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BreathableBaby Mesh Crib Liners: For Baby’s Safety AND Comfort

For more than ten years, parenting experts, child product safety organizations, and new parents have been talking about the potential safety hazards of using traditional crib bumpers inside infants’ cribs despite the benefits of preventing head, arm and leg injuries.

We are Dale and Susan Waters, married entrepreneurs from Minnesota who turned fear for our baby’s safety inside her crib into a mission to create something that would not only help protect babies but also provide peace of mind for parents. We invented the Breathable Mesh Crib Liner; a product designed to reduce the risks of suffocation caused by traditional bumpers, while protecting a baby’s limbs from becoming entrapped in the crib slats.

BreathableBaby is Born

12 years ago, we woke to the sound of our 3-month-old daughter screaming in agony from her crib. Our daughter, Sierra had gotten her legs twisted and wedged between the slats of her crib. Her face was pinned against the mattress.

There were many sleepless nights for us and our daughter – no matter what we tried she kept getting her little arms and legs caught between the crib slats. In addition to the obvious pain of being stuck, we feared she would break an arm or leg, or develop neuropathy. But we refused to use a soft, pillowy crib bumper for fear of suffocation.

Research shows that a baby can snuggle up right against their crib bumper. If the baby’s nose and mouth are too close to the bumper, it can potentially cause dangerous re-breathing of carbon dioxide or suffocation. A baby can also get wedged between crib slats and the mattress, unable to escape and possibly suffocate. Because the safety and potential dangers of crib bumpers has been in the news recently, many parents are unsure about how to keep their babies comfortable and safe.

As parents, we were frustrated and upset to learn there was no practical solution available in the marketplace. As designers and entrepreneurs we decided we had to do something about it and devoted ourselves to developing a safer, “breathable” solution – preferably one that was affordable and easy to use. So, we took a break from the media, marketing and music company we owned, and focused on creating a safer solution for babies.

We researched and sourced fabrics, designed and engineered prototypes, held focus groups with mothers and sought extensive third party safety evaluations by a world-leader in safety consultation before finally introducing a safer, smarter mesh crib bumper to the market three years later in 2002.

What makes BreathableBaby mesh crib liners so much safer is our Air Channel Technology™ (A.C.T.) designed to prevent suffocation. A.C.T. maintains air access should a baby’s mouth and nose press up against the fabric. When the BreathableBaby fabric is compressed it is virtually impossible to form an airtight seal.

Since its launch, we’re proud to say that the BreathableBaby™ brand has forged a new category in “breathable” bedding, and is embraced by parents worldwide. Our products have won numerous awards including The Child Safety House Calls Award of Excellence, and National Parenting Center Seal of Approval for innovation, functionality, design and contribution to creating a safer, healthier crib environment.

It’s imperative that parents are aware of the potential dangers that may be part of a baby’s sleep environment. New information is available all the time, so we urge all expectant parents – first time or otherwise – to seek relevant news, alerts, studies and guidelines from news and safety organizations such as the ones listed in our Healthful Hints below.

Wishing you and your little one sweet dreams.

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

Six Steps to a Safe Sleep Environment For Your Baby

  1. Crib Mattress Should be Firm. A soft mattress may increase suffocation risks. Select a firm mattress that fits the crib tightly and a fitted sheet. You should have a fitted not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib side. Before purchasing a crib, visit www.cpsc.gov to make sure the crib you selected has not been recalled.
  2. No Blankets for Baby. Do not place anything in baby’s crib that could be a suffocation hazard, including blankets. If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm, a better solution is an infant sleeper or wearable blanket that zips around your baby and can’t ride up over her face.
  3. Breathable Mesh Crib Liners. Crib bumpers that are plush, pillowy, and made of non-breathable fabric can increase the risk of suffocation. A safer crib option is one that is mesh or breathable and allows for air flow – even when pressed against a baby’s mouth.
  4. De-Clutter the Crib. For most parents, all those cute stuffed animals and soft blankets might seem a natural fit for the crib, but unfortunately they all pose suffocation risks. Toys and stuffed animals are best saved for interactive play time.
  5. A bottle. Parents of older infants who have started holding their own bottles may be tempted to slip a bottle into the crib in case their baby wakes at night. But even a bottle can pose a suffocation risk. Plus, babies who fall asleep with a bottle in their mouths are prone to tooth decay from the milk sugars that sit on their teeth all night.
  6. Pacifiers. Some studies have shown that giving your baby a clean, dry pacifier reduces SIDS rates.

