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Raising a Healthy Baby

Started by Kelby , author of Type-A Parent | Online Hub for Digital Moms and Dads 11/29/2011 7:30:10 AM

Raising a healthy baby can, at times, be harder than it sounds. There are probably hundreds of books on the subject, and you'll get advice (sometimes unsolicited) from any number of sources, everyone from strangers to your family. My single best tip would be to yes, research it and seek advice, but in the end, always go with your own gut.

On the one side, I think we as parents have a sixth sense about when something is terribly wrong. Sometimes, doctors and family members will dismiss it as no big deal. Shoot, sometimes it is no big deal. But when you are laying awake at night with that awful feeling like a claw is twisting your gut about your child's fever or whatever is ailing him or her, you don't have to ignore it.

That isn't to say you should hit the emergency room every time your child has a cold, but you know when you get that awful feeling.

On the flip side, I think we also know when our child is really OK and doesn't need a doctor's visit. While it's better safe than sorry when in doubt, a cold truly isn't an occasion to call 911.

Again, it goes back to you being the parent and knowing when something is or isn't wrong with your child.

I know before my first was born, I was terrified I would have no idea what to do or how to care for a baby. I was an only child and had almost no experience with babies. I devoured books on babies. I stalked the internet for every tidbit of information I could find.

In the end, as simplistic as this sounds, I found that I did truly often know the right thing to do. It isn't often (ever?) black and white, and daily as parents we make decisions about our children's health. For every choice about our children's health we can make, there are people (experts and parents alike) who will argue vehemently for both sides of the equation.

There are no yes and no answers. There is no real manual.

I made my own baby food for the twins, for example, but was working full-time and knew my sanity wouldn't allow me to handmake every spoonful of food they ate. I made some. I bought some. There is no book that tells you the perfect balance of childrearing vs. self caretaking. Still, we know when we are overwhelmed and need to do less so we have that much more of ourselves to give to our children.

Yes, read the books and search Google. Sure, ask your friends and family. But you are the parent, and odds are good that the decisions you make with your child's and family's best interests in mind are sound.

Trust your parenting gut.

Photo of baby by mokra at

Children’s health is at the top of every mother’s mind. What’s your favorite tip for raising a healthy baby? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs November 14 to December 18, 2011. A random winner will be announced by December 20, 2011.

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Reply by Jenn

author of Five Dollar Shake 11/30/2011 8:59:59 AM
My favorite tip besides listening to your instinct is to find a pediatrician you trust. Trust is so important.


Reply by Vanessa

author of BlogFrog Blog — 11/30/2011 3:52:52 PM
I love this statement - Yes, read the books and search Google. Sure, ask your friends and family. But you are the parent, and odds are good that the decisions you make with your child’s and family’s best interests in mind are sound.


Reply by Joanna

author of Travels with Tessietoodles 12/1/2011 6:41:18 AM
My best advice or tip is to ALWAYS tell a mom to listen to her "mommy-instinct". It never fails. When that little knot in your stomach starts talking to you and saying things like, "I am uncomfortable with my baby here" or "I just know the doctor is wrong, I KNOW my baby" then listen that and act accordingly because, as my daughter's pediatrician once said to me, "Mommies know their babies better than I ever could so when they tell me something isn't right, I listen."


Reply by Steph

12/1/2011 9:42:22 AM
I loved nursing my babies, and when they started solid food, they loved their fruits and veggies. I wish I had that kind of control over my 14 yr old's diet!


Reply by Katie

12/1/2011 6:41:59 PM
Not stressing too much...well if there is blood or vomit, that goes out the window. Taking care of yourself, so you can take care of your baby.


Reply by Brooke

12/2/2011 8:37:47 PM
I have actually been struggling with this a lot lately with my 3 year old boy. I feel like whatever I do he continues to act out. My new strategy has been to shower him with positive words and it has actually been working so far. Some days are better then others but the more I focus on his good qualities instead of getting mad at him he acts better. Can't believe it took me so long to figure that one out!


Reply by Jenn

12/2/2011 10:43:36 PM
Talk to your children all day long.


Reply by Ninah

author of ninah bee 12/2/2011 11:53:09 PM
As far as raising an 'emotionally healthy' child...I think little things like doing things they love to do, with them, really matters. My 9 year old LOVES movies & dolls. You should see the smile on her face when my husband just sits down with popcorn and watches one of her favorite movies with her...or when I play barbies with her. She talks about her day and what went on, and just completely opens up to us. Same goes for my 2 year old. He loves dancing to music and watching Little Einsteins. We could dance around the living room for hours if it were up to him, and he talks about what he watches on the show all day long. It's so amazing to see what a two year old actually pays attention to. Even if I don't always understand everything he's saying, if I hear 'Einstein', lol, I can put the rest together. I think taking interest in your kids not only makes them happy, but it lets them know that their ideas, likes, dislikes, and feelings really matter to you as well.


Reply by Steph

12/5/2011 12:10:41 PM


Reply by Stacy

12/5/2011 9:44:53 PM
Enjoy the journey!!!! It may be hard, and trying at times, but it is those quiet, treasured moments that make it all worth it in the end. When we see our children succeed in their different stages in life.

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