Category: Uncategorized

Exersaucers, Swings, and Jumpers

I was wondering which would be best for Nora. For years I have been against the door frame jumpers because of a case of neglect that I once saw. However, I got to thinking, are they really that bad. Then I did a search on Google, and came across a wonderful article.

Exersaucers, Swings and Jumpers— A help or hindrance to development?

By Deanie Barth, MSPT Physical Therapist

Exersaucers, swings and jumpers are a constant source of controversy among parents, physicians and therapists. The initial source of controversy stemmed from safety issues. The original “exersaucer” was basically an activity table on wheels. Infants had a great time as they cruised around open areas retrieving objects across the room and enjoyed a new found sense of freedom. Unfortunately, these were extremely dangerous – even the most diligent parents might turn their heads for a moment and children went down stairs, into pools or tipped over on uneven surfaces. While the more contemporary models are certainly safer than the older ones, they still should be used with adult supervision.

This article will describe the exersaucer, swing and jumper and list some pros and cons and personal opinions I have as a physical therapist. One thing they all have in common is that they should only be used in moderation (I recommend no more than 15 minutes at a time) and with constant supervision.

The modern exersaucer is essentially an activity table in which your child can sit, stand with assistance and bounce. The activity table can be helpful in developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills thus make sure that items on the activity table have various colors, shapes and textures to stimulate. However, make sure it has a limited number of such objects so your child will want to turn his body and shift his weight to explore each one. When seated in the exersaucer, the infant’s legs are typically externally rotated and slightly extended if they are leaning forward. While infants enjoy this position as it enables them to move around freely, it is not a movement pattern that is conducive to learning to walk. Encouraging your child to stand while leaning on their arms rather than leaning with their trunk against the tray will help to strengthen legs and promote balance, however, achieving the important milestones of sitting, standing, cruising and walking, are best accomplished by playing with your child in a natural environment.

Jumpers usually sit within a door frame or a manufactured frame. The child sits in a sling and has the ability to use his legs to jump up and down which provides long periods of fun and entertainment. Weight bearing and contracting muscles against resistance (the floor) can help to develop muscles strength, however, the typical position within the sling seat is once again with hips externally rotated and slightly extended. The child will also tend to land and push off from their toes rather than with a flat foot. The concern here is that not only does it promote a movement pattern that will not facilitate walking, but it may promote walking on the toes as well. As with the exersaucer, if used for short spans of time, the jumper will provide lots of fun for a child, but little gross motor development.

Swings are typically used with the younger infant. If you choose to use a swing, one with an activity tray is recommended. Once again it should contain an assortment of shapes, textures and colors to promote batting, grasping and retrieving. While in a swing, a child typically semi-reclines with their legs dangling. While this may be emotionally soothing there is absolutely no gross motor benefit to this position. Leaning forward to play with the activity will help with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but essentially it’s greater purpose serves as a babysitter for the parent.

When used properly exersaucers, jumpers and swings clearly provide brief, but much needed periods of respite for a parent, and they may even help with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. However, If used for long periods of time, there is a significant chance they will impede the proper development of gross motor skills. So, remember, don’t use them for more than 15-20 minutes at a time, and never allow them to be used unsupervised, even for a second.

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Car Seats and Warranties

I was going through my check list today of things that I needed to put on my registry or needed to get. I made sure that I had the infant car seat on my list, and then remembered that I might need one of those head stabalizer things for Nora when she is born, so I went to Chicco’s website, and did a search to see what they reccomend, and here is what I found…

    Can I use any additional coverings/products in my Chicco car seat?
    Chicco does not allow use of any accessories, pads, or products not included with the car seat, unless specifically approved by Chicco. Doing so will void the warranty of the Child Restraint.

    Add-on products can interfere with the proper performance of the car seat. It is critical for your child’s safety that add-on products manufactured by other companies not be used without approval from Chicco. The only accessories approved at this time are the Bokoo covers.

