Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tech Baby Loves the iPad

Don’t all babies just love electronic gadgets? T.V. remotes, cellphones, Wii consoles... how many times have you had to pry one of these no-nos from your little one’s grip? And it’s a well-known fact among the diapered crowd that toy versions of grown-up stuff really don’t cut it.


Consider getting your baby an Apple iPad. The iPad is a perfect toy for your baby because as she is playing with it, she is learning from it. And as she grows, it can grow with her into a diverse learning and communication tool.

Five Favorite Apps for Baby

soundshakerSound Shaker by Tickle Tap Apps 1.99 - touted as the 21st century rattle, Sound Shaker lets children create and play with chime, whistle, drum, barnyard animal and mystery sounds by simply tapping and tilting. Repeated taps generate new sounds, while longer taps grow sounds and trigger surprise animations. Tilting makes sounds spin and collide in whimsical combinations.

itsybitsyItsy Bitsy Spider by Duck Duck Moose 1.99 - A musical book based on the popular song, with fully interactive, original illustrations. Follow the spider through the captivating, inter-connected scenes as he goes up the water spout, comes down with the rain, and watches the sun dry up all the rain.

soundtouchSound Touch by Sound Touch 3.99 - Sound Touch has 6 categories, which are shown at the bottom of the screen as pictures – animals, wild animals, wild birds, vehicles, musical-instruments and household. Each page has 12 items displayed with bright, cute cartoon items. Tap a picture, and a real life photo of the item pops open, accompanied by the sound it makes. Tap the picture anywhere, and it disappears. There is a sound option in settings that makes it so that the app says the name of the item prior to making the sound.

peekabooPeekaboo Barn By Night & Day Studios, Inc. 1.99 - This cute app features barnyard animals and the sounds they make. Babies can open the barn doors to find a new animal animation by touching the screen. They’ll learn about cause and effect and become familiar with animal names and sounds. As a bonus, you can record your own voice saying the animal name.

talkingtomTalking Tom Cat By Out Fit 7 Ltd. Free- Baby’s first pet :-) Tom the cat responds to your touch and repeats everything you say or babble with a funny voice. When you pet him, he purrs.

Ok, stop. Yes, I know an iPad is a really expensive toy for a one-year-old, but consider it an investment. New iPads start at $500, and first generation iPads can be found on auction sites and lists for about $200-ish. Here are some ideas on how you might afford an iPad for your baby with Down syndrome.

Chip-in birthday gift: Perhaps for your baby’s first birthday you could create a chip-in fund and let family and friends know that you are trying to raise enough for an iPad for your little one.

Medicaid Coordinator Alternative Funding: If your child has Medicaid or the Medicaid Waiver, your coordinator may be able to find you grant funding for your baby’s iPad.

Win one: iPads are a popular draw for online fundraisers. Keep your eye out for the chance to win one. Usually you can get a drawing entry by donating a small amount or even just by posting the fundraiser on your FB, blog, or Twitter account. Right now through March 31st, Patti over at A Perfect Lily is giving away a beautiful brand new iPad 3 as part of a very special adoption fundraiser, so be sure to head over there and get an entry to win.

Update: Two more chances to win an iPad... (valid to 4/6/12) over at Our Chinese Butterfly and (valid to 4/8/12) over at The Stars Aligned.

Babyproofing the iPad
If you do get an iPad for your little sweetie, be sure to babyproof it with a back shelland a screen protector. You will be glad you did.

Your Turn
Do you already have an iPad for your child with Ds? What are your favorite apps?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Birth Announcement & Giveaway

For those of you who got all excited thinking I was going to announce the birth of a darling baby and then give him away on my blog, awww sorry ;-)

Lisa and Mark are proud to announce the birth of their son Connor. As you can see, he is one heck of a cutie. Lisa blogs at Life with Connor - Perfect with a Little Extra, so be sure to visit her there and watch this darling grow.



Now for the giveaway...


The Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Bat and Wobble Penguin looks like it might be fun for our little ones to practice gross motor (leg-extension) kicking and (arm-extension) pushing skills. I have a brand new one, but no baby to try it out with. So if you would like to win this toy, leave a comment telling Lisa how lucky she is to have such a scrumptious little boy and mention that you would like to be in the drawing. I’ll draw a random entry in mid-April.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breastfeeding Your Baby with Down Syndrome - Part Two

Last week guest blogger Lisa Morguess from Life As I Know It shared her personal story of overcoming several obstacles to develop a breastfeeding relationship with her son Finnian. This week she shares with us some of the tips and resources she found helpful.


Tips and Tricks
~ First and foremost, if anyone tells you that breastfeeding your baby will not work because she has Down syndrome and you have your heart set on breastfeeding, walk away. Believe it can be done; plenty of moms have successfully nursed their babies with Down syndrome.

~ Find a good lactation consultant, preferably one who has some knowledge about Down syndrome and the unique challenges that can be associated.

~ Experiment with different nursing positions. There is no one position that works for all moms or all babies. I had the most success when Finn was a newborn with the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold, and the football hold. I found the football hold especially useful when using a SNS/LA, and the cross-cradle hold when using breast compression.

~ Breast compression is an effective way to increase your milk production and increase baby's intake. It works by manually compressing the breast as baby is nursing, slowly and repeatedly, thereby stimulating milk production and encouraging a baby who may have a weak suck to take in as much milk as possible.

Useful Contraptions and Accoutrements
~ A good breastfeeding pillow is a must. A Boppy probably won't cut it, as the low muscle tone associated with Down syndrome necessitates a very firm foundation on which to support your baby. I highly recommend the My Brest Friend pillow.


~ Some babies with Down syndrome do better with the sensory input of the more rigid shape of nipple shields. Using the shields is usually only short-term, while a newborn is learning to efficiently latch and suck.


~ Sometimes it is necessary to use a supplemental nursing system (SNS), also known as a lactation aid. If your baby is having an especially difficult time with latch and/or suck, and because of this she isn't gaining weight appropriately and your milk production is diminishing, an SNS might help. The SNS allows baby to receive supplemental milk while at the breast, and this in turn stimulates milk production. If you need to use an SNS, try making your own instead of buying one. The ready-made systems are difficult to use and they're not cheap. A homemade one is inexpensive, easy to make, and easier to use.

A breast pump is a must for any breastfeeding mom, for those times when you are separated from your baby (for a variety of reasons), and need to keep your milk production “on schedule.” If your baby has any medical issues that require a separation from you, it will be extremely important to establish milk production as soon as possible by pumping your breasts at regular intervals (or if the separation is later, for instance due to heart surgery, it will be important to keep your milk production going). A breast pump is also extremely helpful in establishing and maintaining your milk production while a baby who has any feeding/latch/suck difficulties works out the kinks. Though I won't recommend a particular brand, I do encourage getting an electric double pump, as they are far more efficient and effective than manual breast pumps. You can rent a hospital grade pump from almost any hospital for a nominal cost, or you can buy one new from a variety of websites and baby stores, and you can even buy a used one at a discount on eBay or Craig's List. When you buy a used pump, you're basically buying the motor; you will need to buy your own new, sterile tubing, collection bottles, and breast shields.

Supplements to Increase Milk Production
A well-balanced diet and ample fluid intake are necessary for sufficient mild production. If you find, that your milk production is lacking (which often happens when a baby has feeding difficulties), herbal supplements can help, including fenugreek and blessed thistle taken together. These herbal supplements are available in capsule and tincture form from any health food or whole foods retailer.

If herbal remedies don't do the trick, there is Domperidone (Motilium), a prescription drug whose intended use is treating certain gastrointestinal issues. It has an off-label use of increasing milk production in lactating women. (The FDA issued a warning at some point against using it for this purpose, and I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of that particular issue except to say that it has been used safely by a great many women who may not have been able to successfully nurse their babies otherwise. I used it for over two years and never suffered a single side effect.) If your doctor does not want prescribe it for you to increase milk production, it is available without a prescription from various international pharmacies online. Be assured that this is perfectly legal. The pharmacy I used to obtain Domperidone was

Some Wonderful Resources
International Breastfeeding Centre
Breastfeeding Inc.
Breastfeeding Online
Kelly Mom
La Leche League