This story has been updated since it originally published on 7/27/2017. Information was added to "Have You Heard?"
Expectant and new parents, this section’s for you. From life-saving gear to outings that’ll do the whole family good, Crib Notes is your emergency kit to make it through.
Have you heard? — the latest in baby-related research
A new study from Seattle Children’s offers another reason to avoid common chemicals during pregnancy. Of course, you’re always thinking of new ways to keep baby safe. Now, add this to the list: Avoid phthalates — man-made chemicals often found in household plastics, food and other products. Sound hard? It doesn’t have to be. Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana of Children’s offers these steps:
- Store your food in glass, stainless steel, ceramic or wood rather than plastic
- Buy low-fat dairy products
- Avoid canned and processed foods
- Minimize handling of receipts (the paper may be high in BPA)
- Don’t microwave food, for you or your newborn, in plastic
- Use products labeled phthalate- or BPA-free
- Wash your hands frequently
One idea if you're frequently handling receipts: Wear plastic gloves. Uncomfortable, we know, but also affordable.
We've been there — advice from readers like you
Whenever someone walks in your house to see your new baby, ask them to help with something. Have them fold laundry, unload or load the dishwasher, make you a cup of coffee. Being a new parent is overwhelming and people really do want to help so don’t be afraid to ask for it! — Risa C., Redmond
For those crazed newborn weeks, don’t leave bed until you’ve collected the correct amount of sleep. If it takes you 12 hours to get 8 hours of sleep, just stay in bed! To help with this, in those first few weeks don’t schedule any appointments or plan to leave the house before noon! — Dawn A., Seattle
Talk to an adult every day. — Kate K., Seattle
Prepare equally for baby’s birth and for baby’s first six months. Know what is normal, what your options are and what to expect. — Monica L., Renton
Line up help before the due date. Set dates for when people will be over. It gives you something to look forward to in the newborn haze. — Jessica W., Seattle
For that one time you get out of the house — an outing baby (and you!) will love
August means beach weather, but our local sandy spots are not created equal as far as babies are concerned. For the littlest sandcastle creators, readers especially recommend:
- Warm Beach on Camano Island, with its warm, shallow water
- Seattle’s Magnuson Park, for its open-daily wading pool and flat, grassy areas
- Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland, with stroller-friendly paths, shallow water and Duke’s right next door
- Bracket’s Landing in Edmonds, a lovely sandy beach with lots to see (ferries! trains!) and fresh-water showers for rinsing sand off
Gear we're ga-ga for — resources to make it all easier
When it comes to outfitting your newborn, there are so. many. options. So we’re stoked to hear about Facebook-based app VillageHunt. Like Yelp for baby stuff, VillageHunt collects community reviews about products from parents who live in your zip code (you search for a product to see how others rated it and what they recommend). There aren’t many reviews yet (VillageHunt is still in beta) but color us intrigued.
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