Sunday, December 23, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Massaged babies :
- Gain weight more quickly, compared to unmassaged babies.
- Have lower levels of "stress hormones" cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
- Have increased level of serotonin, the "happiness hormone".
- Fall asleep more quickly and easily.
- Do better on developmental tests and interaction assessments.
- Cry less and feel more secure.
- Become more alert and have more motor activity (especially for premature babies).
- Have greater "alert time" in which the baby is awake and quiet but alert - it is thought that infants learn best in this mode.
- Have increased activity in the vagus, the part of the brain related to attentiveness.
- Prior to massage, take time out for yourself, take a few deep breaths if necessary, and ensure you are totally relaxed and prepared to spend some quality time with your child.
- Always ensure you massage in a warm environment - an infants body temperature can drop dramatically when undressed, so keep a towel/blanket or spare clothes close by for draping over the parts of the body not being massaged.
- Take care when handling Baby as freshly-massaged infants/children can be extremely slippery. I usually massage my son on his mattress, where he will fall asleep for his nap, so I need not worry about having to carry him.
- Avoid any harsh lights (including sunlight) that may be too bright for the infant to look into whilst lying down. A room which is dimly lit or filled with gentle sunlight is ideal.
- Massage with Baby placed on a bed or thick blanket.
- If you listened to some particularly soothing music whilst pregnant, you may like to play this softly. It is very reassuring for Baby to hear your voice whilst being massaged to hum, speak softly or sing to your Baby during this special time as you caress and stroke them.
- Short, clean fingernails are essential and remove any jewellery or rings that may interfere.
- If you have long hair, tie it back and roll up any long sleeves.
- Ensure you keep one hand in contact with Baby's skin at all times - this will help with the flow of energy between you and your child and allows Baby to look around and take in their surroundings without having to keep checking that you are still there.
- Avoid massaging over wounds, surgery or cuts or recent scar tissue. It is not recommended to massage an infant who has a fever, unusual heart condition, blood pressure problems or a contagious disease or you may encourage it to spread.
- Take care not to massage on Baby's abdomen immediately following a feed or when he/she has the hiccups. Massage of other areas during this time is fine.
- Do not massage a newborn infant at bath time as this can be over-stimulating. If your infant is older than four months, and you wish to massage at bath time, it is best to massage after the bath to allow the oils to be absorbed by the skin.
- Never watch the clock during massage you will know when either you, or more importantly your baby has had enough. Infant massage is beneficial to both you and your baby so take the telephone off the hook and enjoy!
10 STEPS TO BASIC INFANT MASSAGE
1. Always start at the legs for newborns, as this is least intrusive area. Begin by holding Baby's right foot in your left hand, gently stroking up the leg with your right hand, from the outside of the ankle, up over the knee and to the inner thigh, then sweeping down to the inside ankle. Repeat each stroke 2-3 times.
2. Using both hands, apply a gentle 'wringing' action, squeezing up and down the length of the leg, finishing at the ankle.
3. Use your thumb to lightly circle the soles of the feet, gently squeezing and releasing Baby's toes one by one. Gently move one hand off Baby's leg and onto the other leg, then move your second hand over so as not to break the flow of fluid movement. Continue to massage Baby's other leg using strokes explained in Steps 1-3.
4. Move up toward the tummy area and make contact with this new 'space' so Baby becomes familiar with the area to be massaged next. This is an ideal time to introduce circle shapes and shapes of letters, even spelling out words on the skin, making the massage more enjoyable particularly for the older child. Be sure to maintain eye contact as you explain the shape or word you are making to your child. Keep in mind strokes should be in a clockwise direction and should be confined to the abdomen only. Massage Baby's tummy from YOUR left to right, (clockwise) in the direction of their digestive tract, using small circles with fingertips or the flat of your hand and taking care to avoid the umbilical cord area.
5. Complete the front by placing both hands in the centre of Baby's chest and sweep up and out over the centre of the chest, over the shoulders and hugging the entire length of the arms finishing off at the fingertips . Using both hands massage Baby's arms using a gentle squeezing up and down, finishing off at the fingertips. Massage each finger from knuckle to tip but do not attempt to restrain your baby if he/she curls fingers, kicks or moves arms during any part of the massage.
6. Gently turn Baby over and use the whole hand to stroke from the shoulders, down Baby's back to the buttocks - take care of Baby's delicate spinal area and so always work on either side of the spine.