Resources For More Information On Safe Sleep and Crib Safety

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Editor’s Note: So often with health and safety issues we have to make trade-offs between one risk and another: take a medicine to address a disease, but deal with the side-effects; exercise for health benefits but risk injuries. In the case of babies and cribs, parents have long had to make a trade-off between keeping babies safe from suffocation due to crib bumpers and protecting them from entanglement and injury in the crib slats. BreathableBaby mesh crib liners help parents address both these issues with peace of mind. We first ran this BreathableBaby post in 2011 and the company has continued to thrive, with additional products and awards to their credit.

Caring for Baby Teeth Means Healthier “Grown-Up” Teeth

Baby teeth are referred to as many things such as; deciduous, milk teeth, temporary or primary teeth. These teeth are the first set of teeth that a child develops. They develop in the womb and become noticeable in the mouth during the infant years. Permanent teeth are those which replace the baby teeth when they fall out.

healthy baby teethDeciduous dentition consists of central incisors, lateral incisors, canines, first and secondary molars. The lower, two front teeth are the first teeth to go, followed by the upper two front teeth, moving on to the teeth on either side of the front teeth. The primary teeth may continue to fall out until the age of 12-13. The ages are general guide lines. Different children, even in the same families, vary in age ranges

Many times we are asked how to tell the difference between a baby tooth and an adult tooth. Primary teeth start to exfoliate between the ages of 4-6 years. Primary teeth tend to be whiter and smaller then the permanent teeth. The permanent teeth are 1.5 times the size of the baby teeth.

Care of baby teeth is just as significant as caring for permanent teeth. While the truth of the matter is that baby teeth only spend a short period of time in a child’s mouth, they play a fundamental role for the permanent teeth that come later:

  • They not only save space for their permanent tooth replacement but they also give the face a normal look.
  • They assist in clear pronunciation of words, help manage good nutrition for the body and help protect the permanent teeth.
  • When a primary tooth is decaying or infected, it can also damage the permanent teeth underneath the gum line.

Care for baby teeth starts before they breakthrough the gums. Start getting in the habit of wiping your baby’s guns with a soft, wet washcloth or gauze during bath time. Toothpaste is not necessary at this stage. You can wrap the cloth around your finger and gently wipe over the gums. This also helps your baby get used to having his or her teeth cleaned as part of their regular routine.

After your child’s teeth start to show around 6 months of age or so, purchase a baby toothbrush with small bristles. Don’t get worried if your child hasn’t cut any teeth by the end of their first year, for some kids this doesn’t happen until 18 months of age. If you are cleaning your baby’s teeth regularly at this stage, toothpaste is still not necessary just yet. Brush gently on both sides of the teeth twice a day. You can brush your baby’s tongue gently to remove bacteria.

It’s always important to replace any toothbrush when it looks worn or the bristles start to spread out. Remember to start forming good brushing habits with your kids at a young age. Call your dentist with questions or concerns you may have with your child’s teeth. There is never a silly question for your dentist; we understand the importance of your child’s health.

