Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Valentine

I didn't get to post these last week due to an unexpected trip to the hospital for abdominal pain, on Valentines Day nonetheless. So here is my little Valentine, outdoors in his first Valentines Day outfit enjoying the gorgeous weather!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sleeping Arrangements

Cosleeping and bedsharing have been the standard among societies around the world for hundreds of years, yet it raises controversy in western cultures. Cosleeping is the practice of having an infant or child sleep within close proximity of the parents or caregivers such as the same room and is often used interchangeably with the term bedsharing which is the practice of infants and young children sleeping in the same bed with their parent(s)/caregiver(s).

Research conducted by Morelli, Rogoff, Oppenheim and Goldsmith found that of 100 societies surveyed around the world, the U.S. was the only one in which babies slept in a separate room from their parents or caregivers. They conducted another study, incorporating 136 societies, which revealed that in 2/3 of the societies babies slept in the same bed as their mothers. In studying cultural variations of cosleeping, Morelli found that Mayan families practice bedsharing first with the mother during infancy and then with other family members during early childhood. Their beliefs encourage family interdependence. Study western cultures including the American culture found that cosleeping may occur for the first few weeks or months of life but around 3-6 months of age infants are moved to their own room because parents/caregivers belief this is an appropriate time to learn to be independent and self reliant. Sleeping arrangements are highly influenced by culture, family economic status, feeding method, ethnicity, goals and infant-parent biology. 

Controversy surrounding bedsharing and cosleeping raises questions in regards to benefit vs. safety. I am an advocate of Attachment Parenting and cosleeping/bedsharing and strongly believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks.  Dr. James McKenna of the University of Notre Dame's Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory conducts research regarding the safety of different sleep environments as well as the the physiological and/or psychological consequences of the different choices of sleeping arrangements parents make. In his paper, Why babies should never sleep alone: A review of the co-sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS, bedsharing and breast feeding, he states "mother–infant co-sleeping represents the most biologically appropriate sleeping arrangement for humans and is both ancient and ubiquitous simply because breast feeding is not possible, nor as easily managed, without it." It appears to me that we as humans, are the only mammals which push our offspring away from the nest (bed) so to speak. Infant safety is the most important aspect to consider and current research has torn apart previous notions of cosleeping being unsafe. Older studies were poorly constructed and failed to not only take into account the reasons for infant deaths that occurred during bedsharing but to accurately report their findings. Dr. McKenna goes on to state, "major epidemiological studies have shown that when a committed caregiver, usually the mother, sleeps in the same room but not in the same bed with their infant the chance of the infant dying from sudden infant death
syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by 50%.2123 This protective factor does not generalise to co-sleeping in proximity to siblings.22 That a specific adult caregiver appears necessary for protection lends support to the hypothesis that it is in the nature of the mutual sensory vigilance i.e. the social and biological connection between an infant and its caregiver that is critical if co-sleeping is to be protective (or dangerous as argued elsewhere.15). In other words, caregiver intention and motivation matters!" Safety education is important and readily available to those considering bedsharing. According to Dr. McKenna, bedsharing is biologically appropriate! Human infants are without a doubt the most immature, reliant and slowest developing of any primate. Human infants are completely dependent on a caregiver, primarily the mother so it makes complete sense from an evolutionary standpoint that bedsharing and cosleeping would be the most favorable condition for infant physiological-psychological development.

Here are some of the advantages of cosleeping/bedsharing:
Baby knows you are present to respond to emotional and physical needs

Babies breast feed more frequently with fewer disruptions to mother's sleep and consequently both babies and mothers receive more sleep

Babies cry less

Frequent breast feedings mean enhanced breast feeding and lowered risk of disease

Close caregiver-infant proximity means higher potential to intercede if baby is having breathing difficulty, choking or if other health status changes occur

Working mothers/fathers/caregivers have the opportunity to spend more time nurturing and interacting with their infants, promoting bonding

Some argue that there are disadvantages to consider as well. The relationship with your partner may be altered, there may be difficulty transitioning the child to their own bed at a later age and worries arise regarding the child sleeping away from the parent and in different settings. There is also the concern for an increased risk if SIDS related deaths, however as previously shown by research, the rate of SIDS related deaths decreases significantly when parents and caregivers take the time to learn to cosleep/bedshare safely and responsibly. It seems as is often the case that these disadvantages are case by case scenarios that we as adults are capable of altering.

I highly recommend reading Dr. McKenna's paper and exploring the research laboratory's website for additional information and reading material!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!
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Saturday, February 19, 2011


CSN Stores $30 Gift Code: Congrats to #97, Gina @ Crave to Save! You have been emailed!

