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This 10-Month-Old Baby Weighs HOW MUCH?!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

juanita-hernandezWhen Juanita Valentina Hernandez was born, she weighed a fairly normal 6 pounds. At 15 days old, the baby looked a little “chubby,” according to her mom, but not enough to raise any red flags. (And anyway, don’t many newborns have a few adorable rolls to spare?) But it didn’t take long before Juanita’s weight gain shot off the growth charts. Now, at 10 months old, the Colombian girl weighs a jaw-dropping 44 pounds (!), or about as much as the average kindergartner, reports Yahoo! Parenting.

Mom Sandra Franco says she has no idea what’s behind the unusual jump in pounds and, until recently, didn’t even realize her daughter was morbidly obese. She’s now teamed up with doctors at the charity Gorditos de Corazon (translation: Chubby Hearts), and the little girl is undergoing treatment in Bogota to figure out the culprit for obesity. If the past is any indication—doctors there have successfully treated two other obese babies—she’ll most likely follow a tailor-made diet over many months to slowly shed the extra weight.

But make no mistake: The team is officially on the clock. Juanita’s weight needs to come off before more serious health complications, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or joint issues, set in. I’ll be watching this story closely in the months to come, and keeping my fingers crossed that the treatment works and that Juanita is able to resume a normal, healthy life. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your kiddo’s weight, talk to your pediatrician.

Tell us: Have you wondered if your baby is overweight (or underweight)? What did you do about it?

Need to keep track of your baby’s feeding? Download our free printable feeding and diaper logs to help you track baby’s everyday routine.

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+

Playing With Baby: Get Moving
Playing With Baby: Get Moving
Playing With Baby: Get Moving

Image of Juanita Hernandez courtesy of the Gorditos de Corazon Facebook page.

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Instagram Stars #TheoandBeau Now Have a Baby Sister!

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

When photos of 23-month-old Beau and his pup, Theo, snuggling together during naptime went viral in 2013, you could almost hear the collective awww from the Internet. After all, there’s nothing cuter than a tow-headed toddler and his tiny puppy. Well, except, of course, a brand-new baby.

About four months ago, Jessica Shyba gave birth to daughter Evangeline (or Evvie, for short), turning the dynamic duo (#theoandbeau) into an insanely photogenic trio (#theoandevie). Evvie is already napping alongside Theo and Beau, and Shyba, the brains behind the blog Momma’s Gone City, has once again captured the cuteness for us. We first spotted the heartwarming pics on Today.com, but check out plus the whole batch on the Momma’s Gone City Instagram. (Talk about cute overload!)

We have yet to run across a picture that doesn’t make us smile: There’s the trifecta, sleeping soundly after a morning of playing dress-up as Beau wears his doggie tie; dreaming of their next adventure while cuddling thisclose together; or — my favorite — dozing off in the same arms-up-feet-together sleeping position. Just look at the photos below!

(Side note: Although super cute, these pictures don’t exactly jibe with the AAP’s recommendations. Remember to remove soft bedding, toys, and pillows from your kiddo’s sleep area, and always have baby sleep on her back. But you probably already knew that!)

As much as I adore these photos, I’ve got to say I’m more impressed that this mom of three kids and two pets even has the time to snap them, come up with cute captions, and post them online. How about you — have you found the time to take any Instagram-worthy shots of your babe?

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+

All About Co-Sleepers
All About Co-Sleepers
All About Co-Sleepers

Image of Theo, Beau and Evvie courtesy of Jessica Shyba via Instagram

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Having Trouble Breastfeeding? So Are These Two Famous Moms

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Amanda Peet and Zoe SaldanaSore nipples. Sudden leaking. Uncomfortable letdown. For many of us, breastfeeding our baby isn’t as simple as latch and go. Even glamorous, TMZ-dodging mamas run into issues come feeding time.

Two of the latest Hollywood moms to spill the beans on their nursing woes? Amanda Peet and Zoe Saldana. But instead of letting a loose comment slip on the red carpet, they chose to broadcast their struggles to the world, earning some major points with those of us who have slugged through it in relative silence.

Peet, who gave birth to her third child, Henry, in December, offered up her trials and tribulations during a recent interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Specifically, she dished on how painful engorgement is and how she took to stuffing her nursing bra with cold cabbage leaves to stop the milk production.

The good-natured actress even shared a photo her husband took of her wearing said leaves while brushing her teeth. “This is my husband being very amused by my porno boobs even though I’m in excruciating pain,” she told Ellen. “[The cabbage] doesn’t really work, but it makes for a really great picture.” (Um, yes.)

While Peet vented about engorgement on TV, Saldana took her concerns about painful pumping to Twitter. The new mom of twins wrote:

Parents immediately responded to the social media SOS, offering up everything from their fave nipple creams and gel pads to home remedy ideas, like warm washcloths and soothing music. But mostly, they showered her with lots of love and encouragement because, hey, they’ve been there, too.

