Parent Review: Britax Pavilion 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat Review

I was given the chance to do a full product review on the Britax Pavilion 70-G3. It is amazing how car seats have transformed since my girls were babies and toddlers.

As soon as the box arrived, we immediately had to place Jackson in the seat in the living room to get his reaction. He  seemed to have found his comfortable spot.

Here is a glimpse into some of the great features with the Britax Pavilion.

 Not stated in the video, but I love how under the fabric there are two clips that holds the seat belt very securely. Definitely a great feature.

A recap of the product features:

Two new features with the Britax Pavilion 70-G3:

1. HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell Technology are affixed to the seat shell to ensure proper positioning while SafeCells compress to manage energy and provide resistance to the forward movement of your child in a crash, reducing the risk of head injury

2. EZ-Buckle System retains the harness buckle in a forward position and prevents the child from sitting on the buckle when boarding

– Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether features a staged-release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two-point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat

– Click & Safe® Snug Harness Indicator is an audible aid that provides extra assurance when the harness is within range of appropriate snugness

– Tangle-Free, Five-Point Harness distributes crash forces across the strongest parts of the body and provides a secure fit

– 70-pound Weight Capacity for safety and comfort as your child grows

– Rear and Forward Facing Recline for child comfort and positioning

– High Density Comfort Foam provides an extra layer of padding to gently cushion your child

– Plush, Easy-Remove Cover with matching comfort pads and infant body pillow to provide extra comfort and easy cleaning without disassembling or uninstalling the child seat

– Two Buckle Positions offer a snug and secure fit for your growing child

britaxcarseatreview

I think the above picture speaks for itself. Jackson loves being able to look out the window. We are very happy with Britax Pavilion 70-G3!

Disclosure: We were provided the above car seat in order to facilitate our review. All thoughts and opinions are of our own.

How To Protect Your Baby’s Teeth From Cavities

Did you know that cavities are caused by germs that are passed from adult to child?

Babies are born without the bacteria that causes caries- the disease that leads to cavities. They get it from spit pediatricdentalthat is passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own. Caregivers pass on these germs by sharing saliva- by sharing spoons, by testing foods before feeding it to babies, by cleaning off a pacifier in their mouth instead of with water, and through other activities where saliva is shared.

These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before babies have teeth, so it’s important to avoid sharing saliva with your baby right from the start. See below for more tips on how to keep your baby- and your baby’s teeth- healthy and happy.

For you:

  • Eat healthy foods to reduce the cavity-causing germs in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Do not put anything in your baby’s mouth that has been in your mouth including spoons or a toothbrush, do not blow on your baby’s food
  • Do not use your spit to clean your baby’s pacifier – use water instead.
  • If you have bleeding gums or cavities, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.

For your baby:

  • Before your baby’s first tooth becomes visible in the mouth, you should wipe the mouth every day with a soft, moist washcloth. As soon as teeth become visible in the mouth, brush the teeth with a small soft bristle toothbrush that contains a pea-sized smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Encourage your baby to spit out the toothpaste.
  • You should brush your child’s teeth at least twice each day – once in the morning and once at night. Remember, the most important time to brush your baby’s teeth is right before bedtime.
  • Talk to your baby’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist about the right amount of fluoride for your baby. Ask if your child should be brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Avoid giving your baby sticky foods and unhealthy snacks like candy, soda or juice in between meals. Instead, give your baby healthy snacks like cheese, yogurt or fruit. Only give your baby treats or juice at meal times.
  • Establish bedtime routines that do not involve using the bottle filled with milk or juice to soothe the baby to sleep. Also avoid having the baby sleep with a bottle filled with milk or juice as the natural sugars in these liquids will get changed to acid, which will rot or decay the teeth and lead to dental infection and pain. Avoid having your baby drink from a sippy cup filled with juice between meals.
  • Do not give your baby juice until he is 6 months old. Do not give your baby more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day.
  • If you see white spots developing on your baby’s teeth, then take your baby to a pediatric dentist right away. A white spot is often the first sign of a dental cavity.
  • Schedule your baby’s first dental visit with a pediatric dentist when she is one year old. Pediatric dentists have additional training beyond dental school working with babies and young children. Remember – first tooth, first birthday, first dental visit!

Thank you to our site-wide sponsor, Drs. Hardaway and Conn at Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway, for providing this helpful advice to High County Parent.

Sippy Cups and Your Child’s Teeth

sippycupAs soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One of the risk factors for early childhood caries (sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay or nursing mouth syndrome) is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids, such as fruit juice, milk or formula, which all contain sugar.

Tooth decay can occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle. Infants should finish their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed. Because decay can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child, you should encourage your children to drink from a cup by their first birthdays.

Many training cups, also called sippy or tippy cups, are available in stores. Many are “no spill” cups, which are essentially baby bottles in disguise. “No spill” cups include a valve beneath the spout to stop spills. However, cups with valves do not allow your child to sip. Instead the child gets liquid by sucking on the cup, much like a baby bottle. This practice defeats the purpose of using a training cup, as it prevents the child from learning to sip.

Don’t let your child carry the training cup around. Toddlers are often unsteady on their feet. They take an unnecessary risk if they try to walk and drink at the same time. Falling while drinking from a cup has the potential to injure the mouth.

A training cup should be used temporarily. Once your child has learned how to sip, the training cup has achieved its purpose. It can and should be set aside when no longer needed.

Tips

For sipping success, carefully choose and use a training cup. As the first birthday approaches, encourage your child to drink from a cup. As this changeover from baby bottle to training cup takes place, be very careful:

  • what kind of training cup you choose
  • what goes into the cup
  • how frequently your child sips from it
  • that your child does not carry the cup around

Please go talk to pediatric dentists, Drs. Hardaway and Conn at Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway for more information. If your child has not had a dental examination, schedule a “well baby checkup” for his or her teeth. The American Dental Association says that it is beneficial for the first dental visit to occur within six months of the appearance of the first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday.

Parenting Classes Announced at Watauga Medical Center

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System holds frequent classes for all parents. High Country Parent will keep you updated with all classes. Please continue to keep a check on the website and/or our Facebook page.

appalachianregionalhealthcare

April Classes:

Prepared Childbirth Class

Date: 4/8/2013 – 5/13/2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Every Monday for 6 weeks)
Place: Watauga Medical Center – Boone, Marchese Birthing Center

This is a six-week class. Topics include what to expect during labor & delivery, the hospital experience and pain control strategies for labor. Class includes a tour of the Birthing Center. Course recommended for all births and those planning to use an epidural. Registration recommended by 20 weeks. (Medicaid accepted & scholarships available) FEE: $90.00

For more information, call (828) 262-4100.

Buckle Up Kids (Car Seat Safety) Class

Date: 4/2/2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Place: Watauga Medical Center – Boone, Marchese Birthing Center

This class offers a complete instructional guide to proper car seat use. Watauga County residents who receive Medicaid receive a free car seat if class is attended. Taught the first Tuesday night of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 at Watauga Medical Center in the Adams Classroom. No registration necessary.

For more information, call (828) 262-4100.

Make Your Own: Baby Food

Once upon a time, a company had a really great idea. They dreamed up this awesome little machine that would first steam, then puree any food one might wish to feed a baby. It even doubled as a bottle warmer. Then they charged buyers $99.00 each to buy one. I wish that had been my idea, because there are apparently a whole lot of people out there with three conditions I wouldn’t have expected to be so prevalent in these troubled times: enough money to buy one, enough kitchen space to store it, and a sore lack of frugal habits to prevent them from wasting said money and space.

More power to the manufacturers, I guess, but they’re not getting their hands on my money that easily! Neither are the baby food pushers on aisle 7 at the local grocery store. I could waste just as much money buying baby food as I would if I bought the aforementioned appliance. The frugal way, and the healthier one, is to make your own baby food. Making your own baby food is so easy that I swore off it not too long after my first baby started solid foods. (I admit, I’ve had to buy baby food to get the jars before because nothing else would do for a craft, but otherwise, there’s just no good reason to waste your money on pureed green beans.)

What do I feed my baby?

Whatever you eat, of course! While you don’t want to start baby on spicy black beans or anything, it is usually easy to plan your meals to include something a baby can have. For first foods, I start them around six months, except for this last baby who didn’t want food until he was 7 months old. Nearly any vegetable or fruit will do. I even do chicken or fish occasionally! Bananas and avocado are two of my favorite first foods, because you don’t need to do anything but smash them with a fork. Remember to always use a strainer for peas, as the hulls are yucky and hard to swallow no matter how soft they get. My babies also get a lot of plain yogurt mixed with banana, prunes, or apples. Don’t buy flavored yogurt for them (or yourself!), as it has a lot of junk in it.

prunes

A few foods that simply do not work for baby food? Corn, rice, beans (really hard to digest for a baby under one year of age), tomatoes (too acidic), and potatoes (maybe that’s just me). Skip the rice and oatmeal cereals in the baby food aisle, even if your doctor says to start with them. They just constipate the baby, and he doesn’t need those carbs anyway! Follow the usual advice to space new foods out with a few days between trials so you can be aware of allergic reactions.

