Monday, December 8, 2008

A few pics...

I just wanted to show you all a few pictures of Leily...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Organic Food

I still remember the first time I went to the supermarket (PicNPay) here in Cape Town.  There were a lot of things I wasn't use to. For example you pay for your plastic bag. They say it's to help the environment by encouraging people to use plastic bags less and use material made bags instead.  What stuck me the most was that at the time of choosing products you could get "normal" or, "free range" (meat & chicken etc) and organic (for fruits and vegetables (and all its derivates)). What was new to me from these concepts was that back home everything is free range and organic, so you don't "choose" to go "green" you are green :)

It's amazing the amount of hormones and pesticides that are introduced at the time of growing those products in more developed countries, which are not very healthy especially for a baby that is just starting to develop its little body.

So when it comes to your baby's food, and you don't live in Bolivia :), its highly recommended that for the first 2 years you try as hard as you can to use only organic and free range products when it comes to feeding your baby.

I would also like to make a comment on processed baby food - read the ingredients. Anything that sounds like sugar or salt, is not good for the first year of your babies development, especially preservatives. I was surprised to see the amount of "fake" stuff that is added to baby food. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baby signing

I don’t know if you remember that scene from the movie “meet the parents” where Robert de Niro is showing some cards to the baby and later the baby does the signs.

Well it turns out that some time ago (around the 80s) this guy “noticed that hearing babies of deaf parents could communicate their needs and desires  at a much earlier age than children of hearing parents.” The guy, Joseph Garcia, started what now is known as Baby Signing.

I’m not going to rephrase all the information on the website, you can read it directly. What impressed me the most is that, for example, a 10 month old baby would probably only know how to wave bye-bye and maybe blow a kiss, yet Baby Signing they know up to 40 signs by that age. Just the fact that they can ask for more food, say stop, ask for a drink, or tell you when they want to sleep is enough, now imagine them asking for help or telling you they want to go home.

A few weeks ago I went to a workshop and I think Leily is starting to make the sign for milk :)

A few things to remember:

  • Use a standard signing language, this is always better than inventing your own signs.
  • You have to make it fun, not only for your baby but also for you. It doesn’t delay nor stops your baby’s talking, it actually speeds the process.

For South Africa you can go to .

The workshop includes materials with South African Signing Language DVDs and a lot of information about Baby Signing. The most important part, for me, was that they show you a video where you can see the technique actually working. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Leily started solids yesterday and it was an amazing experience.

It’s interesting to see how she “finds” her way to have something different in her mouth (rather than milk, or her fingers, or my fingers) and realize at each “bite” that she can’t just suck, she needs to actually move the food to the back of her mouth so it can be swallowed.

The first bite she had, she tried to suck and I could see her lip being sucked in. It was the cutest thing.

After almost 30min, and a lot of food on the floor, hands, face, my hands, my face :) we achieved our goal, 2 spoons of baby rice.

At 6 months your baby should be introduced solids. The latest studies have shown that introducing solids before 6 months (at 4 to be more specific as it used to be) can lead to problems regarding the immature gut and kidney and also allergies.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby Bottles

There are so many brands, and even though we are happy with what we are using, I wished someone would have told us the pros and cons.  I can't speak for all of them, but I will give my opinion about the ones we have tried.

NUK, their strong point is the teat. It is more flat than round (like all the others). When Leily was in her premature stage she wasn't able to put the normal teats into her little mouth. NUKs teats were perfect and we used them for the first two months. If Dr Browns didn't exist, I would probably go for NUK.

AVENT, they are the "simplest" bottles you can get. I call them the "standard" bottles. If you don't want anything fancy but still use a known and recognized brand, I recommend AVENT.

Dr. Browns, their strong point is their air flow system, which in my personal opinion makes a huge difference when it comes to winding your baby. Basically the bottle comes with this tube which lets the air (all those bubble that usually gather on the teat while your baby is drinking, which at the end of the feed make the burp be so hard it sounds like it hurts) to go the back. The only setback on these bottles is that they don't close tight enough for you to mix (shake) formula in them. If you put boiling water on them, for example, they are not tight enough so the pressure in the bottle in combination with the tube brings the boiled water out and you can burn :). Cleaning them is also a bit of a mission, with the little scrub for the tube. But, again in my opinion, all that makes up for the difference it makes at the time of winding your baby.

We have and will use Dr. Browns.

BPA Free

It was not long ago when someone passed this video onto me.  It was the first time I heard about Bishphenol A and how harmful it can be.

I remember getting rid of all our Tupperware and starting to buy glass containers with lids.

When Leily was born I just assumed baby bottles are safe, but they're not (well at least from BPA).

Yesterday, while we were buying "weaning equipment" for Leily, I realized that NUK had one large drinking bottle that specifically stated that it was BPA Free.

Recently I read an article that other major brand like Pigeon for example are introducing BPA Free bottles. Dr. Browns and Avent, the article says, will do it by the end of this year.

So, if you are about to buy bottles or looking for new ones, make sure it states that is BPA Free.

You can read some about BPA here