Toddlers and the Dentist

No one likes going to the dentist, okay, almost no one likes going to the dentist. While I love the feeling of freshly polished teeth, I’m not particularly fond of the dentist. My two-year-old however, keeps asking about when it will be his turn to go back to the dentist. Toddler and infant dentistry isn’t something that’s commonly talked about, but is very important for the health of your little ones. Here are some helpful reminders and tips to make sure your little tikes have healthy chompers for years to come!

Toddlers and the Dentist

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5 Tips for Raising Toddlers Who Are Food Wise

I recently watched this video from Jamie Oliver’s new project and it’s seeming like more and more children these days have no idea where their food comes from, what it’s made of, or what it even is outside of a fast food container. In order for our children to have better health, they must have better nutrition; and if you want better nutrition, you’ve got to teach your kids about food. It starts with that first spoonful of pureed carrots and you as the parent, have so much power to raise your children to be healthy eater from the highchair on up! Here are my five best tips for teaching your babies and toddlers about food and laying the groundwork for them to be food wise for a lifetime.

5 Tips for Raising Toddlers Who Are Food Wise

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Surviving Two Under Two: Practical Tips From a Mom Who’s Been There

We always knew we wanted more than one child, and that we wanted them close in age. We weren’t planning on them being quite so close. Our second baby was God-planned, but a surprise to us, and born just shy of his brother turning 15 months old. Locke is just over 18 months now, and while that first year was difficult, we made it through, and you can too!

Surviving Two Under Two: Practical Tips From a Mom Who's Been There

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The Secret to Cloth Diapering in the Child Care Setting

May working moms want to cloth diaper and they’re completely sold on it, until it comes time to think about childcare. If family will be taking care of baby, then it’s pretty easy to figure out (odds are grandma and grandpa are familiar with cloth diapering and will excited to see the spiffy new diapers out there!), but if you’re looking at a child care facility like the traditional day care, you might have some trouble. Have no fear! We have successfully had two children in daycare in cloth diapers for a little over two years now and I’m going to give you the secrets to making it work! Continue reading “The Secret to Cloth Diapering in the Child Care Setting”

A Promise to Young Girls from a Mom of Boys

As a mom to a little boy, soon to be little boys, some people may wonder why I think it’s important to include positive female images in my sons’ lives. Why would the mom of a darling little boy who already has calloused knees and a desire to drum on everything care that her sons read about Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, or Wonder Woman?

Ms. Jane Goodall- A woman who followed her heart and changed how the
world viewed primates and what made humans human.

Self-esteem issues among young girls is a two sided coin. We can tell them until we are blue in the face that it’s more important to be smart and strong and opinionated but at some point or another, they won’t care about be the smartest or the strongest. At some point, most little girls want to get attention from the little boy that they like.

The smart girl, the one who can beat you as Chess and discuss the laws of Physics, she doesn’t get asked to the Prom very often. The opinionated girl who will disagree with your interpretation of Poe’s later works and carry her own books because she doesn’t trust you to not drop them, she probably doesn’t have a date on Friday night.

It’s not that these girls are any less valuable. It’s that we have a raised generations of boys who won’t realize until much later in life that these are the qualities they should seek. We let media and peers teach our boys what makes a woman attractive and we create a feedback loop that undoes all the work we do on little girl self-esteem in primary school.

And so, as the mom to a little blonde haired, blue eyed boy, I am going to be intentional about changing this cycle on our end. I want my son to take a young lady to Prom who cares more about what’s in her head than on her body. I want my future daughter-in-law to be smart, and strong, and to argue the sonnets with my son over dinner.

I will be intentional to surround my son with great stories of awesome women. Women who changed the way we view the scientific world. Women who did things they were told no woman could do. Women who followed their passions and changed everything. I will surround him with the stories of these women so that one day he will look at that special young lady and fall in love with all of her, not just her outer shell.

A Mother’s Day Wish

Some of you may recall when I wrote about Alex’s feeding issues I mentioned that he struggled to keep his food down. Others of you have watched my Facebook posts about Alex’s reflux. They diagnosed Alex with infant acid reflux at his two month well baby visit and upgraded it to GERD in March.

If you’re not familiar, here’s some info on infant reflux and GERD. (Alex has ten of the GERD symptoms listed.)

We started doing all the “behavioral” treatments, thickened feeds, keeping upright after meals, no time flat on his back, loose clothes, etc, around his first birthday. We tried the special “reflux” version of Enfamil at his 2 month check, it didn’t do any good. (Just a side note: the Enfamil AR is slightly pink in color. If it doesn’t stop your baby’s reflux, you will have slightly pink stains on everything. You’ve been warned.) Then, Alex got started on Zantac. Yep, they make baby Zantac, it’s even mint flavored.

The Zantac worked for a little while. About two weeks before Alex’s four month visit his reflux symptoms started slowly coming back. By his well check, they were getting pretty strong again. The doctor increased his dose and said that would take care of it. Another week or two go by and I start questioning if I remembered to give Alex his meds. By the way he was acting and how much he was puking, I could have been squirting rain water in his mouth.