Top 10 Things A New Mother Must Know

Here are the top things every new mother should know:

  1. Don’t let the baby eat dirt
    (If the baby poops green…don’t worry)
  2. Don’t let the baby eat grass
  3. If the baby screams when you take away the bottle, chances are you didn’t put enough rum in it
  4. Should a rash develop, have yourself checked out immediately
  5. Mother in laws who think you are incompetent give helpful10 things a new mother should know advice can become clumsy around this oughta take care of the old bat accidental kitchen spills
  6. Teething is normal. Stay away from baby if urge continues
  7. Don’t try to pawn the gas smell on the baby. We all know it was you
  8. Mothers and fathers do things differently and that’s o.k. The baby will grow up to know the truth love you both and realize that you are always there for them I do way more
  9. Sucking snot out of baby’s noise is to be expected. Using a straw is not.
  10. If screaming and crying persist, go into another room or you will wake the baby

Do You Know What Vitamins & Supplements Your Little One Needs?

The average healthy American child probably does not need much of anything to supplement their diet and the emphasis should be placed on offering a healthy diet in moderation of all portions of that diet to include fats and carbohydrates (sugar). Most regular vitamins we all hear about are needed in very small doses that are easily supplied by a varied North American diet. Having said that, there are certain groups of children who definitely need supplementation; to mention just a few, certain chronically ill children, certain children from third world countries suffering from starvation or emotional deprivation, or severely abused children in this country who have been subjected to the worst possible environmental deprivations.

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for other special groups:

  1. Since another recommendation is to limit sun exposure in children in order to prevent later skin cancers, and this restriction can lower amount of vitamin D normally produced in sunlight, and therefore, a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D is recommended based on sun exposure (or lack thereof). For exclusively breast fed babies, 400 IU of vitamin D daily is recommended early after delivery. For those babies drinking 32 ounces of formula a day no vitamin D supplement is recommended since all American formulas have the correct supplement of this vitamin. Whole milk also has correct vitamin D supplement but whole milk not recommended for children over 12 months of age. Check with your baby’s Doctor about the need for this vitamin. Similar recommendations are made for calcium and phosphorus intake.
  2. Babies who are full term and have no problems have probably received enough iron from their mothers during the last month of pregnancy to last the first 3- 4 months so an exclusively breastfed baby should begin Iron supplementation beginning at age four. Iron in breast milk is only partially absorbed. Preterm and developmentally disabled children are also at higher risk for Iron deficiency while formula fed infants will receive the proper amount of iron as long as they continue formula. Fortunately, it is common place for Pediatricians to check a blood count as an indication of iron status at age 9- 10 months and again at around 15 months and if anemia is found iron can be added to the diet. The bottom line again is to check with your Doctor for the need and amount of iron needed for your infant and child.
  3. Large amounts of certain vitamins such as A, C, D and K has never been shown to provide any beneficial effects in normal healthy North American children and can be toxic– this is not a case of “if a little is good a lot is better”- often times this is not the best policy for anything.
  4. As far as other vitamins (such as A & B) are concerned, I stick with my original paragraph that most healthy children eating a fairly well rounded diet over all, (not day to day) does not need any extra vitamin supplement at.

Homeopathic supplements for children are very popular now but there are no adequate recommendations for amount used and frequency for children and therefore should be used with caution; further knowledge and research is needed.

Other complementary medical treatments have no definite guidelines for use in children, but certain children may benefit from their use.

Always involve your child’s Doctor when considering going beyond the established guidelines in your children.

Urinary Tract Infections in Children – Part II: Analyze & Treat

In my last post (Urinary Tract Infections in Children – Part I) I discussed the importance of urinary tract infections, how they might present in children of various ages, and testing to verify the presence of these infections. This post will pick up with further diagnostic measures and treatment.

