What’s So Offensive About This Breastfeeding Photo?

breastfeeding momThe other morning, Elisha Wilson Beach went to the bathroom and stayed a few extra minutes for some a little quiet time before her 4 1/2-year-old woke up. But before long, Beach’s 11-month-old baby daughter, Nolan, wandered in to nurse. The LA mom did what many of us would do: She fed her baby while finishing up her own bathroom duties. Struck by the humor of the situation, she asked her husband, actor Mike Beach, to take a photo of her mommy multitasking. “I thought it was a cute moment to remember,” she told Today.com. “It was funny. I loved it.”

So she decided to share it on Instagram, writing: “This is motherhood and it ain’t always pretty. What’s your #momtruth? #motherhood #motherhoodaintpretty #tmi #confessionsofamom #ididthat #iamnotsorry.”

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos

Despite the awesome hashtags, not everyone appreciated the post. Commenters lashed out, calling the photo “distasteful,” “unsanitary” and “disgusting” because it took place in the bathroom. (Meanwhile, the ladies room is exactly where people expect breastfeeding moms to hide out when baby wants to eat in public!) They told Beach to “stick your kid in the crib until you’re done, or pump it and give it to them.” They said it was TMI, a wannabe zinger I find particularly ridiculous considering the flotsam and jetsam of junk floating around online.

But for all the haters, there were plenty of moms who could totally relate to the multitasking. “When breastfeeding gets real!” one mom wrote on Beach’s Instagram page. “Been there, done that,” wrote another. Several others reassured the mama that they too gave up privacy in the bathroom when they had children.

I’ll happily add my voice to the chorus of supporters. Because if parenthood teaches you anything, it’s how to multitask like a boss. Just today, I was taking my son to the pediatrician’s office and saw a fellow mom crossing a very busy Park Avenue. Amid the honking cabs and speeding cyclists, she had tucked her screaming toddler under one arm, and under the other a stroller, scooter and half-opened purse. Add a couple of shopping bags and an iced coffee, and she’d look like every mama in my neighborhood. Pulling double-duty is just part of the gig. What Beach showed is simply a reality for many parents, and it’s anything but distasteful.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch

Image of Elisha Wilson Beach via Instagram

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Every Baby is a Royal Baby, According to Huggies

Huggies Royal BabyWith only seven days left in April, we’re biting our nails in anticipation of whether the royal family will welcome a princess or another prince to their adorable family. But there are tons of moms in the U.S. who are expecting babies around this very same time—and new initiative by Huggies will give these American families some royal treatment of their own.

The diaper brand plans to celebrate the birth of the royal baby by giving the gift of free diapers to every U.S.-born baby who shares the new prince or princess’ birthday—whatever day that may be! That means an estimated 11,000 American babies will be eligible to receive one free pack of Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers.

In order to redeem this gift, parents will need to email Huggies@AltaResources.com and include proof of birth via a copy of the birth certificate, a published birth announcement, or a hospital birth announcement. They will then receive one 35-count package of size 1 diapers.

In addition, as soon as the royal baby news breaks, Huggies will travel to the Madison Health hospital in London, Ohio, to make over the hospital’s maternity ward—complete with a red carpet, “throne” room, and royal nursery viewing area.

Huggies will also be donating six diapers per every baby born that day to the National Diaper Bank Network, to help the one in three American families who struggle to provide clean, fresh diapers to their children. And to get the rest of the country involved, Huggies will donate an additional six diapers for every use of #RoyalHug on Twitter from now until royal baby #2 arrives. Now that’s a hashtag we can get behind!

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Royal Baby Is Born!
The Royal Baby Is Born!
The Royal Baby Is Born!

Photos courtesy of Huggies

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Blake Lively: “The Word ‘Dada’ Is Banned in Our House!”

Uh-oh, looks like there’s trouble in paradise for new parents Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds!

But it’s not the typical kind of Hollywood couple drama that gets splashed on the covers of the gossip rags. Turns out the pair is fighting—sorta—about their baby daughter James‘ first word!

It seems that daddy Ryan is encouraging a lot of “dada” and not enough “mama” for Lively’s tastes. In an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she got pretty impassioned about the topic, even saying, “The word ‘dada’ is banned in our house!’”

Blake, I feel you. My baby son has been making sounds with consonants for months—and the “d” sound was the first to develop. I’d been hearing “dada” with no accompanying “mama” for weeks, and getting a little bit steamed. Hey buddy, I’m the one who carried you (and your sister) inside my belly! I’m the one who suffered all that debilitating acid reflux, not your dada!

Related: Moms Speak out on Baby’s Hilarious First Words

Lively added to Fallon, “Of course she has to say ‘mama’ first. I do everything, [Ryan] does nothing!”

And of course the star is only teasing (as am I). We only want our kids to develop healthy language skills at their own pace. And we both know our hubbies work crazy hard to raise these kids alongside us. (Lively has said as much about Reynolds in past interviews.)

But it certainly is an emotional thing to hear the makings of your baby’s first words. And it’s even fair to feel a bit territorial when it comes to such a special milestone!

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She’s also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

 

Photo: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The Dos and Don'ts of Baby Talk
The Dos and Don'ts of Baby Talk
The Dos and Don'ts of Baby Talk

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Don’t Love Date Night? Don’t Worry!