Thank you to everyone for entering and thank you to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Little Handyman

Helping grandpa build a step!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Little Man's First Birthday

Trayton's first birthday is just around the corner (~7 weeks, yikes!) and while I've been plugging away planning his "King of the Jungle" themed party, Ryan and I haven't decided what we are going to get him. I have a couple of ideas, but I was hoping to get more from all of you! We have little items figured out like a Melissa & Doug puzzle, more Lego Dulpo sets to go with his Zoo (Ryan enjoys collecting Legos!), a small basket ball hoop and books but we're having trouble deciding what else we should get him.

First, I have been debating between two of Fisher Price's Laugh & Learn products, the Fun with Friends Musical Table and the Baby Grand Piano.

I love the Laugh & Learn collection by Fisher Price and so does Tray! We currently have the LL Farm, LL Learning Kitchen, LL Love to Play Puppy and LL Counting Animal Friends book. Do you think this would be overload? I have been leaning more toward the piano because he really seems to enjoy plunking around on both my brother's and Ryan's mom's piano.

Second, I have been looking for an indoor ball pit. I haven't done a lot of research on this yet but two I came across were the FP Ball-O-Saurus and Litte Tikes Obstacle Play Center. Have any of you found one you recommend?

Third, I'd love to get him a discovery cube, like this Educo Down on the Farm discovery box. Do you have or have you seen any other discovery boxes that kids love?

What did (do) your little ones love at this age? What great gifts am I missing or overlooking out there? Please, lay 'em on me! Oh, and space really isn't an issue out here so if outdoor things come to mind too please share. Thanks!!!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CSN Stores $30 gift code giveaway!

It's hard to believe that spring is just around the corner with the winter weather Mother Nature has thrown at us lately, but just yesterday Punxsutawney Phil crawled out of his hole to find his shadow nowhere in sight. If you're like me and cabin fever has set in due to the copious amounts of snow, you're probably looking forward to the warmer weather! Springtime means planting (gardens and fields), playing outside with the little ones and the beginning of outdoor projects. My to-do list for this year includes leveling the yard (building the addition on our house last year DESTROYED it), planting a garden, reseeding the lawn and building a swing set for Trayton...which brings me to our giveaway!

CSN Stores, based in Boston, is an online company housing more than 200+ shopping sites with over
2 million different products in categories ranging from babies & kids to home decor, furniture, home improvement and garden/patio. Their site is wonderful and so easy to navigate. I simply shop under the tabs or type what I'm looking for into the search box and walla! They have a fabulous site Swingsets and More, which sells wood, metal and plastic swing sets, activity centers, trampolines, playhouses and an array of toys and games the whole family is sure to enjoy! We all know how important it is for children to spend some time outdoors connecting with nature, exploring and engaging in creative play. Some of the featured brands on Swingsets and More include Gorilla Playsets, Swing-N-Slide, Skywalker Trampolines, Fisher Price, Greenline Bicycles, Heritage Pools, Peg Perego, Sandlock Sandboxes, Schwinn and Radio Flyer. I personally have my eye on a couple of the wooden swing set activity centers and would love to have one up by the time the weather is warm enough for my little guy to play outside!

When CSN Stores contacted me to do a giveaway, I was thrilled! They generously offered me the chance to give away a $30 gift code to use during checkout. I want to make sure and let all of you know that while my post talked about the awesome outdoor product site Swingsets and More, the gift code can be used at ANY of the CSN Store sites!

One lucky winner will receive a $30 gift code to use at checkout on any site under the CSN Stores umbrella!

{Mandatory Entry}
*must be completed before any extra entries will count*

Follow this blog publicly with Google Friend Connect (top left sidebar) AND tell me what product you would like to have on Swingsets and More.

{Extra Entries}
*please leave a separate comment for each entry*

1 entry - follow CSN Stores on twitter
1 entry - 'like' CSN Stores on facebook
1 entry - tweet about this giveaway (can be done 3x/day with at least an hour between each tweet): Get your spring off to a swingin' start with a $30 gift code from @CSNStores! Win it from @diapersoblarney! #giveaway
2 entries - blog about this giveaway, include a link to this post and to Swingsets and More
1 entry follow me on twitter 
1 entry - 'like' Diapers Full of Blarney on facebook
1 entry - subscribe to this blog by email
2 entries - grab my button (middle left sidebar) and leave a link where I can find it

THANK YOU to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway!

:::This giveaway is open to US/Canada only. The giveaway will end on February 17th, 2011 at 11:59pm CST. The winner will be determined by using and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. :::

The item provided for this giveaway was sent to me free from CSN Stores and the opinions expressed here are completely my own.
Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory