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Posts from the ‘Babyhood’ Category

Staying Safe: Fun in the Sun

For those in the northern hemisphere you may have noticed SUMMER IS HERE! The season has already brought on extreme temperatures and heat advisories. Parents may be left with an age-old conundrum: How hot is too hot to play outside and how do I keep my kids safe in this heat?


Even in cooler conditions a person can suffer from heat exhaustion after about 45 minutes of intense exercise! Many kids just don’t know when to take it easy. A day of play in the sprinklers or a soccer game is great for restless children but it can make for a recipe for disaster if certain precautions aren’t taken.

Remember that you’re responsible for your kids. They don’t know when enough is enough or that it’s time to reapply sunblock and have a drink of water. It’s all up to you! There are tons of great options for sun protective clothing and hats, even with moisture wicking material. Make sure your child wears breathable, cotton fabrics and a wide-brimmed hat and stays out of the sun whenever possible.

boy drinking water

If they’re at school or camps this summer make sure you ask about their sunscreen policy. Do you need to drop off a tube? Who’s responsible for putting it on/reapplying? Do you need to put it on before they leave the house? This is important to discuss with your care provider, especially if you have a fair-skinned child. Pack a refillable water bottle, too.

Hydration is key. If you’re not sure if  your child is adequately hydrated, check their urine. It should be colorless with very little smell. The more yellow and the more it smells the more dehydrated you are.


  • Remember to have kids take plenty of breaks and to offer plenty of water (WATER! much better than juice & alternatives)
  • Play in the shade whenever possible
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing that breathes
  • Watch children carefully for signs of heat exhaustion
  • Don’t take any chances; go to the emergency room if symptoms of heat stroke persist

On average, the CDC reports that 675 people die from intense heat related illnesses each year in the Unites States. Children – especially infants to age four – are much more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses because their bodies are less efficient at cooling.

If caring for a baby, they are obviously ultra-sensitive so here’s a link to a helpful article from iVillage about protecting baby from heat stroke.

Heat-related illness is almost entirely preventable and it is important to know the signs of overheating:

  • Light headedness, dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Obvious fatigue
  • Cessation of sweating
  • Obvious loss of skill and coordination/clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Confusion
  • Aggressive or irrational behavior
  • Altered consciousness
  • Collapse
  • Ashen grey pale skin

Of course everyone wants to play outside in the sunny weather, and a great time can be had by all when precautions are taken. Kids and adults love to play outdoors and these simple tips can help everyone have a safe summer!


Hope you’re enjoying the extra family time!

Xx Emma


NPR: Can Your Saliva Prevent Allergies in Your Child?

I was pretty astonished listening to NPR’s Morning Edition. The story was: “Parents’ Saliva On Pacifiers Could Ward Off Baby’s Allergies.”

Can spit really be good for your baby? It may, shows a small study of Swedish babies in the Journal of Pediatrics.

A new study in Sweden has shown that sucking, yes – by parents!, could be the most beneficial way to clean your baby’s dirty pacifier.

They explain that “microbiomes” describe the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies. A child’s exposure to microbes early in life can affect their health because it influences their “microbiome.”

Parents who clean their child’s pacifier by sucking on them changes their child’s microbiomes. The study shows that children were significantly less likely to have allergies if their parents cleaned the pacifier this way.

This is true not only for allergies, but asthma and eczema as well – both caused by allergic reactions.

The study followed how parents cleaned their child’s pacifier when it fell out of their mouth. Did they rinse with water, boil them, suck them, etc.? Apparently sucking it and giving it back is a common way to clean a paci.

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There was a significant difference between kids whose parents used this method of cleaning to those who didn’t. Overall, “scientists think that when parents suck their child’s pacifier clean, they transfer some of the harmless bacteria in their mouths to their child.”

These bacterias can stimulate a child’s immune system and teaches their body not to overreact to common allergens like peanuts, pollen, and cats.

The question: Are kids today growing up too clean? Not that every parent wants to suck on a paci that just dropped on the ground, but exposing your child to some bacteria may be just fine.