How do I do it?

I guess you could do it the old-fashioned way and just pre-chew your baby’s food yourself, but…well…no. We won’t go there. Technology is good.

Do you have a steamer basket? If not, that’s really the only tool you really need, so go buy one. A small metal colander will do just as well. Steamed foods retain color, flavor, and nutrients much better than boiled ones do. Carrots, broccoli, or sweet potatoes are some of my favorites. Some foods, like apples, are better peeled and cooked with a little water. Experiment with different ways for different foods. After steaming, you can strain your baby food through a fine sieve, or use an inexpensive stick blender to puree the food. If you want to do chicken or fish, you’ll have to use a stick blender. As baby gets a little bit older, you can easily add shredded cheese to many vegetables. Use your imagination.

For bigger babies (from 9 months on), all you need is to dice the foods very small and steam them enough for them to smash them. No pureeing required!

Make ahead.

Whether it’s because the meals I have planned aren’t going to be very good for a baby’s tummy or I have to travel and need convenient baby-sized portions, sometimes I need some fast baby food. I try to always have something in the fridge or freezer for those times. Bananas and avocado make perfect convenience baby foods. Just peel, smash, and serve. For veggies and other fruits, I steam and puree big batches and then store them in the freezer in single-serving sized plastic storage bowls.

What about prunes?

Babies can get constipated when they start solid foods, especially if there are a lot of bananas in their diet. First, lay off the bananas for a while. Then get some prunes! I had been in the habit of buying my prunes from the baby food aisle, because they were too sticky to blend. Then it occurred to me that the baby food factories didn’t have any special magic that I don’t have, so there must be a better way. I was right. You can steam those suckers and rehydrate them! A pack of baby food prunes costs about a dollar for two servings, and that’s not too bad. However, an 18 oz. canister of whole prunes only costs around three dollars, and you can get at least five times as many servings out of that. My homemade prunes are so much thicker that I think I must have been paying for a product that was mostly water! Steam whole prunes for 10 minutes, puree with enough water to make them the right consistency, and you’ve just saved yourself a few dollars a week. They taste better, too. I even put some on my own pancakes this morning. Almost as good as apple butter!

pancakes

Baby food makers like to let us think that there’s some unfathomable mystery about introducing foods to our babies, as if the human race has always had a Gerber plant right down the road. All it really requires is five or ten minutes a week (seriously) to give our babies foods that are as nutritious and fresh as the foods we eat.

Baking Soda Helps Clean Up Bedwetting Accidents

Bedwetting accidents happen. It’s plain and simple. They just happen. My oldest daughter not so much, but we went through a few accidents with my youngest daughter. A few years ago, I heard from a friend about a great tip. I have been passing on this tip to friends. Obviously, you cannot purchase a new mattress after every accident, so this tip is much more doable on a family budget. baking-soda

1. Once the accident happens, immediately strip the bed. Try to blot the mattress with a paper towel to soak up the urine. Do not rub as this will cause the stain to get bigger.

2. Take a box of baking soda and sprinkle all over. Allow to sit for at least 8 eight hours, so it can draw out the remaining moisture and also take away the smell.

3. Take the hose from your vacuum cleaner and vacuum up all the baking soda.

4. Take a mixture of 1 -cup vinegar and 1-cup of hot water. Spray all over the mattress where the accident happened.

5. Grab a hair dryer and dry the mattress. OR open the shades or blinds in the room and let it air dry.

6. After drying, spray febreeze lightly over the mattress.

This works as I have used this tip many times and friends have used the tip. Hope it helps you.

 

Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month this Saturday

Tomorrow starts the celebration of Children’s Dental Health Month. We are thankful for our site-wide sponsor hosting a fun event this Saturday at the Boone Mall. You all are invited!

op smiles boone nc
The Orthodontic and Pediatric Dental Offices of Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway will have a booth open from 10:00 am-4:00 pm in the center of the mall.  The office will be giving out toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste and lots of helpful information about dental health for February’s Children’s Dental Health Month. The theme this year is “Get a Gold Medal Smile”!  Their giant molar mascot Pearl E. White will also be there if you would like to shake hands, give a high-five, get a hug, or have your picture taken with her! Their Clown will also be blowing up helium balloons!  Take time to  drop byfor a visit or to even brush Dudley’s teeth.