I wouldn’t wish breastfeeding problems on anyone, but I do think it’s kind of amazing that two high-profile actresses are so open about their less-than-perfect experiences. As wonderful as nursing is for many of us, it can also be an enormous pain. Literally. And as luck would have it, the biggest struggles tend to crop up when you’re tired, hurting, and unsure of how to get your body (or your baby) to cooperate. Does seeing Amanda Peet with a bra full of cabbage solve those problems? Of course not — but it can help you realize that you’re not the only one who’s still getting the hang of nursing. And sometimes that’s enough.

Tell us: Have you tried breastfeeding? Was the experience easier or tougher than you thought?

Need to keep track of your baby’s feeding? Download our free printable feeding and diaper logs to help you track baby’s everyday routine.

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+

Pain-Free Breastfeeding
Pain-Free Breastfeeding
Pain-Free Breastfeeding

Photos: Amanda Peet via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock; Zoe Saldana via DFree/Shutterstock

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The Surprising Way Naps Can Help Your Baby’s Memory

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

baby-sleepingYou don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that nine times out of 10, your baby is a sunnier, more enjoyable person to be around after she’s had a nap. Like the well-fed star of a Snickers commercial. You also have a pretty good idea how those midday snoozes benefit you, namely that you can do anything you want for an hour or two in relative peace. But now researchers have found a new reason to embrace baby’s daily catnap: it could boost her memory.

Though the idea isn’t new for adults or even older kids, experts weren’t sure how daytime sleep affected an infant’s ability to retain memories. To find out, a group of scientists split 216 babies aged 6 months or 12 months into two groups. All of the babies were taught how to take mittens off of puppets, then some kiddos napped for 30 minutes while the others stayed up. Afterward, the researchers quizzed the babies two times to see if any of them remembered how to pull off the mittens — the first time, four hours post-siesta and again 24 hours later.

The results? Only the babies who napped for at least half an hour after the mittens lesson were able to remember what they were taught, even 24 hours later. The findings were published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reports HealthDay.

“While people might assume that infants learn best when they are wide awake, our findings suggest that the time just before infants go down for sleep can be a particularly valuable learning opportunity,” says study author Sabine Seehagen, a child and adolescent psychology researcher with Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. That’s because researchers say evidence suggests the shut-eye helps children retain memories. (After all, who can remember anything when they’re tired?)

Though the study’s researchers say that napping after learning could help your babe hang on to memories over time, don’t start tweaking her nap schedule just yet. More research is needed before concrete guidelines or recommendations are handed down to us parents. Still, I’m curious — does a study like this one change your approach to baby’s nap time? Why or why not?

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+

Baby Sleep: All About Nap Time
Baby Sleep: All About Nap Time
Baby Sleep: All About Nap Time

Image of baby sleeping courtesy of Shutterstock

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Gaby Hoffmann Ate Her Placenta — Should You?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

gaby-hoffmannWhile some A-list moms credit their quick postpartum recovery to exercise, eating well, or enlisting lots of help, Gaby Hoffmann chose a slightly different path: she ate her placenta.

Not in one felled swoop, mind you. The Girls actress, who gave birth to daughter Rosemary at home back in November, had her doula and midwife slice up the birth organ into 20 pieces and freeze them. Every day for three weeks, she’d pluck a nugget out of the freezer, toss it into a blender, and make a smoothie. “I put it in a blender with strawberries and blueberries and guava juice and a banana, and I drank that s— up,” she told People. (For the record, she swears you don’t taste a thing.)

If the thought of nibbling on something that came out of your own body grosses you out, you’re not alone. But placentophagy, or eating your placenta, is attracting some high-profile fans. Hoffmann is the latest famous mom who has scarfed down her birth organ in hopes of warding off postpartum depression and jump starting her energy and milk supply. January Jones, Alicia Silverstone and Tamera Mowry ate theirs — and sang its praises afterward. Kim Kardashian even reportedly contemplated it. Though Hoffmann opted to eat hers raw, many women prefer send their placenta off to be dried, ground up, and turned into easy-to-swallow pill form. Even in a nice and tidy package, placentophagy has drawn its share of criticism, especially from the medical community. Doctors warn that there’s no hard evidence supporting claims of improved mood, energy, or milk supply.

Moreover, they caution that eating the placenta could be harmful to a mom’s health. Yes, you get some nutrients, but you could also end up ingesting the bacteria and viruses the organ trapped in utero, plus any hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), reports Today.com. Still, the red flags may not be enough to deter new mamas from giving it a shot. After all, those first weeks after giving birth can be rough, especially if you’re dealing with postpartum depression or supply issues. It can be enough to make even the most squeamish moms willing to try something — anything — to help them feel like their old selves again. Even if it means eating their own placenta.

Tell us: Would you consider placentophagy?

Find out what changes are ahead for your little one with our Baby Milestone Tracker.

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+

Postpartum Depression:
Postpartum Depression:
Postpartum Depression: "My mind was racing all the time."

Image of Gaby Hoffmann courtesy of Shutterstock

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