Kim Kardashian’s Pregnancy ~ Emma’s Top 5 Tips

Hi everyone, welcome to my latest video!

Kim Kardashian is getting slammed by media and body experts about weight gain. While, I’m not Kim Kardashian’s advocate, I really think all the comments about her weight gain are simply disgusting.

Let’s look at the bigger picture here! What message is this sending to pregnant women and women in general? That it’s not acceptable to gain weight during pregnancy?

Let’s be realistic here, Pregnancy = Weight Gain!

All these people with nothing better to do than comment on Kims weight gain, need to back off and leave her be! As my mum always said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”!

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and it’s a wonderful time in Kim’s life. All that matters is that Kim and her baby are healthy!

Congratulations Kim!!! Keep your head up, stay healthy & enjoy your journey!

Emma x

Holiday Giveaway!

Just in time for the holidays… I’m announcing a new giveaway! I have one amazing Baby Bjorn product up for grabs! This giveaway is for one Babysitter Balance bouncer. A $150 value!!

Your child will love the fun, natural rocking. Rocking is soothing and helps development. It will help your child’s motor skills as they move and kick their legs to rock the chair. Their movements make the bouncer rock – no hook ups or batteries required.

The Babysitter Balance’s ergonomic design properly supports your child’s back and head. Plus, it’s made with pure organic cotton and materials.

Want to win it?? Just retweet our giveaway tweet on Twitter or share the giveaway post from our Emma’s Children Facebook page and you’ll be automatically entered to win!


Newborn Basics

You have a newborn! Congratulations! This is an amazing time as you bond with baby and find out their unique personality. Let’s go over some basic areas.


A common misconception is that baby needs to be bathed everyday. This isn’t the case. In fact, a sponge bath every other day is a more efficient way to clean your newborn baby. Sponge baths enable you to clean between skin folds, which all babies have, and their diaper area.

When they’re ready for a bath, make sure the water is warm and they’re comfortable. The baby baths with a net sling are best. Place warm wash cloths on baby’s tummy to help keep them warm, dip it in warm water often as they get cold quickly. Have a soft towel ready so there’s no cold transitions from tub to you.

Remember: you can be too careful when it comes to bath time. Don’t freak out. Let them enjoy bath time. They can become afraid of the water as they get older if you set them up to fear it. Let baby be aware of the look, sound, and feel of the water. Try little splashes, your baby is fully capable of blinking out the water. Don’t set them up to mind it or you’re in for a problem as they get older. Also – a little water in the ears will not cause middle ear infections so don’t worry, enjoy bath time!

You will quickly realize the routine of a warm bath and some cuddle time will encourage sleep in your baby. As they get older make bath time fun, you can even get a hooded towel in their favorite animal! PB Kids make a wonderful assortment!


Bathing often is not recommended for babies because of their sensitivity. Most newborns have dry skin and peel. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean they need moisturizers. If you do want to use lotion, make sure it is hypoallergenic and oil-based (not water based). Same goes for their wash. A foamy wash is typically preferred.

BabyGanics and California Baby are excellent options because they are made with essential oils.

Common issues: umbilical cords and circumcision remnants. These will dry up quickly and fall off on their own within 2-4 weeks. In the mean time, sponge the area gently to clean off any mess and leave it alone.


There are so many options for diapers. Whatever you choose: eco-friendly, cloth, or the basic Pampers, here are some basic tips…

Luckily, diaper rash is not common during the newborn period but it doesn’t mean you won’t occasionally run into problems.

To help baby be free of rashes all you need to do is regularly change them. While changing, allow their skin to air dry for a bit before putting on a diaper. You can also use a dry washcloth or tissue to dry off any wet residue. Zinc oxide ointments are really effective if you see a rash forming. Otherwise, petroleum jelly is great for everyday because it provides a protective barrier.

Baby powder isn’t needed, but if you want to use it make sure it’s TALC-FREE. If not, it can damage baby’s lungs from breathing it in. Rub it on your hands first and then apply it.

You might choose to use a wipe warmer if you feel your baby in sensitive to cold but if it’s room temperature it usually it won’t phase them.


