Pearls of Wisdom: Introducing a New Baby

The first two years establish the attachment phase of a child’s life. When they have your undivided attention with every need met, their world is a warm, safe and secure place. They’re comforted in knowing that your focus is entirely on them. As they grow a little older, the arrival of a new baby brother or sister means making certain adjustments such as “delaying  gratification” and “waiting”, concepts  that are all new to him. He has to realize that there is another family member who is as important as he is. Few experiences initiate this rite of passage in the same way as the birth of a new brother or sister. With the arrival of a new sibling, your older child has to understand what it means to wait and share. These social skills will be learned and understood early and will last a lifetime. During your pregnancy your toddler senses that something is different. Change could be upsetting to him, therefore, you as the parent can alleviate his anxiety by explaining to him the physical changes of Mom, the growth of his family and what to expect in the coming months ahead. First of all, keep it simple.  You can tell your child, “When moms and dads love each other they can decide to have a baby.” However, it is best to tell children under two during the last trimester when your belly starts to show to avoid any confusion.

Involve your toddler. Allow her to participate by taking her along to your prenatal checkups so she can hear the baby’s heartbeat and see the sonogram pictures. Let her touch your belly when the baby kicks and take him on trips to stock up on newborn supplies. Find out if your hospital provides classes for expectant siblings so she can learn what a new baby is like. Make your toddler the star. Reminisce and replay his own infancy by going through his baby album. While doing this you can give him scenes to help get a sense of what to expect. For example, “Mommy will carry the baby a lot, just like I carried you” or “Tiny babies eat constantly like you did when you were that small.” Share the happiness.  Remember, while you’re in the hospital your toddler will want to know where she and you will be staying and what he’ll be doing. Prepare him for whoever is your substitute while you are away. For example, tell him, “When mama is in the hospital, Nana will come for a sleepover and you can draw pictures to put in the new nursery.”  Later, have your family members take your toddler along for visits to the hospital so he can experience the joy of his new baby brother or sister’s arrival with the rest of his family. Every child will react differently to the baby’s homecoming, but the following are some suggestions to promote positive sibling interactions. Keep in mind that their early days together set the foundation for a healthy long-term bond. Be nice twice. Before giving birth, wrap a few small gifts for your toddler so she can open them when friends and family lavish gifts on the new baby.  This way, you allow her to share some of the attention the baby is getting.  Encourage her to give the new baby a welcome gift from big brother or sister. She’ll be eager to give a gift like everyone else around her. Give extra praise.  Don’t let your toddler feel neglected. Instead of saying, “what a beautiful baby”, you can say, “Now she has a beautiful big sister or brother.” Toddlers are fascinated with babies so you can use their interest by explaining what you think the baby is thinking. For example, say, “the baby is grabbing your finger so he must really like you.” This will allow him to reciprocate the act in a positive way. Highlight your toddler’s talents and celebrate each child’s individuality. Be generous in encouraging your toddler to be a good role model for the baby by saying something like, “John, this is such a lovely drawing! One day you’ll teach your baby sister how to draw and color.”

Equal opportunity is key. Although new babies are generally high maintenance, you can find ways to share with your toddler the time you spend caring for the baby.  As he gets older, encourage him to entertain her like making funny faces, playing peek-a-boo or singing lullabies. Take time to allow your toddler to just cuddle, hug or touch you while your new baby takes naps. Make him feel loved in a special way such as telling him,” You are my favorite first child in the whole wide world.” More Daddy Time.  As mom gets all wrapped up in caring for the little one, daddy can also take advantage of this time and bond more with your toddler.  While the older child feels she has lost some of mom, she actually gets more of dad. Enter dad outings to the zoo, the ice cream parlor, the ballpark or just hanging out in the living room.

A New Friend! Try giving a new doll, a new teddy bear, or some kind of toy to your child just before the baby arrives. You can tell your toddler that he has someone new to add to his family of play friends, and suggest all the ways he can care for his new toy. These can mirror the things you will be doing for the new baby, and you can create some understanding and empathy for the newborn this way. When the infant needs to be changed, suggest that your toddler give their new toy a “diaper change” as well. By empowering your toddler and showing how important it is to welcome a new toy into the home and care for it, he may better understand your new role as well. Patience is a virtue.  Face it, your toddler will show frustration and your job is to help them learn how to manage these negative feelings of anger, jealousy and sadness.  Offer a trade-off, like, “John, now is not a good time but after I feed Timmy we can go bake your favorite cookies.”  Make him feel important by constantly thanking him or her for all their help and for being a good big sister or big brother. No relationship compares to the strong bond formed between siblings. With a little help from mom and dad, siblings can grow up to be each others confidantes, buddies, partners in crime, BFF’s or compadres. They will have many friends as they go through life, but family and siblings are forever.