“Do you remember this?” my husband asked, handing me his phone. How could I forget? It was a video he took of me and our baby watching a bunch of pigeons on the roof across from ours. My son was 18-months-old, and my husband and I hadn’t slept for more than three hours a night for six months. We were tired, burnt out, and about as connected as freshly-blown dandelion seeds. It was the lowest point in our otherwise happy marriage.

Despite the fuzzy brain that comes with sleep deprivation, the exhortations from our nearest and dearest rang loudly in my ears: Take care of each other. Take care of yourself. Take care of the baby. Make time for family but keep up your career. Let the dirty dishes go. Don’t let yourself go. Make your own baby food. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Always pack extra diapers. Go on date nights. Go on date nights. Go on date nights.

Related: Staying Lovers While Raising Kids

I soon came to resent the phrase “date night” — it made me recoil in the same way the words “hubby” and “babymoon” do. Still, we gave the nights out a shot, because at the end of the day, we knew we loved each other — we just wanted to enjoy being around each other again. But here’s what no one told me while waxing poetic about night date: It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, logistically, it was a nightmare for us. If we could land a sitter (a big if for us), then we were almost always too tired to carry on any sort of decent conversation. Our exhaustion became our main talking point — hardly the stuff of rekindling romance. And since our baby was waking up all throughout the night, there was no incentive for us to linger over a glass of wine or even order dessert. We were back on duty the second we walked back in the apartment.

So after a handful of tries, we stopped. The Great Date Night Experiment was not only crazy expensive, it also failed to bring us any closer. If anything, I started to feel like something was wrong with me, with us. If these nights out were supposed to “fix” us but didn’t, did that mean we were unfixable? I stewed on that question for a while, and it was heavy on my mind when my husband took that video of us. I can see it my eyes.

But gradually, sleep training took hold, our rational selves resurfaced, and we found smaller, easier ways to reconnect. They were all things that felt more natural to us than a high-stakes night out: lots of jokes, holding hands on the sidewalk, having brunch with our son at our favorite weekend spot, taking a break from doing the dishes to dance, snuggling on the sofa at night and watching TV. I can’t say that any one of these small acts of intimacy was enough to bring back all the butterflies, but collectively they did the trick for us. Before long, I was once again noticing how his eyes crinkled in the corners when he smiled and how my head fit perfectly on his chest. And the question of us faded.

I want to hear from you: How do you keep the spark alive in your relationship? Do date nights work for you?

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Plus: Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Better Sex After Baby
Better Sex After Baby
Better Sex After Baby

Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock

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Little Lotus: A Unique New Swaddle Made From NASA Space Suit Material

Little Lotus swaddleImagine a crying baby. Now imagine that same baby sleeping and cooing happily — because you not only mastered swaddling, but you found a magical swaddle to keep baby cozy.

And an innovative new swaddle for newborns (0-3 months), called Little Lotus, could be the magical swaddle parents are searching for. Created by Jane Chen, founder of Embrace Innovations, Little Lotus was designed with functionality in mind, to be comfortable for babies and convenient for parents.

The top can be opened/closed quietly with high-quality velcro, with flaps that fold up/down easily to secure or free baby’s arms, and the bottom holds a zipper that will allow for quick diaper changing. All this can be done with baby still in the swaddle so that his precious sleep won’t be disturbed. Plus, as Baby grows, there are also three swaddle-like sleeping bags for different weights and months (4-6, 7-9, 10-12), along with blankets that even older kids (up to age 5) can use.

What also sets these swaddles, sleeping bags, and blankets apart is their material — a soft fabric used by NASA to create space suits — which helps regulate baby’s temperature to keep him from getting too hot or cold.

Related: How to Swaddle a Baby

It’s no surprise that Chen created Little Lotus, as she’s the brainchild behind the incredible Embrace Warmer, a portable and affordable incubator. The Embrace Warmer costs less than 1 percent of a regular NICU incubator, and it looks and functions like a sleeping bag, keeping preemies in a warm and safe cocoon. It was designed for developing countries that lack the funds and resources to have a typical NICU incubator in their hospitals, and to date, 150,000 babies in 10 countries (such as Africa, Afghanistan, China, India) have survived and flourished because of the Embrace. Even Queen Bey donated funds to have Embrace Warmers provided to babies in Africa.

Chen also hopes to donate one Embrace Warmer to a country in need with every Little Lotus swaddle, sleeping bag, and blanket that’s purchased. Chen’s team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Little Lotus to get funding for production and distribution costs. The items will be available in four designs, including two prints and two solid colors. And to really drive home the universal theme of embracing parents and babies in need,the prints are inspired by the artwork of Drue Kataoka, who created a constantly changing digital art installation from the handprints of notable people and celebs, such as the Dalai Lama, Christy Turlington, Heidi Klum, Stella McCartney, and 17 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

Ultimately, with Little Lotus and the Embrace Warmer, Chen’s goal is to help at least 1 million babies around the world. (And that’s no small feat!) Visit www.littlelotusbaby.com to learn more about Little Lotus.

Plus: Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.

How to Swaddle Baby
How to Swaddle Baby
How to Swaddle Baby

Image of the Little Lotus swaddle provided by www.littlelotusbaby.com

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