UTI's can be difficult to diagnose with babiesOnce an appropriate sample of urine is obtained, it will then be analyzed in two different ways. A chemical analysis and microscopic exam is done to see whether those elements that might suggest urinary tract infection are present; white cells, protein, blood, etc. The second thing that is done with the urine is to take a culture specimen of the urine and attempt to grow bacteria out of it. This is the true litmus test for urinary infections, as chemical analysis might suggest infection but if there is no bacteria in the urine no true infection is present. The culture can take up to 3 days for a result and therefore in a child who has typical symptoms, the use of an antibiotic may be decided temporarily on the urinalysis alone until the results of the culture are available. A simple bladder infection, which is much more common than a kidney infection can be easily treated with a short course of antibiotics, during which time the symptoms usually resolve completely. Kidney infections, if severe, may take a lot longer and may require intravenous antibiotics.

If a child gets a significant number of infections over a relatively short period of time, or an individual infection appears to be very severe, or a significant infection occurs in an infant or very young child, then it is necessary to explore the problem much deeper in terms of further testing the child. This can be done in one or more ways to be determined by your doctor and the radiology department;

One method is a simple non invasive sonogram wherein a sound waves “picture” is taken of the entire urinary tract. Another method is called a VCUG, voiding cysto-urethrogram in which a small catheter is placed into the bladder through the urethra (the exit from the bladder to the outside), a small amount of dye is placed in the bladder in order to outline the anatomy of the lower urinary tract( bladder and ureters -tubes that go from the kidney to the bladder). A functional picture of the lower tract can be obtained by radiologocally “watching” during and after urinating. Two further tests can be done to more clearly evaluate the anatomy and function of the kidneys. Both involve the injection into the blood stream of a substance that will be taken up by the kidney, delineating structure and function.

A history of repeated urinary tract infections is not an uncommon problem. If something has been found that can be surgically corrected to prevent further infections, this choice may be made. This situation is less common than finding nothing abnormal on the testing in a child who still gets repeated infections. Certainly this situation, as in anyone with repeated infections, will need to be monitored very carefully by your Doctor.

The bottom line in handling urinary infections is to prevent them from ascending up the urinary tract and potentially injuring the kidneys, for this will ultimately lead to a certain amount of loss of function of the kidneys; something better prevented than treated.

Urinary Tract Infections in Young Children – Part I: Diagnosis

Urinary tract infection (bladder, Kidneys) is a very common issue in children and sometimes not the easiest to diagnose. The symptoms depend on the age and sex of the child, and the location of the infection and these symptoms can vary across the board. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are more common in females as a rule but during the first year of life, when it is most difficult to diagnose, the incidence is just about the same in males and females.

Sometimes there is an anatomical problem with abnormalities in the kidney or bladder or both that children can be born with, but most of the time these infections occur de novo. An infection is defined as bacterial growth in the urine in the presence of appropriate symptoms. If there are no symptoms, the presence of bacteria might only mean colonization, eg: there are bacteria in the urine but have not caused a body reaction yet. Under certain circumstances even colonization needs to be treated.

During the first year of life, one might only see a very irritable, cranky baby with or without fever and the source of those symptoms is “hidden” sometimes even to the best and most experienced physician. Therefore, during the first year of life the suspicion for a UTI is very high and the urine might be checked more often than it would in an older child with the same symptoms. As you can imagine, obtaining a “clean” urine specimen is very difficult so a variety of methods have been devised. If one merely “catches” the urine as it is produced externally this stands a significant chance of being contaminated by bacteria living on the skin. The best ways of obtaining a reliable urine specimen is somewhat invasive but at least your doctor can rely on the results of the evaluation. These consist of either a bladder catheterization, where a small tube is passed up into the bladder and a urine specimen is obtained or a supra pubic needle aspiration where a needle on a syringe is passed through the lower abdominal wall and a urine sample is obtained. The urine sample is obtained by a reliable lab or sometimes in the Doctor’s office by means of a urinalysis and a culture of the urine to be sure there are bacteria in it and what kind it may be so as to choose the correct treatment. This culture can take 2- 3 days to complete.

This is a very large and important subject so I will stop here and take on the topic of treatment of UTIs and possible further diagnostic procedures in my next entry.

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