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Charlotte, NC 28208
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Charlotte+Asher creates chic diaper bags for the stylish, modern mom.

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Parenthood related topics written by the founders of charlotte+asher.

Filtering by Tag: infant

Celebrating Infant Immunization Week

Laura Hahn

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This week is National Infant Immunization Week (April 16-23), an annual observance by the CDC to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. This is an important week for charlotte+asher since we firmly believe in the importance of infant vaccination, as we donate a specific amount from each bag purchase to the Shot@Life organization. Through Shot@Life, we help fight against the world’s four most deadliest diseases for children: measles, polio, pneumonia and diarrhea.

While these diseases are the most dangerous for children worldwide, that is not to take away from the importance of other routine vaccines we get here in the US and other developed countries. For example, it is routine for newborns to get a Vitamin K injection right after birth, whether at a hospital, birthing center, or even at home with a midwife. This shot ensures that your baby’s blood will be able to clot properly, as Vitamin K deficiencies are extremely serious and may cause life-threatening bleeding. The Hepatitis B shot is also routinely given to newborns before leaving the hospital, though at a birthing center or home birth you may get this at the first pediatrician visit.

As parents, sometimes it’s hard to see our children crying when receiving their vaccinations. I particularly admire and am thankful for the nurses who are expert shot givers and administer the shot and band aid in one fell swoop with minimal bleeding in a few seconds. However, that momentary crying is absolutely worth it to protect them from life-threatening diseases that would otherwise cause us and them to cry. It's worth remembering that even if a child catches but doesn't die from a vaccine-preventable disease, she can still suffer tremendously and will likely need a lot of medical intervention to survive. The facts and studies are out there showing the efficacy and safety of the vaccines our children receive at their pediatric visits. Some children may experience side effects like soreness at the site of vaccine or a low-grade fever, but these are usually mild, short lived, and treatable.

We should continue to discuss the importance of vaccines, raise questions to get a better understanding of them, and strive for the best concoctions. No vaccine is 100% effective, but many are 90% or higher and their effectiveness is increased by herd immunity. We support vaccines not just to protect ourselves and our children, but also as a public health contribution--to help protect each other, especially those who are immunocompromised and unable to get the vaccinations themselves. Our children are the future; they shouldn’t be held back by diseases we have been so fortunate to effectively fight. But we need to continue fighting so that we can win, together.

Story of the Second Child

Laura Hahn

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Parents like to joke about how lax they become with the second child, which is definitely the case for me. While I was relatively relaxed with my son as a first time mom, I’m already finding how different things are with my daughter. I’ve also come to realize that I enjoy the toddler years much more than the newborn phase. After being in the world of toddlers where my son can communicate in full sentences, is potty trained, and can follow directions, being thrust back into the newborn world of trying to decipher cries and a monotonous feed - change diaper - sleep cycle takes some adjusting to, especially with less sleep! Newborns are also not that fun since their personalities haven’t fully developed yet. I love seeing how my son’s 2.5 year old brain interprets the world. My husband and I already talk about how sad we will be when he stops calling a banana “bamana,” and a peppermint “peppermoni.” Or asks about something by saying, “where is them?”

While I know my daughter is going to be just as much fun and probably way more of a handful than her brother before I know it, there are some differences this time around that can probably be attributed to being the second child:

  • Her health. I nursed my son for a year and he didn’t get his first cold until after I weaned him. I don’t think I used the snot sucker on him until 8-10 months. He also didn’t get his first real diaper rash until he started teething molars around 10 months. My daughter, meanwhile, already has a stuffy nose and is recovering from a diaper rash at 7 weeks, despite being breastfed. I’m sure some of it is attributed to the weather, being born at the end of the winter, but she’s definitely exposed to more germs thanks to her big bro.

  • My patience. I can’t say for sure whether my son was objectively a “better” baby than my daughter at this age because I know I was way more patient as a first time mom. Perhaps my son’s cries were more predictable, but my daughter is thankfully a better night sleeper than her brother at this age. All I know is that after being able to converse with my son who explicitly tells me his needs, trying to communicate with a hysterical baby who’s been fed, changed, and is in a great sleeping environment but won’t sleep can be frustrating! Since I know things get better with time, I almost wish she would grow up faster right now so we could skip certain things and get to a more fun age in a few months.