7. Use both thumbs/knuckles to make small light circles around the top of the buttocks using both hands, starting toward the middle and moving out to the sides. Gently knead the buttocks simultaneously with both thumbs/knuckles using a roll-and-lift action.
8. Move onto the back of Baby's legs and use a gentle wring and release action starting at the top of one leg, massaging from the thigh all the way down the back of the leg and onto the soles of the foot. Move hands one at a time gently onto the second leg and repeat these movements.
9. Using long, light and fluid strokes from the head to Baby's toes, finish off the back area.
10. Carefully turn your baby over and stroke across the forehead using fingertips of both hands. Starting in the middle and gliding out toward Baby's temples. Pause for a moment and use feather-light circles around the temple area. Do not massage near the eye/eyelids and take care not to get oil near Baby's eye area.
Remember baby massage is a time of bonding so always maintain an unhurried and relaxed attitude. I have been giving my son regular massages after bath since he was born till now. It is always a wonderful quiet time for him and for me. It is very rewarding to see him enjoying the massage and slowly drifts into dreamland after that. It also encourages him to nap better and longer! Try it today!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
- It has a total of four parts only - cup with large handles, lid which is screw-on to cup, spout which is screw-on to lid and a dust cover. Some cups come with many spare-parts which makes assembing a chore, and some spare-parts are really tough to reach for proper cleaning.
- Because the parts are screw ons, the cup is totally spill-proof no matter how you shake it or turn it upside down.
- The cup is made of PP (polypropylene) (#5) and the spout is made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) (#2). Completely safe of BPA.
- The spout comes with a valve. Liquids only come out if there is suction. The valve is very easy to clean both from the inside or outside of the spout. So, this cup has the most hygenic valve system.
- The spout is round and the lips seal around it nicely. The design also somehow prevents my son from trying to chew it.
- It has large handles for easy grip, even for the most slippery fingers after handling finger foods!
- It comes in various colours (for both boys and girls) with interchangeable mix 'n' match spouts. The pigments used in the cup's manufacturing contain no heavy metals and conform to JHOSPA food contact standards.
- It is lightweight even when full.
- It come with a waterproof label that I can write my boy's name onto, which is wonderful especially for childcare use (you won't lose it or mix it up with others).
- Best of all, it is completely Australian-made and owned.
Some small reasons which are great to have :
- The spout fits any drink bottle with an opening diameter of 28mm.
- The cup and lid are dishwasher-safe.
Some other points to note :
- This cup cannot be microwaved.
- This cup is not meant for hot or fizzy drinks.
- This cup cannot be sterilised (anyway, who would sterilize a toddler's cup?)
- The cups come in 200ml and 300ml.
Check out http://www.kalaslittlestars.com/
I have also tried using Avent's toddler's spouts on its milk bottles for Samuel. However, I did not find it very good. The green spout comes with a silicon piece. While the silicon piece is easy to clean, the interior of the spout is hard to reach. I did not find that very hygenic. Also, occasionally, the spout does leak. You have to really fit and press the spout into the screw cap and check! Another bad thing about this spout is that my son tends to chew it a lot since it is shaped in a flat way. It makes it rather tempting for him to chew on it while drinking. The spout becomes very worn-out and rough after all the chewing.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
- Get sunscreen with either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both are physical screens against UVA and UVB rays. Both are safe and not absorbed by the skin. Zinc oxide is better than titanium dioxide because it covers a wider spectrum in terms of protection.
- Get a sunscreen with a SPF 15 to 30. There is not a huge difference between products with SPF values higher than 30. Sunscreens with SPF 50 provide just 1.3% more protection from UVB rays than sunscreens with SPF 30. It is more important to apply sunscreen generously than to seek out sunscreens with ultra-high SPF ratings. Few people put on enough to actually reach the product's SPF rating.
- SPF numbers only refer to the ability of the sunscreen to protect you against UVB rays. They have nothing to do with protecting you against UVA rays.
- Re-apply sunscreen according to the time instructed on the product (especially more important when exposed to water during swimming and sweating). There is no such things as waterproof sunscreens.
- Look for a sunscreen without loads of ingredients especially synthetic preservatives. You do not want to load so many things on your face. In the end, the sunscreen is doing your skin and body more harm than giving you sun protection.