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

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Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Staff Picks: Wildlife

Hi BabyLeggers, my name is Lexi Ballesteros. As Territory Account Manager at BabyLegs, I get to work with many of our fantastic retailers and buyers to ensure that all the moms and dads across the country have BabyLegs to purchase in their local children’s store. From an early age my fashion motto has always been to look amazing, but feel amazing as well! Looking good should never be uncomfortable, especially for our littlest trend setters. With BabyLegs, this is easy to do. Our warmers make diaper changes a cinch, potty training a breeze, and layering no problem at all, all while looking oh-so-stylish. When I am on Aunt duty for my 20 month old nephew Gabe, you bet Aunt Lexi likes to keep things fuss free. The only problem is deciding which warmers to select. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to go a little wild when ordering. Speaking of Wild, since BabyLegs features an incredible animal print collection, I decided to share some of my favorite styles from our “WildLife” assortment and show how to coordinate them with other articles of clothing to build an amazing look. After all, if a leopard can’t change his spots, then accessorize it! Loveable Leopard Outfit

Lovable Leopard: Sequins and leopard print? Why not! Pair these adorable Crew Cuts sequined shorts with the Lovable Leopard BabyLegs for a look that’s sure to stand out.             Double Zebra Outfit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Zebra: Looking for a classic look with a twist? This simple dress by Crew Cuts can easily be accessorized with the Double Zebra socks by BabyLegs. Throw in this adorable straw hat by Old Navy and you have the perfect summer look for any special occasion.           Gentle Giraffe Outfit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gentle Giraffe Doesn’t every day feel like an adventure sometimes? Why not dress you little one for the wild ride. The Safari look is easily achieved with this bright dress from Anais & I, vest from Zara Kids, and Gentle Giraffe warmers by BabyLegs.           Cow Outfit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cow Holy Cow, we can’t forget about the boys! Throw on BabyLegs Cow warmers with Joe’s Jeans and a graphic tee from Zara Kids. Add in this fun ball from Crew Cuts and your little guys will be ready to mooove.

Fashion Friday: Summer Fashion Glossary

The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and those heavy cotton tees in your baby’s dresser drawers just aren’t going to cut it. Brush up on your fashion vocab with these three summer fashion must-haves that promise to keep your tot cool in more ways than one.

By Angela Velasquez

Gymboree Blazer

Gymboree Blazer

 

Seersucker noun

Definition of Seersucker:

Typically striped or checked, this light and airy cotton fabric is a go-to material for summer suits as it tends to stand away from the skin and allow air to pass through. Unlike its lightweight rival linen, seersucker’s wrinkled appearance also means it rarely needs to be pressed.

Origin of Seersucker

Seersucker first became popular during the British colonial period in hot regions like British India. It hit its stride in the 1920s in the United States

Florence Eiseman Suit

Florence Eiseman Suit

when scholarly undergraduates began wearing it as pants and jackets. Seersucker suits soon became a mainstay in Southern gentlemen’s wardrobes and even inspired the U.S. Senate to hold Seersucker Thursday, a nod to traditional Southern dressing. The tradition ended in 2012, but seersucker continues to hold court at summer weddings and a day at the races.

How to wear it?

Instead of a tux, why not have your little ring bearer walk the aisle in an adorable seersucker suit and boat shoes? For a more casual look, pair seersucker shorts with versatile polo shirts. And protect babies from the sun with lightweight seersucker bucket hats.

 

JoJo Maman Bebe Shirt

JoJo Maman Bebe Shirt

 

Breton stripes noun

Definition of Breton stripes:

Traditionally in the form of a three-quarter length sleeve shirt with navy and white horizontal stripes, Breton is now a term that loosely describe any simple, nautical two-tone stripes that calls for the high seas.

