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A Big Thanks to Popeye - The "Spinach" Sailor Man!

                           Image Courtesy: www.comicvine.com

Since the last few months, my teenager has been refusing to have spinach. The excuses are different each time. As a result, I need to find out innovative ways to make him have those nutritious leaves. And it is then that I really really miss Popeye!

This cartoon, who is a sailor lands himself in several types of challenging situations. It is just when he is not able to find his way, that he opens his can of spinach and pops it up. The spinach gives hime the strength and wisdom to get himself out of any blues. Thanks to Popeye that spinach was and is popular amongst his kid fan club. When my boy was small, Popeye used to be one of his favorite shows and as Popeye always has spinach, this kiddo loved it too! So things were very easy for me, just point to Popeye and the spinach would be gulped in minutes.
Now he is growing up and cannot be convinced in these ways! Nutrition is the only way that I can explain him. The whole point behind this incident is also that animations and cartoons are not just a pass time. They influence the kids a lot and are also capable of teaching them a lot of things. Popeye is one of the examples where a positive aspect influences the kids at a tender age.

How I wish that every animation would give such fruitful message and make life easier for Moms.
Miss you Popeye !

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Feeding Accessories for 0-1 Year Olds

As a Mom, feeding forms a major part of your schedule from the day your baby comes into this world. As the growth of the baby progresses, especially in the first year, the feeding styles change and so does the food. In the initial months it is only breast feeding. Gradually, as you start with external foods, the routine, the intervals and the style changes.

Irrespective of any stage, feeding accessories is something that will always be on your list. There are some that are essential while some are add-on. Let us take a look at the major accessories that you will need:

Accessories for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has always been the age old and best way to care for your little one's nutrition. Infants need to be breastfed at frequent intervals. There is a wide range of accessories related to breast feeds that makes the process convenient for the Mom and the baby irrespective of the schedule, place and time.
Nursing Bras and Dresses: These are designed especially for nursing your baby with convenience. They have wide opening in the front to allow ease of breastfeeding. The dresses are trendy and are available in patterns to suit any occasion. So now you do not need to excuse yourself for breastfeeding your little one.
Nursing Covers: These are special designed cloth covers that give you the privacy to breast feed when you are in public. The cuts and designs are casual and you can maintain eye and physical contact with your little one rather than hiding the baby.
Breast Pads: If you need to be out for a long time that will result in keeping you away from the intended breast feed, you can gear yourself with breast pads. These are absorbent cotton pads that prevent the leakage of milk on to your clothes.
Breast Feeding Pumps and Storage Bags and Bottles: If you are a working Mom or if you are going to be away from your baby for a long interval, you can make use of this accessories to ensure that your baby gets the next feed of mother's milk. There is a variety of breast pumps and storage accessories like bags and bottles.
You need to research the appropriate ones that suit your needs.
Nipple shields: They protect the nipples from cracking or getting hurt. You also get ointments in case you have any cuts or cracks.

Accessories for bottle feeds
 If you have started bottle feeding your baby, you have a whole new world of infant accessories:
Baby bottles and nipples: There is a huge variety of baby bottles in the market in terms of size, shapes, brands, and materials. you can talk to your doctor or close friends and research on the internet for suitable types.
Cleaning and warming accessories: There are sterilizers, bottle trays for dishwashers and bottle brushes of various types. If you have microwave friendly bottles, then there are warmers available for them.
Bibs and burp cloths: These are minor accessories, but important in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene when you bottle feed your baby.

Accessories for solid feeds
Once your little one is able to have foods other than milk, it is time for some more baby special accessories:
Bowls, dishes and spoons: All these utilities designed with special plastics or baby friendly materials and with pretty designs that do not harm your baby are available in a really wide variety. You can go in for the best brands and have safe and healthy feeds for your baby.
Sippy cups and glasses: They come in different volumes and shapes too! Here again you have a wide choice. You can have special cups that can be carried when you travel as well.
Highchair: This is an optional but a convenient accessory. These are designed in an infant friendly way and some can be adjusted in height as the baby grows up. The positive aspect is that you can feed the baby conveniently and without running around, but you need to be around to prevent any mishap.

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How to Take Care of Baby Nails

A baby's nails grow very quickly and babies tend to scratch themselves as they move their hands and feet. Their toe and finger nails are very delicate too. Therefore, you need to look into the nail trimming at least once or twice a week depending on the nail growth. You also need to be very careful when you cut the nails.

The best time to cut the nails is when the baby is fast asleep, preferably during the day so that you can be extra careful. The sleep after the bath is also a good time, as the nails become soft after a bath. Depending on the sleep pattern, you can decide which time would be ideal.