Increasing Milk Supply 101 for Breastfeeding Mothers

I often get comments from parents who have long since weened their children about how difficult it was for them to breastfeed because they did not make enough milk.  Sadly, most of the time not making enough milk was probably not the problem that they were facing.  This is actually a very rare problem.  Most likely, they probably didn’t know enough about breastfeeding to start with in order to increase their milk supply before giving up.  And, on an even sadder note most doctors aren’t as skilled as they should be in helping mom establish a great milk supply.

Since I believe that breast milk is an very important part of an infant’s diet and being a mother/baby professional I want to try to help my clients be as knowledgeable as they can so that breastfeeding can go as easily and smoothly as possible.

The best way to start off with an adequate milk supply is to nurse frequently and on demand for the first 10-12 days after giving birth.  Nursing frequently will help establish your milk supply.  It is always easier to decrease your milk supply once you have enough coming in.  It is amazing how once your milk is established and your infant will take in what she or he needs that your body will regular the milk that you do need.

Other great ways to keep a rich and abundant milk supply is to drink plenty of fluids, mainly water, and eat plenty of calories.  Calories are best from whole food sources like fruits, vegetables, pastured butter, eggs, grassfed and pastured meats.  This way you are assured that what you are taking in is rich in nutrients.  According to the Le Leche League a nursing mom should consume about 500 calories more than she normally did before pregnancy.

Another great way to make sure you maintain and abundant and nutrient rich milk supply would be to supplement your diet with herbs that are great for nursing.  Herbs that are safe for breastfeeding and that can increase a mother’s milk supply are Fenugreek, Blessed thistle, Milk thistle, fennel, Red Raspberry leaf, Goat’s Rue, Alfalfa, Nettle, and Hops Flowers.  You can easily buy many of these herbs in bulk from The Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs and make your own tasty herbal creation!

Just for fun for when your babies are a little bit older I found this great website for making them cold treats from your breastmilk!  What a great idea for teething!  Happy nursing!

5 Reasons to Try and Have a Natural Birth

Do you need a reason to try and have a natural birth after all you’ve heard about the birth experience?  If so, here are 5 reasons to try and have a natural birth. I know, I know natural birth isn’t for everyone.  And, I don’t believe that any mom should ever feel guilty nor should she beat herself up for what happens during birth.  I’m am 150% for supporting a mother’s birth choices if she wishes to have a medicated birth.  I know many a mom who were completely pleased with her medicated births and I believe that if that is the choice a mother makes I want to support her in that.  With all that being said I am 200% for moms being educated on both the risks as well as the benefits that come with any procedure in the labor room or in the rest of the hospital for that matter.  If mom knows all her risks and benefits and makes an educated decision in her birthing room then I am completely on board.  Much of the reason that I desired to become a childbirth doula was to help moms be educated in each of their decision during childbirth so that they have no regrets when they walk from the hospital to the car with their precious new little one in their arms.  There are lots of moms who will choose to use a doula even if they have their heart set on a having a medicated birth.  Even though I am a little biased, being a childbirth doula myself, I don’t think it is a bad idea to have that support for whatever method you choose to have your baby.

For moms that are on the fence about what kind of birth they want and are still exploring their options I wanted to share some of the benefits of having a natural birth so that they can make the decision that is best for them.  So, once you’ve read this  go ahead and make a comment at the bottom and let me know what you think.  If you are interested in sharing your birth story I would love to hear it.  I’m in the process of collecting birth stories both medicated and non-medicated to share on my blog.  If you are interested in sharing hop on over to my facebook page and send me a message.  If you wish, your story can be shared completely anonymously!