    To keep your baby warm and safe when in an infant car seat, Chicco, and child passenger safety experts, recommend putting your child in lightweight, yet warm, clothing with legs (fleece products are great for this). Once the baby is properly buckled in the harness, blankets may be placed over the baby for additional warmth.

I was like I guess I wont be needing/wanting one of those things anymore. I had no clue that using such products could void the warranty of the car seat. I was even thinking about getting some the toys to hand on the carrying bar, but apparently they will void the warranty as well.

Then I got to thinking, what other car seat manufactures do not allow car seat accessories. Below you will find car seat manufactures and what their website says about car seat accessories.

  • Graco: Could not find anything on their website, so an email was sent.

    • No responce recieved as of 8/31/10

  • Safety 1st: Using car seat accessories will void your warranty.
  • Britax: Using car seat accessories will void your warranty.
  • Evenflo:”DO NOT attach additional padding, toys, or other devices not made by Evenflo or described in the car seat instructions to the child restraint. Items not tested with the child restraint can injure the child.”
  • Preg Perego: Not found on their website, so an email was sent.

    • No responce recieved as of 8/31/10

  • Baby Trend: Not found on their website, an email was sent.

    • Email response: “I quite do not know what other accessories would be void the warranty for a car seat. The only time we would void a warranty are things like cutting the straps, washing the canopy or seat cover, etc. Things that clearly state in our instruction manual what not to do. Blankets, jackets, toys are fine unless they obstruct the safety features of the car seat or the base”

  • Combi: Not found on their website and no way to email them.
  • Maxi-Cosi: Instruction manual says “Do not substitute parts or try to
    modify the child restraint in any way”
  • Mia Moda: Instruction manual says “DO NOT use accessories or parts other than those provided by Mia Moda. Use of accessories or parts from other manufacturers could alter the performance of the car seat.”

So my guess would be that all car seat manufactures feel that adding after market items to the car seat is unsafe, and may even void your warranty.

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Baby Owner Manual??? HAHAHA

Michael showed this to me on And I thought it was so funny, and had to share.


  • Operating instructions for new humans
  • Troubleshoot all your problems easily
  • RTFM before you have a baby

The birth of your child – what a miracle! But then you bring the little creature home and you realize that you have no idea what to do with it. “Why didn’t this thing come with an instruction manual?” you cry out in vain. You try moving it up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right…but where are the B and A buttons? Why is it screaming? How do you get it to stop? And what, oh all that is holy, is that horrid smell? STOP!!! Take a deep breath. You have a copy of The Baby Owner’s Manual, and everything is going to be just fine.

Through step-by-step instructions and helpful schematic diagrams, The Baby Owner’s Manual explores the common concerns of every first-time parent: What’s the best way to swaddle a baby? How can I make my newborn sleep through the night? When should I bring the baby to a doctor for servicing? Whatever your question, you’ll find the answer here – courtesy of celebrated pediatrician Dr. Louis Borgenicht and his son, Joe Borgenicht (also celebrated, in his own way). Together, they provide plenty of useful advice for anyone who wants to learn the basics of childcare. Because once you learn the basics, you can then learn how to do the super combo moves. We have no idea what that means, either.

Baby not included.

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Appointment Today

Everything went well at the doctor. I have gained a total of 4lbs in two weeks (yikes!), and my blood pressure was 114/77! Nora’s heart rate was 150, which is really good. She didn’t like the thing they use to listen to the heart rate. She kicked at it. LOL. It was really strange not only feeling her kick, but listening to it as well. I go back in 3 weeks for my next ultrasound. Hopefully Nora will be more cooperative for this ultrasound. Michael and I are planning on eating Mexican before we go, that always gets her up.

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A Little About Baby at Week 18
Baby’s now the size of a sweet potato!
Baby’s become amazingly mobile (compared to you, at least), passing the hours yawning, hiccupping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking, and swallowing. And baby is finally big enough that you’ll soon be able to feel her movements.
Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He’s busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you’ll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they’re still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he’s born. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

  • You are 18 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 16 weeks)
  • The fetus is now 6 inches long and weighs 7 ounces.
  • The fetus measures about 15cm and weighs almost 200 grams.
  • They can hear sounds and may be startled by loud noises.
  • Recognizable active and rest periods.
  • The skin is building a protective wax layer (vernix).