I call the doc and they switch him to Prevacid. It really seems to help, but after about two weeks he still seems grumpy to me. The doc assures me that he’s fine. (He also says that I have too much empathy, but that’s a different post.) I tell myself that the meds might just need a little longer. That was the end of March.

Around mid-April, Alex starts whining in his sleep again. He doesn’t wake up, but he whines and arches his back. My first thought is that it’s his reflux acting up again. Philip calms me down. We don’t know that it’s reflux yet. It could be teething or bad dreams. We agree to just keep an eye on him. By the end of the month he’s more fussy, his still arching his back in his sleep, he’s spitting more (and occasionally puking), he’s fussing at his food and some of his spit-up is yellow. Now we know. This is reflux.

It was time to renew Alex’s prescription. His six month visit is only a week and half away so we don’t really feel we need another appointment just yet. When we call in the script we ask for an increased dose. They doubled the dose and we are to report back at the well baby visit. And that brings you to now.

Alex has only been on the increased dose for two days so there’s no way to tell yet if it’s going to work. He doesn’t seem to be spitting as much, but he’s still showing some signs of pain. If I could have anything in the world for Mother’s Day, I’d want him to healthy. I’d want him to take a nap and sleep peacefully. I’d want him to play on the floor without his tummy hurting or rolling into a pool of his own spit-up. Maybe, by Sunday he’ll be feeling better.

Alex made this at daycare for Mother’s Day. 🙂

Do you have a GERD or reflux baby? How do you cope with their pain?

Scariest Moment of My Life

Around noon on Valentine’s Day I got a call from daycare that Alex had a fever of 100.0 and needed to be picked up. He had had a cough for awhile, but hadn’t been congested in several days. Still, we go to the doctor. The doctor said that he had Bronchiolitis and probably had RSV seems how we both had some cold symptoms. We did a breathing treatment in the office and the doc sent us home with our own little nebulizer and Alburol script so that we could treat him at home. She seemed confident that he would be better and able to return to daycare on Monday.

This is Roscoe Frog, Alex’s nebulizer.
All the cool kids have one. 😉

Things go well Thursday and most of Friday. His breathing was rather labored but the treatments seemed to help. Friday I was getting us ready to go pick up Philip from the airport (he had been in California for business) and before doing Alex’s breathing treatment I did a respiration count. He took 58 breaths in one minute and 61 the next. I called the on call doc and she said to do his treatment and if it helps, just keep an eye him, if it doesn’t, he’ll have to go to the hospital.

I already had his treatment set up so I sat down with him and we go started. He hated it. This loud machine was blowing stuff in his face and this big green thing (the mask) was always in front of him. He squirmed and kicked and fought. The nurse had said that they just more medicine that way because they take more breaths. Well, as he’s kicking and screaming and coughing, his eyes started to roll back. I immediately called my mom (she used to be a peds nurse) who told me to take him straight to the emergency room.

I already had the diaper bag next to the car seat for us to leave. I grabbed my keys and as I started to put Alex into his car seat, he turned grey. (My heart is pounding as I type this.) I rubbed on his little chest and his color came back. He started screaming at me again (lately he has hated getting into his car seat). I grabbed the diaper bag and ran out to the car. Later I realized that I hadn’t locked the door.

I broke every possible traffic law on the way to the hospital and bottomed out coming over a few hills (no damage to the car). Alex was crying. A few blocks from the hospital he went silent. No cries. No wimpers. No little Alex jabber. I don’t know that I ever prayed so hard that a baby would cry.

When I got to the hospital (probably less than three minutes from when I called my mom), I went to get Alex out and he was as white as a ghost. I rubbed his chest and he woke up looking pretty startled and out of it. I ran him into the ER and handed him over the counter to the nurse as I told her that he had Bronchiolitis and had turned grey. She took him straight back.

A few minutes later they let me back to his exam room. I texted a friend to go pick up Philip from the airport. Once they had assessed Alex and saw that he okay, they had me sit on the guerny and hold him. They tested him for RSV and it came back positive. They did a breathing treatment and X-ray in the ER. Philip got there just before they put in Alex’s IV and sent us up to Pediatrics.

The doctor and the nurse think that Alex had so much thick mucus in his lungs that when he was coughing during the breathing treatment a piece go lodged in his airway. He was admitted and we spent Friday through Tuesday at Hendricks.

He had two types of breathing treatments every 4 hours: a saline solution to help break up the mucus and the Alburol to help open up his lungs. The respiratory nurses also did chest precussions to help loosen it all up. They did eventually start an IV to keep him hydrated so that he didn’t have to eat as his stats seemed to dip while he drank.

He’s doing much better now. He’s still wheezing and sometimes breathing heavy, but that could continue for up to a month. He’s likely to develop asthma now and we’ve been warned that he could wheeze with any respiratory illness in the next year.

Through it all, he only acted “sick” for about a day. He’s been a little extra fussy the last few days but he’s also drooling like a hounddog so I think he’s getting some teeth in. He’s such a strong little guy and I am so blessed to be his mommy.

Alex playing with his yellow block in the hospital.
He still used his IV hand to play so I had to give him toys he didn’t have to grasp.