 

But, without further ado here are the best of the best reasons to try and have a birth without medication:

  • A birth without an epidural deceases your chance for a c-section – Yes, it is true.  Interventions such as epidurals will increase your likelihood to have failure to progress and increase your chances for a c-section.  They may also cause a drop in blood pressure which could affect the health of your little blessing.
  • Faster Recovery – Most of the time a delivery without medication means much faster recovery time.  Moms who decided on a medicated birth are always extremely surprised at how quickly moms without medication recovered and are surprised at how quickly they are up and walking around.
  • It likely may be healthier for baby – There is really no conclusive research on the subject, but there is a lack of study on the overall health of a baby from an birth with an epidural opposed to a birth without one.  However, some speculate that a epidural could increase the risk of ADHD and other common childhood problems.  Who knows, but the medication does cross the placenta so who knows.
  • You miss out on natural euphoric feelings of oxytocin in the blood –  Once baby is born, your body will natural produce a hormone called oxytocin which causes feelings of bliss and euphoria.  With an epidural your body doesn’t have to produce oxytocin due to the fact that your ultimately can’t feel labor, plus mom has to have pitocin after her birth which also inhibits the release of oxytocin because it is a synthetic form.  This hormone also increases bonding between mom and baby.  It is a wonderful feeling for mom and baby after the birth experience.
  • A natural birth empowers mom – God created us women to do amazing things and birth is one of them. Our bodies are created to do an amazing work by bringing children into the world.  Once you experience birthing a child you feel as though you can do anything.  Plus, I believe it will give your partner a deeper sense of respect for you as well.  Birth can be an empowering experience when mom feels as though she is in control of her experience.

Have you had a natural birth or a medicated birth?  What are pros for either?  I’d love to hear about your experience.

14 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby

I am in no way trying to make any mom out there feel guilty about her choice on how to feed her baby.  I know that there are a number of situations out there where breastfeeding may be nearly impossible for one reason or another.  I also know that some moms may have a difficult time  for various reasons with prolonged breastfeeding.  But, as a mom of three, a childbirth doula, and a natural living advocate I highly recommend breastfeeding for as long as possible for any mom that is able to do so.  There are so many great reasons to breastfeed baby and it is more those moms who don’t even try for convenience reasons that make me a little bit sad.  Although I don’t condemn moms by any means who may not breastfeed for one reason or another I do require clients of mine to at least try, and at least plan on breastfeeding for as long as they are able.

I know that breastfeeding can be a hot button issue with moms.  Many moms can led to feel like they are less of a mom if they can’t breastfeed as long as others.  Hopefully, my explanation above can avoid any feelings of guilt.  So, let’s move past the guilt stuff and just get to the facts.  Here are the reasons that I feel as though you should at least attempt to breastfeed.  It really is best for your baby.

1.  It helps mom and baby bond more quickly. – From the time of birth skin to skin contact between mom and baby (or dad and baby) is so important.  Skin to skin contact helps develop baby’s brain as well as strengthen bonds.  When pairing skin to skin contact with breastfeeding mom and baby are able to bond more quickly an often feel more comfortable together.

2. It helps mom loose pregnancy weight – I just love this.  I have always been more hungry breastfeeding than during pregnancy.  I also happen to crave more breastfeeding.  You need many many calories to breastfeed.  Yeah for natural weight loss when you can still eat lots!

3. Helps the uterus shrink back to its original size – Not only good for baby, breastfeeding is so good for mama too.  Breastfeeding can also help in prevention of hemorrhage after birth.

4. Nutritional make up changes as Baby grows – Unlike formula the composition of breast milk actually changes as baby grows older to suit their needs.  How cool is that?

5. Easily digestible – Even though there are many babies that are sensitive to some foods that mama eats, breastmilk is made to be easily digestible for infants.  It is made for their little tummies that are slowly developing to handle solid foods.

6. Breastfed Infants have a higher IQ – Studies show that breastfed infants do have a high IQ than babies that are not breastfed.

7. Breast milk passes moms antibodies to baby reducing the risk of sickness in infants.  There are ALL  KINDS of sicknesses that breast milk is known to prevent and significantly reduce the chances of.  I won’t even take the time to list them all here.  Just trust me on this one.

8. Breastfeeding can be a natural contraceptive – You do have to be careful with this one.  All moms are different, but for many moms when you are breastfeeding your baby and not supplementing with formula it often keeps your body from ovulating and thus helping you to stay infertile.

9. Breastmilk is Free!  Formula is so expensive.  How great is breastmilk that it costs you nothing!

10.  Spit up stains are easier to clean.

11. Poop from breastfeed babies doesn’t smell bad. 

12. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS.

13. Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s chance of getting breast cancer. 

14. Breastfed babies have less chance of being obese.

If you do desire to breastfeed your baby and are having a hard time, please call a lactation consultant for help and don’t delay.  If you get the proper help early on you will be so happy that you did!  When troubleshooting breastfeeding problems with a professional moms are often able to continue breastfeeding when they otherwise thought they might have to quit.  Feel free to contact me if you would like a referral!