Vernix (a white cheese like protective material) forms on baby’s skin with the lanugo, a soft lightly pigmented hair covering the body and limbs, both help to protect your baby’s skin during the months in water. Your baby may hear your heart beating, your stomach rumbling or blood moving through the umbilical cord. He or she may even be startled by loud noises.

Tiny air sacs called alveoli begin to form in lungs and the vocal chords are formed. Baby goes through the motions of crying but without air doesn’t make a sound; yet.

Your baby may have the same awake and sleep patterns of a newborn. Baby will have a favorite position for sleep and recognizable active and rest periods.

Your baby measures about 6 inches (15cm) crown to rump and weighs about 7 ounces (200gm).

Pregnancy Today
How is your baby growing?
Your baby’s main job this week is to plump out. She’s now about the right size to fit into your palm, and is developing a layer of fat under her skin. This will help keep her warm after the birth, but for now, your amniotic fluid does the job for her, keeping her at a constant 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 Celsius), slightly warmer than your own body temperature.

Your baby is now recognizably either a boy or a girl, with a visible penis and testes or a fledgling uterus and vagina. If you’re having a girl, she already has around two million eggs in her ovaries. Connections are constantly forming in her brain, meaning she has more control over her limbs, fingers and toes. Her blood circulation is well established, and the umbilical cord is becoming thicker and longer to transport oxygen and nutrients into her body. Your baby and the placenta are almost the same size.

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Cloth v/s Disposable Pros and Cons.

I got this from

Cloth Diapers versus Disposable Diapers – Pros and Cons

One of the first decisions you’ll make as a new parent, is whether to use disposable or cloth diapers.

Your baby will spend around 25,000 hours in a diaper and need about 6000 diaper changes in their first years of life.
Your decision to use disposable or cloth diapers will not only have a great impact on your baby’s comfort and health; it can also impact the environment and your finances.

Of course there are pros and cons for each one, and many have strong beliefs that one is better than another. In the end, it’s a decision only you and your family can make, so being informed is very important.

The Pros & Cons of Disposable Diapers:

Disposable diapers have been around since the sixties. The actual first mention was made in 1942, but they didn’t become popular until the early sixties. Their popularity has grown in abundance over the years, and they have seen many changes.

The Pros:-

  • Ease of use; disposables seem like the easier choice. They are an all-in-one product, with less fuss than cloth.
  • Throw-away; disposables can be thrown away once used, unlike cloth which will need to be washed.
  • Easy to travel with; disposables are the easy choice to use when traveling.
  • Leak less; disposables tend to leak less than cloth. They have a tight, snug fit and are very absorbent.

The Cons:-

  • More expensive; over the years you will probably spend around $1500 diapering your baby in disposables.
  • Bad for the environment; it is estimated that around 5 million tons of untreated waste is deposited into landfills via disposables every year.
  • Harder to potty-train; toddlers can’t feel wetness as much with disposables, so it’s harder for them to potty-train.
  • More diaper-rash; according to one study, 78% of babies in disposable diapers get diaper-rash, compared to only 7% of cloth diapered babies.
  • Babies health; the chemical used to make the super-absorbency of disposable diapers is Sodium polyacrylate, which has been linked to TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) and can cause allergic reactions.

The Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers:

Cloth diapering has been around since the age of time. It has had many changes over the years, and continues to grow in popularity. Some cloth diapers now have double or triple layers and a multiply, fiber-filled strip, making them more absorbent than older styles.

The Pros:-

  • It’s cheaper; cloth diapers can be expensive for the initial set-up ($250-$700), but in the long run they work out a lot cheaper than disposables, depending on what system you use.
  • Less diaper-rash; cloth diapered babies tend to have less diaper-rash, because natural cotton fibers breathe more easily.
  • Can be used for subsequent children; works out even cheaper because you can use for any more children you have.
  • Cloth diapered children tend to potty-train earlier, because the cloth tends to hold moisture closer to baby’s skin.