- Do not take the sunscreen information on the tube or bottle at face value. Check the ingredients thoroughly. When a sunscreen says it covers broad spectrum protection, it may not necessarily give you that protection.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
WHAT IS SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE?
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a anionic surfactant which comparatively is milder than Sodium laureth Sulphate and Sodium lauryl Sulphate. It is biodegradable and is derived from the reaction of fatty acids (commonly coconut oil) and sarcosine (an amino acid). It is a detergent as with SLS and SLES and is used as a foaming and cleansing agent for shampoos, shaving foams, toothpastes and foam washes.
In one cosmetic ingredient review, tests show that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate has low toxicity in rats and is non-irritating and non-sensitizing to animal and human skin. One concern however is that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate enhances the penetration of other ingredients through the skin. Therefore, it should not be formulated with ingredients whose safety is based on their lack of absorption or where dermal absorption is a concern (e.g. HC Yellow No. 4, Disperse Yellow 3). At the same time, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate can be nitrosated to form carcinogenic compounds N-nitrosamine, so it is important that it should not be found together with N-nitroso compounds in the same product.
The toxicological properties of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate have not been fully established. Based on all available data, it is concluded that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is safe to be used in rinse-off products. It is best to avoid the use of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate in leave-on and aerosol products.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
PURIFIED WATER, VEGETABLE GLYCERIN, COLD PRESSED PURE SWEET ALMOND OIL, D-ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (GMO-FREE NATURAL VIT E), PROPRIETY BLEND OF ESSENTIAL OILS, HYDROXYMEHTYLGYCINATE, POLYSORBATE, PHENOXYETHANOLAromababy does use phenoxyethanol as a preserving ingredient though in very small amount right at the end of the list. Beyond that, every other ingredient is fantastic. I do hope one day Aromababy will come up with totally preservative-free wet wipes. I do not have any 100% safe wet wipes to recommend. I guess all wet wipes would need some kind of preservatives but we certainly can opt for one that is the safest to use. Nowadays, I standby with me three wet square towels in small zip-log bags when I take Samuel out. I use them to wipe his face or hands if they get dirty while outdoors. They are easy to pack and I just bring them home and throw into the laundry basket for wash.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
One last but amazing product is Miessence's Balancing Moisturiser, my favourite for a few reasons. It is a creamy moisturiser with significant and lasting effects on skin hydration and smoothness. Formulated with plant phospholipids, organic seed butters and oils, organic herbs and flowers, it truly maintains healthy skin. This moisturisers creates a protective barrier against free radicals and moisture loss (one of the main causes of wrinkles). This product is certified organic by ACO (Australia Certified Organic). Look at the wonderful and natural ingredients :
Organic aloe vera leaf juice, purified water, organic rosehip seed oil, sunflower oil, organic shea fruit butter, organic sugar cane ethanol, non-GMO Lecithin, proprietry blend of essential oils, D-panthenol (pro-vitamin nB5, organic lavender essential oil, organic olive juice extract,natural gum, organic calendula extract, organic chamomile extract, organic marshmallow extract, organic St John's wort extract.
Why do I love this moisturiser?
- It is certified organic.
- It contains completely natural ingredients and zero synthetic ingredients.
- If you do notice, many products are water-based. This moisturiser is aloe vera-based.
This balancing moisturiser is meant for normal/combination skin. For dry/mature skin, you can use the rejuvenating moisturiser. For sensitive skin, you can use the soothing moisturiser. For oily skin, you can try the purifying moisturiser.
Created to be a world-first, AROMABABY® offers only the gentlest of baby skincare including aroma-free products. All AROMABABY® baby care products DO not contain:
- added colourings
- artificial fragrance
- animal-derived ingredients
- octyl methoxycinnamate (found in many baby suncare products)
- herbal extracts obtained via toxic solvent extraction
- synthetic Vitamin E
- Silicone (dimethicone...)
- mineral oil
- vegetable oils via toxic solvent extraction
Distilled Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Decyl Glucoside, Polysorbate (dispersant) Xanthan Gum (vegetable gum) Citric Acid, Lavender French Essential Oil,* German Chamomile Essential oil*, Hydroxymethylglycinate (protein derived preservative) * means certified organic.
Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Xanthan Gum (Vegetable Gum), d-Alpha-Tocopherol (GMO-free Natural Vitamin E), Rosehip Oil*, Hydroxymethylglycinate (Protein Derived Preservative). * means certified organic.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
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