your child in the process. Let them decide which they would feel more comfortable using. Also, if you choose the potty seat, make sure to provide them with a step stool so they have a place to rest their feet for more comfort.

    Encouragement

    Encouraging your child along the way is necessary during the potty training process. Offer plenty of praise when they do something right, and be understanding if a mistake is made. Try to make them feel better about the process by offering a story of your own (whether you remember or not), describing the troubles you had as a child.

    Signs of Interest

    Since you certainly don’t want to rush your child into doing something they’re nervous or fearful of, you should wait to see some signs of interest in the potty. Signs of readiness to start learning include: general interest in how the potty works, uncomfortable in dirty diapers, talks about or brings up the potty, has begun dressing himself, and/or has some regularity to their bathroom schedule.

    Make it a Habit

    Ritualizing the process of using a potty is important to getting your child into a good habit. You can try having your child sit on the potty every couple hours or so, at specific times of the day. Make time for this habit of sitting on the potty, and try to make it fun for him/her by reading a book or playing a game!

    eco-friendly and non-toxic baby bottlesGuest Blog by Christine Barlow, Inventor of 5 Phases Eco-Friendly Baby Bottle System

    Mom Christine Barlow is the inventor of 5 Phases eco-friendly and non-toxic baby bottles, the safest and healthiest way to bottle feed your baby. Her inspiration in creating an alternative to traditional feeding bottles came after the birth of her 1lb 7oz micro-preemie baby. Having a compromised child, she became aware how environmental factors were affecting our children. With all the concerns of plastics and infants being the most vulnerable, she felt there was a need for more options for parents who wanted to use glass. She knew she had to act – and the 5 Phases Hybrid Glass Baby Bottles were born.

    5 Phases is dedicated to helping families achieve a healthier and organic lifestyle. Starting with baby, they develop products keeping both the environment and health of your family in mind. And when it comes to your baby nothing else will do – Christine knows, she’s a mom too!

    For more information on 5 Phases, visit www.5phases.com!

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • What is Hip Dysplasia?

    What is Hip Dysplasia

    When babies are born, it takes some time for their joints to stretch out naturally. Surely you’ve seen your little ones with their knees, ankles, hips, elbows, wrists and even fingers bent at all times. Over time, the joints stretch out and your baby gains full, natural control.

    The hip joint is a ball and socket. Since babies are naturally flexible (on account of life in the womb), it’s possible for the ball to be loose in the socket. If the hips are forced into a stretched-out position too long, the ball can wear down the soft cartilage edges of the socket. This is called hip dysplasia. It can range from very mild (having loose ligaments) to severe (where the ball pops out of the socket, called a dislocation). Even in the mildest form, hip dysplasia can lead to various problems later in life.

    When is the risk for hip dysplasia greatest?

    The risk is greatest during the first few months of life. By the sixth month, babies have doubled in size and the hips are far more developed. The ligaments are stronger and the ball is less likely to press against the edges of the socket.

    Is hip dysplasia serious?

    Even though hip dysplasia doesn’t cause babies any pain, it’s a serious condition. It can lead to osteoarthritis and eventually a hip replacement later in life. It’s the most common hip developmental deformity in children. 1-2 of every 1000 babies experiences it.

    What causes hip dysplasia?

    The exact causes of hip dysplasia aren’t known. It’s widely believed to be a developmental problem because of the time period it emerges, but there’s also something of a genetic component. Children are 30 times more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia when there is a family history of it.

    What can parents do to prevent hip dysplasia?

    For many babies, there’s nothing parents can do to prevent it. Some cases are present at birth. The problem can be made worse, however, from improper swaddling and baby wearing and car seats.

    Proper baby wearing puts the child’s hips in a V-shape with their knees higher than their bottom. This position supports the hips and keeps the ball tight in the socket. The legs should not be hanging straight down. Here’s a picture from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute that illustrates how baby should be carried.

    Swaddling correctly must be emphasized. In the past, some people would advise swaddling a baby tightly all over, but this is a mistake. When you swaddle a baby, it’s important to leave room around the hips and legs so baby can pull his knees up and move his lower body around.

    Further, make sure that you use a swaddle that is recognized as being “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.  Both the Swanling Slumber Sleeper and Slumber Swaddle are recognized products by the IHDI because they do not put any strain on baby’s hips, all while promoting the feelings of comfort, safety and security.

    Car seats aren’t usually much of a concern, but some older models can press a child’s legs together. Make sure they have plenty of room to separate their legs and pull up their knees if they prefer.

    What are some signs to look out for?

    • An asymmetrical buttock crease
    • A click or pop when baby moves his hips
    • Limited range of motion (baby can’t fully spread his legs at diaper time)
    • Pain (this is only a symptom during young adulthood or adolescence)

    An exaggerated walking limp or step length discrepancy (also kn

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • The Startle Reflex and Your Baby

    The Startle Reflex and Your BabyHave you ever set your little one down to sleep only to watch her suddenly throw her hands out as if in fright? You might be concerned that you’ve done something wrong or maybe that there’s an underlying medical condition at play, but there’s nothing to worry about. This is called the Moro reflex, or more simply, the startle reflex.