Origin of Breton stripes

For French sailors back in the 1950s Breton stripes was more functional than fashionable. It was law for French sailor to wear the striped shirts as part of the regulatory uniform because the pattern was easy to spot sailors who fell overboard. Most of th

BabyLegs Varsity White/Royal

BabyLegs Varsity White/Royal

e sailors were stationed in the Brittany region of France, which is why the striped tee was coined Breton. The original Breton stripe top had 21 stripes—one for each of Napoleon’s victories—but fashionistas would agree that it was another Parisian named Coco, who made the classic top a summer staple when she wore it basking in the sun along the French Rivera.

How to wear it?

Resist pairing your baby’s Breton stripes with a mini beret. Instead, look for iterations that have a preppy, colligate vibe and that will match their most comfy pairs of khaki shorts. T-shirts, boat neck tops and tunics carry stripes well. Or, mix Breton striped BabyLegs with a classic white one-piece snap suit.

 

 

CDW Kids Dress

CDW Kids Dress

Madras noun

Definition of Madras:

Primarily a pattern texture or plaid design, this lightweight summer cotton fabric is often cut into squares and sewn together to create a patchwork pattern. Unlike most fabric, the front and back are the exact same.

Origin of Madras

The fabric takes its name from the city Chennai, India, where it was first made, and was originally known as “Madrasi checks.” The cloth’s popularity grew when it was exported to Africa and the Middle East for headpieces. Soon, Europe caught onto lightweight, breathable benefits of the cloth and began importing madras for soldiers based in warm regions. In the 1960s, the checked material became a hit with trendsetters when it was made with vegetable dyes that caused the colors to take on a new look with each wash.

Ralph Lauren Skirt

Ralph Lauren Skirt

How to wear it?

The material is at home on a campground, but looks just as cool on the playground as button-up camp shirts and shorts. Easy, breezy shift dresses and skirts in madras offer a relaxed, but dressy option for family cookouts and block parties.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Pearls of Wisdom: Parental Attachment

Bonding between a parent and a healthy baby begins right after birth, but there is a fine distinction between a strong, nourishing connection and unhealthy attachment. It’s a natural instinct for mom to seek ways of comforting her crying and fussy baby by cuddling, caressing, kissing and rocking. Both parents offer security and warmth to this new, but almost instant closeness; especially true with a mother-infant relationship. That bond will eventually have a profound impact on how this tiny human being functions in the world.

A baby communicates by cooing, smiling, gesturing, crying, and moving his body. When his needs are met by his mother and father, he feels safe, wanted and worthy. A stable parental-child relationship sets the foundation for the establishment of healthy circuitry in his brain which can impact his language skills as well as his emotional and social development as he matures.

Unfortunately, attachments between parents and infants are not all perfect. Some parents are apathetic to their baby’s needs to the point where neglect is a very real issue. Whether it’s because they’ve read that newborns must “cry it out,” or because other family members warn that holding a newborn too much is “spoiling” the baby, many new parents avoid consistent responses to a newborn’s cries.  But a lack of nurturing, even in an otherwise stable home environment, will have a negative impact on a baby’s healthy maturation. Even parents who respond inconsistently to baby’s cries reinforce this behavior, sending signals to the baby to scream harder and louder. Parents worry about over-coddling their little one and sometimes ignore their baby’s screaming, but in doing so, fail to understand that babies do not know how to manipulate or test them on purpose.

Many decades of pediatric research have shown that babies develop socially, mentally and emotionally in direct relation to the parents’ responsiveness and sensitivity. Oftentimes, parents who failed to provide a comforting and secure base are linked to insecurity and even aggression in young children. Studies suggest that these aggressive tendencies can affect their social interactions with family and friends as well as their academic performance later in life. Babies whose needs were ignored early on habitually experience delays in speech and emotional maturation.

A securely attached child seeks mom’s reassurance, receives it, and then calmly returns to their activities even in an unfamiliar setting or in the presence of strangers. Children who spend a good deal of time with non-maternal childcare showed little impact on parental attachment as long as the mother’s responsiveness and sensitivity are at a reasonably attentive level. Quality not quantity of time spent with your child is what matters most, which is notably helpful and positive for working moms.

Parenting is never a simple, made to order skill. To complicate things further, moms and dads are saturated with information about parenting fads, they often get pressure from grandparents, and receive a great amount of advice from “experts.” Parents must develop their own bonding and attachment with their child by relying more on their good judgment and intuition. Every family works it out uniquely and differently. The secret to healthy parenting is to give babies a secure foundation so they can venture out in the world, explore their environment, face obstacles and challenges, overcome these tests and then make gratifying developmental breakthroughs on their own.