Place the baby on a wide surface and sit beside her. Gently hold the hand and cut the nail using an infant scissor or an infant nail clipper. Do not use scissors or clippers that are sharp or meant for adults. If the baby tends to wake up or moves, stop for a while and then resume. When cutting the nails, make the nail stick out by applying slight pressure and cut it in one single motion. Cutting the nails in an irregular manner can leave sharp jagged edges and the baby may hurt herself. Repeat the same process for the toe nails. Observe the growth of the nails and trim them as needed.

Do not cut the nails too deep as it may hurt the tender skin. If there is any dirt, gently remove it with your fingers.

There are various accessories intended for baby nail care. You can also buy a baby manicure set. The important nail care items for babies are:
Infant nail scissors:These are especially designed for baby nail cut. They have large handles that are comfortable to hold without the risk of losing the grip. The blade has rounded edges that eliminate the risk of pricking or causing cuts. Scissors are much convenient to handle than nail clippers.
Infant nail clippers: These are available in various sizes and pretty shapes, but the clip size is small and designed for the tiny nails. They also do not have sharp edges and are safe. Nail clippers are more useful if there are any jagged edges that need a trim.
Infant nail files: These are small files that are exceptionally tender on the soft nails. Files may be used to file off the fresh cut nail surfaces or any sharp edges.
You can manage your baby's nail care with just a pair of baby scissors, but you can have the other two items ready if you feel any sharp edges still persist.

Important:
Be extremely careful when cutting your baby's nails. Do not haste and cut it in an incorrect way as this can harm the tender skin.

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How to Buy a Pacifier for your Baby

If you have decided to buy a pacifier for your little one, here are some important tips that you need to remember:

  • Research for the correct pacifier size that your baby is going to need with respect to age. Pacifiers usually occur in the range of 0-6 months and 6+ months. If the pacifier is large, it becomes uncomfortable for the baby while a smaller size may result in choking hazards.
  • Study the various pacifier brands available in the market and try out 2 to 3 different brands so as to know which one suits the best. Opt for different designs and select the one that is safe and convenient for the baby.
  • Once you narrow down your search to specific brands, observe the design of the pacifier and shape and size of the nipples. You can opt for a BPA free nipple that is extremely safe for the baby. BPA Bisphenol-A is a synthetic compound that is found in plastics and is supposed to be risk posing. In other cases, prefer the silicone nipples. Avoid plastics and also check out for latex allergies. The pacifier shield should be broad but it must also provide sufficient breathing space to your baby.

 Warnings:

  • Strictly avoid pacifiers that may pose any type of choking hazard.
  • Examine the pacifier and nipple intermittently. If there is any discoloration or wear out, discard the pacifier immediately. In any case replace pacifiers frequently.
  • Keep the pacifier regularly to avoid infections.
  • Pacifiers are many a times not recommended as they may interfere with breast feeding.
  • Avoid using bottle nipples as pacifiers as it results in choking hazards.

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Top Tips on Baby Bottles

When you think of buying a feeding bottle for you baby, you may get confused with the numerous options that you find in the market. There are various types of bottles, several types of nipples, bibs, and a range of bottle accessories. However, a feeding bottle is definitely a product that you need for your baby. It may be required at the stage when you start bottle feeding or you may need it to store breast milk.

There are basically three types of feeding bottles and every type has its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Plastic bottles are easy to carry, unbreakable and safe to handle than glass ones. However, the quality of the plastic needs to be good. It is also advisable that the plastic should be BPA free. The plastic bottle shave a low life as compared to the glass bottles.
  • Glass bottles can be cleaned thoroughly by boiling. They also last longer, but have a risk to being cracked or broken if not handled properly.
  • You also get disposable bottles that have a sterilized liner that can be disposed after each feeding. If the quality of the liner is good and safe to use, these bottles are very convenient. However they are expensive than the other two types.

There are wide varieties in nipples too when it comes to material, shape and size. Nipples are usually made of plastic, silicone or latex. If you are opting for latex, you need to ensure that the baby does not react with any allergy. For plastic nipples you again need to ensure that the plastic is safe and preferably BPA free. The best choice to opt for is silicone nipples. The shapes vary from rounded to flat or mimicked to the shape of mother's nipples. Nipples also come in various sizes. Accordingly the holes in the nipple may be small or large, thus affecting the milk flow. You need to test the milk flow before using it.

There are some important tips that you need to follow regarding nipples:
  • Your baby may or may not adapt to a particular nipple type. If she is a picky one, the you will be required to try variety of nipples till the baby gets used to a particular one.
  • Nipples may gradually get cracked by wear and tear, hence need to be replaced periodically.
  • Always use a bottle or nipple cap for safety and hygiene.
  • Research for good nipple brands to ensure good quality.
Accessories related to feeding bottles
Though there is a wide range of accessories that relates to feeding bottles, you need not have all the items. There are certain accessories that are important like bottle brushes, nipple brushes, extra nipples, bibs and burp cloths.

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