  • My heart. Before we were pregnant with our second children, some friends and I joked about how our first children are the best and any subsequent child wouldn’t be able to live up to them. As a parent to one child, it’s hard to imagine how you could possibly love another child as much as your first. But your love increases. I found that my heart somehow grew to encapsulate more love for my daughter, because it’s not like I took love away from my son to make room for her. I embrace the differences between my children and love them for the individuals that they are. And I can’t wait to see my daughter’s personality develop and fall even more in love with her.

    What else has been different for you the second time around?

 

Best Toys for Kids: Infants Under 1 Year

Laura Hahn

There are so many toys out there for kids, and as a parent it can be overwhelming choosing which ones to get for your child. We tend to gravitate toward more educational toys that will be actively used for at least a few months and have a few purposes; unfortunately you never know what your child will end up liking. Here’s a list of our top 10 favorite toys for infants up to a year old. Check back next week for the top toys we like for age 1-2, and the week after for 2-3 years.

  1. Baby Activity Gym. This is great for infants to practice tummy time starting on day 1, especially if it comes with a small pillow they can prop up on. Ideally the gym has loops to attach toys to practice grabbing, as well as a mirror. This can be used for several months as baby starts to roll over, reach and grab for things, and sit up.

  2. Plastic teething rings. These are super cheap and very versatile. Baby can gnaw on these as she pre-teeths starting as early as 3-4 months, and if you link them together they make a great rattle as well. These are super easy to attach to a car seat or stroller and (bonus!) won’t be thrown to the ground since they stay attached.

  3. O-ball with rattle. This is super easy for babies to grasp and shake due to the holes, and the rattle makes a fun noise. It also makes another great teething toy, and you can even start teaching baby about the flow of communication by rolling the ball back and forth with her. Perfect for developing hand-eye coordination.

  4. Sophie the Giraffe. There’s a reason Sophie has been around for almost 60 years--her ridges and legs specifically are a great teething toy (see a theme here?) for incoming 1-year-old molars. She’s also great for practicing grasping and playing, since she also squeaks.

  5. Board Books. The AAP recommends reading to children when they are infants to promote language skills and literacy development. As baby gets older, encourage him to help turn the pages (board book pages are easier to turn and more durable than paper books). Interactive books that have flaps baby can pull like this are super fun for them around 9-12 months.

  6. Mozart Cube. This cube is a fantastic way to help baby learn to sit up, as it is the perfect height and shape. Leaning on the cube helped my LO work on his ab muscles and go from a tripod sit starting at 4 months to eventual full sitting up soon thereafter. The cube also has lights (an obsession for many babies), big push buttons, and a variety of (not annoying) music, which is stimulating for baby.

  7. Stacking Rings. There are so many versions of this, including stacking cups, but whichever you choose will still be a great toy. Help baby start learning about size and order, along with hand-eye coordination and depth perception.

  8. High Chair Suction Toy. This has saved us during mealtime to help baby sit long enough to finish eating. We’ve even used it into early toddlerhood to help our son sit while the adults finish up their dinner. The suction works well so it doesn’t keep falling off the tray (just make sure to wet it before attaching), and the bright colors, movement, and rattle noises are stimulating for baby. Because it’s fairly small and light, you can even use it (without suction) as a take along toy when out and about.

  9. Soft Blocks. These are a great toy for baby to grab, chew, and throw. They love the crinkly or bell sounds, and as she gets older, eventually she will learn to stack the blocks herself.

  10. Push Walker. This toy is perfect to encourage babies to start walking. Many of them have toys or little extras on the front that baby can play with, both before and during the walking stage. If propped against a hard surface so it can’t move, it encourages the pre-walker to sit, kneel, or even stand while playing with it. Once he’s cruising and steadier on his feet, it’s a great tool to help get those first steps going, though it can roll pretty fast on non-carpeted floors, so be sure to supervise him.

Do you have any other favorite toys for infants that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!