 

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

———–

Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Staff Picks: Summer Survival

The BabyLegs team takes great pleasure in looking at the samples hanging on our office walls and imagining endless squeal-worthy looks that can be created with BabyLegs.  Staff Picks are so much fun to compile, and we hope that we inspire you to get creative! While BabyLegs are an essential, just like your favorite one-piece snap suits and rompers, they offer parents and kids the joy that comes from accessorizing and changing up looks on a daily basis. So check out what we’ve matched up with the styles from our SUMMER SURVIVAL KIT line — BabyCool! And ByeByeBugs — that will help you protect your little ones from sun exposure and insects!  Then have fun shopping, because all BabyCool! And ByeByeBugs styles are 50% off this Memorial Day!!

Head over to the BabyLegs website to shop for BabyCool! and ByeByeBugs for just $6 per pair now through Sunday, June 2nd! Use code: SUMMER at checkout.

Love Splash

 

Love Splash- BabyCool!

Pink is one of the key colors of summer:  lemonade, plastic lawn flamingoes, and juicy watermelon, and strawberry ice-cream come to mind.  That’s why I chose to set off BabyCool! Love Splash warmers with a bright pink swimsuit and accessories.

I especially love the way the turquoise trim on the suit ties back to the accent color on the hearts!!

 

 

 

Crawling Caterpiller

 

Crawling Caterpiller- ByeByeBugs

I was inspired by the expression “A Walk in the Woods” when pulling this mod-ish look together. Earthy tones, a bucket hat that features insects, and ByeByeBugs your little man’s arms and legs for protection make a perfect summer outfit, and one that keeps baby comfortable.

Getting insects to BUG OFF was never easier… or CUTER!

 

 

 

Sea Garden

 

Sea Garden- BabyCool!

Protection against the sun doesn’t have to put a damper on a summer swimwear ensemble! She’ll make a splash at the beach or pool with these essentials. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surfs Up

 

Surf’s Up- BabyCool!

ORANGE CRUSH! One of my very favorite colors, orange is spectacular when set against medium blue. This ensemble, built around the BabyCool! style “Surf’s Up,” is simply too cute for words. Don’t forget a sun hat and glasses to protect baby’s face, where skin is so tender.

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely Lady 

Lovely Lady- ByeByeBugs

Does anything else scream summer more than Sperry’s, shades, and a pair of BabyCool? I don’t think so! A fun morning on the docks or a casual day out, these items keeps your little chick polished and comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

Treasure Island

Treasure Island

 

Treasure Island

Your little man will be ready to take on a rowdy beach day conquering sand castles and battling waves (with the help of Mom or Dad) – HANG LOOSE, KID!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skyhigh Dragonfly

Skyhigh Dragonfly

 

Skyhigh Dragonfly

Protected and stylish – you can’t ask for anything more. Pink power shorts with warmers for her legs OR arms can keep this gal chillin’ all through the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shark Tank and  Spinning Jenny

Shark tank goes perfectly with this color blocked swim suit. Add a pair of Ray Bans and he is one BabyCool! dude! Keep the bugs away in style with coordinating Spinning Jenny with a teal dress and flip flops.

Shark Tank

Shark Tank

Spinning Jenny

Spinning Jenny

 

 

Bubbly- BabyCool! and Awesome Antics- ByeByeBugs

Neon is a popular trend this summer – so I picked Bubbly for its bright fun ruffles and paired it with a coordinating ruffle swimsuit and snorkel set. Awesome Antics looks great with a coordinating neon t-shirt and comfy draw string shorts and camo sneakers.

Bubbly

Bubbly

 

Awesome Antics

Awesome Antics

 

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider- ByeByeBugs

I think of classic American style when I see overalls, and it’s really never too soon to get baby into a pair! Long pants in summer make perfect sense if baby will be near grassy areas or woods, where insects hide.  To keep arms protected as well, ByeByeBugs is a diaper bag essential… toss a pair into your purse or car so that if the need arises, you’ve got your baby covered.

TIP: Pull ByeByeBugs on when baby will be exposed to insects. Here, the long pants will keep legs covered, but ByeByeBugs can be put on the arms to protect while keeping baby cool.