The Cons:-

  • Usually fastened with diaper pins, but you can now find ones with Velcro or snap fasteners.
  • Some daycare centers won’t want to use them.
  • Not good for traveling with; can be messy and not appropriate for travel. Most cloth-diaper users will use disposables when traveling or just being out and about.
  • Can leak more than disposables; if not used properly.

Overall, making the decision to use disposable diapers or cloth diapers is a personal one. There is no one right answer for everyone. Choose what is best for you and your family and your schedule.

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Words of Encouragement

I was always told that if you do not have anything nice to say to not say anything at all.

Some people were contacting Jennifer regarding various things. And instead of providing solutions they have only provided conflict and/or some degrading comments.

If you have a problem with a problem with knowing what is going on you do not have to be involved. Jennifer spends a lot of time researching different things and getting input from various sources, and nothing is written in stone right now.

Jennifer needs encouragement and support, she is stressed enough already.
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Detergents Are Not Created Equal

I have been trying to decide on which detergent to use for Nora’s clothes. I have always heard that Dreft is the best, but since I became pregnant I have been doing more research than ever, so why should this be any different. So, I looked it up. Did you know that Dreft does not claim to be hypoallergenic? Also, did you know that Dreft does contain perfumes?? That got me to wondering, what is ok to wash Nora’s clothes in?

In my research, I found this wonderful website ( has pretty much every brand of detergent listed that you can think of. First of all I checked Dreft. They rated that detergent with two red stars, which means avoid. Next I checked Purex Free and Clear, which is what we use, and the rating was 3 gold stars. That means it’s pretty good.

I now some people will look at that website and say, well that website is for cloth diapers. If you think about it why would you use something for your child’s cloths and not their cloth diapers? Both are touching your baby’s skin, so why should they be any different.

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I think I may have changed my mind about them. I was reading yesterday that giving a child a paci while they sleep can help reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). I am not happy about giving my child something like that, but if it helps keep my child safe, I will do it. I do not plan on giving Nora the paci until she is 3 or 4 weeks old, and stopping it right after she turns one.

Now if I have to figure out which one to go with.

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Birth Plan

My birth plan is now finished. YAY!!!! I know some people will have problems with what I have requested, but that is a common occurrence here recently for me.

Here is a little of my birth plan…


  • I would like to be free to walk around during labor.
  • I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.
  • I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.
  • I will be bringing my own music to play during labor.
  • I would like the environment to be kept as quiet as possible.
  • I would like the lights in the room to be kept low during my labor.
  • I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
  • I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated.
  • Other Labor Preference: heperin/saline block is fine for IV


  • I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of my baby.
  • I do not want an internal monitor unless my baby has shown some sign of distress.

Labor Augmentation/Induction

  • I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.
  • I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods before Pitocin is administered.

Anesthesia/Pain Medication

  • I realize that many pain medications exist. I’ll ask for them if I need them.
  • Before considering an epidural, and if the situation warrants, I would like to try an injection of narcotic pain relief (Nubain, Demerol, Stadol or similar).


  • Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a Cesarean.

Immediately After Delivery

  • I would like to have my husband cut the cord.
  • I would like to hold my baby for at least 15 minutes before (he/she) is photographed, examined, etc.
  • I would like to have my baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • I plan to keep my baby near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of my baby can be done with my baby on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation.
  • If my baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany my baby at all times.


  • I would like a private room, if available.
  • Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
  • I would like to have my baby “room in” and be with me at all times.


  • I would like to take still photographs during labor and the birth.


  • I would prefer that no students, interns, residents or non-essential personnel be present during my labor or the birth.
  • Other Other Preference: I would like my support people to be present during labor but not delivery.
  • Other Other Preference: Only my husband is to be present for delivery.
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