There are many rashes, two of the most common rashes you may see with your newborn are either from irritation or yeast. Irritation stems from contact with pee and poop. Yeast is from something called “candida” that thrives in moist, warm areas.

Both will cause redness and if the rash doesn’t seem to be healing itself after a few days, go to the doctor. Sometimes a yeast infection can also be seen in baby’s mouth. It looks like little white spots, which is called “thrush”.

While most rashes are not serious, any rash associated with other symptoms (fever, poor feeding, a cough, lethargy) should be seen by a doctor immediately.


Baby’s first poops will be dark green-blackish in color, but only for the first few days. After that brown, green, yellow, orange and tan are normal colors. Every baby is different, and formula versus breastfed is also different.

There is no need to worry unless poop is black, white or has some bright red blood. If so, see a doctor immediately.

Red means blood, black is usually from old blood and white can potentially mean a liver problem.

Nurture Your Baby’s Senses

Babyhood One of the most exciting times in parenting is watching your newborn make new developments physically and verbally. Growth spurts, first words… discovering their particular personality. Whether you know it or not, babies have very unique personalities and this is fun to discover as a parent.

Babies are constantly observing you, the world, family, friends… as soon as they exit moms womb. As their intellectual growth advances, you can help them succeed by using different techniques – simple techniques!! – and watch them flourish, but we’ll get to that later.

Let’s break down the basics in your baby’s senses. Babies are actually born with well-developed senses. Their senses progress immensely in utero and during their 1st year.


The sense of touch develops before your baby is born. As a fetus, baby explores your womb and themselves by touching their head, feet, etc. This may be what you feel when movement is happening.

Between 7 and 14 weeks is most important for touch development. The most important form of touch is between mother and baby’s skin. This is one reason why you should breast-feed if possible. Not only does it bond you both, but your baby is comforted from feeling your warmth – also from your scent & voice.

With your infant, take time to touch different items to their skin. Something soft, like a fuzzy blanket or fresh laundry. Something cool, like a cold glass of water. Something smooth, something rough. Use different textures and rub them on your baby’s arm.

“Baby touch” books are also great tools for exposing different textures!


A baby’s sense of sight develops gradually. Unlike hearing, this could take a good 6 to 8 months. Things will be pretty fuzzy for awhile but baby can make out the face of those holding them. Your baby will be fascinated with your face for this reason, so smile and give them plenty of face-to-face time.

It’ll be hard for them to distinguish colors so show bright colored toys, pictures, books. By 4 months your baby’s eyes should coordinate to movements. Try handing your baby things that are easy to grasp like rattles, straws, spoons to help motor development and eye coordination go together. Peekaboo will probably be your baby’s most enticing game at this time so go for it all you want!


Smell is the most advanced sense at birth so don’t be surprised when certain odors trigger a baby’s reaction. Smells are so important and heightened to a baby because it brings them a sense of familiarity and safeness. Especially mom’s smell.

Try a calming scent, like lavender.

Crazy enough – at about 30 weeks a fetus can smell. Your baby will recognize your amniotic fluid and then your breast milk as soon as they are born. Your scent is most important as a parent since that will put baby at ease.


Babies first taste will develop in utero. Whatever you’re eating during your pregnancy, your child will develop a taste preference to. Your baby is exposed to the flavors (yes, your pregnancy cravings count too!) you ingest through the amniotic fluid and breast milk and this will influence their preferences once they exit the womb.


Your baby should be hearing clearly from birth. Baby heard noises and your voice in the womb so by the end of the 1st month their hearing is actually fully developed. Baby’s pay major attention to sounds and talking, especially high-pitched voices. This is why “motherese” aka baby-talk is actually proactive for your baby to hear.

Loud sounds should startle your baby, while mom’s voice and singing should soothe. By 3 months your baby should attempt to talk back to you through gargles and babbles.

Sing nursery rhymes, play music, sing the same lullaby every night. Get your baby familiar with the music you enjoy. Reading to your baby no matter how young is an excellent way to develop this sense, not to mention their verbal skills as they get older!

These are fun to try – pregnancy headphones!

Speaking of Marriage

Winifred M. Reilly, M.A., MFT