    Babies are born with an array of interesting reflexes that we eventually outgrow, each designed to play a role in our survival. Human babies require more care and for a longer period of time than babies of any other species, so we have evolved with a few tricks to keep us safe.

    When exposed to a loud noise or a sudden movement, the Moro reflex can cause your baby to flail. The general belief is that back when humans were more ape, the reflex helped babies latch on to mom’s body if they fell. Nearly all babies experience this reflex, but it only lasts for four or five months after birth.

    If this reflex happens during sleep, the baby may wake up. It causes sleepless babies and frustrated parents all over the world. There’s nothing we can do to prevent the reflex from occurring, but there are a few things we can do to lessen its affect and help our babies sleep.

    1. When you lay your baby down in the crib or bassinet, try and make the delivery as gradual as possible by continuing that touch connection for a short period of time so that she feels as sense of you even after she is on her own and does not feel like she is falling.
    2. Try and make sure the room she sleeps in is not only dark, but is free from sudden sounds. Using white noise that is consistent and loud enough goes a long way to filter out noise changes in the home that may startle her.
    3. Make sure you have established a good nap and bedtime routine so that baby knows what to expect and feels secure with that consistency.
    4. And the most important thing you can do to help your child with the Moro reflex is to swaddle your baby snugly (but not too tight) so she always feel comforted and secure. When she startles, she’ll immediately feel her edges and calm right back down.

    The Slumber Sleep System is an effective tool for helping parents get around this reflex. By starting with the Slumber Swaddle baby will get the closeness they need to fall back to sleep immediately and then by continuing with the Slumber Sleeper after about 3-5 months of age you will help your baby continue to get that sense of closeness and bonding just like a swaddle as baby can always feel her edges. This reminds her of the time she spent in the womb, triggering feels of security and safety. It helps children fall back asleep faster without the need to summon mom or dad.

    Here’s a quote we received from Katie who found the Slumber Sleeper effective to soothing her son’s aggressive Moro reflex.

    “My 15 week old son had exaggerated Moro or startle reflux to the point where I first thought he was having seizures as he was waking excessively and the episodes were quite unsettling. My pediatrician recommended the Slumber Sleeper with the swaddle attachment and the very first time I put him in the sleeper it worked like magic! I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I was as although my pediatrician said he would outgrow the reflux soon, the episodes were quite alarming. The Slumber Sleeper just settled him so nicely- not only did he not wake as often in the night but he began to sleep for longer stretches of time.” 

    - Katie D., mother to Dylan

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Easiest Baby Foods to Make Yourself

    Easiest Baby Foods to Make YourselfIf you have the time and energy to make your own baby food at home, this could be a lot more beneficial for your child. Not only will this allow you the flexibility to choose any type of food that you’d like to feed the little one, but you can also trust the source and production of the food. Also, be sure to grab the organic fruits and vegetables to make these baby entrées as healthy as possible. Here are the best baby foods to make at home:

    Pureed Carrots

    Puree some fresh carrots to make a healthy treat for your baby. Carrots have been shown to improve vision, promote healthier skin, help prevent infection, and can aid in preventing a bunch of other nasty diseases.

    Mashed Avocado

    Avocado isn’t called a super food without reason! Mash up some avocado for your child to obtain a ton of potassium, vitamins and fiber, in addition to various heart-healthy benefits.

    Pureed Sweet Potato

    Sweet potatoes are not only a delicious snack for baby, but they’re also loaded with great vitamins and minerals! Some of these include vitamins B6, C and D, iron, magnesium and potassium!

    Butternut Squash

    Puree Butternut squash is one of the most common varieties of winter squash and is chock full of vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Due to its tough exterior, you can store this squash for a long time before choosing to make some food for your baby. Mashed

    Bananas

    Bananas are great for homemade baby food because they’re so easy to mash and they’re also very healthy. Bananas are known for the amount of potassium they contain, but they are also loaded with many other vitamins and minerals.

    Pureed Peas

    Peas don’t only make for a colorful puree, but they’re also great for your baby. They provide immune system strength, many antioxidants, and blood sugar regulation effects.

    Apple Puree

    Apples are always a favorite of young children because of their sweet taste. In addition to this, they contain a lot of vitamins and fiber, can decrease the risk of diabetes, and have actually been shown to curb many different types of cancer!

    Pear Puree

    Pears, just like apples, not only taste great, but provide some great benefits as well. Pears deliver fiber, vitamins B2, C and E, and potassium. Pears also contain a fair amount of pectin, which is a water-soluble fiber.

    booger removal toolGuest Blog by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear

    Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.

    Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.

    For more information, please visit myoogie.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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