10 Reasons Why You Should Limit Your Child’s Screen Time (Part III)

If you haven’t read Part I and Part II of this series, I invite you to go over those articles before jumping on this one.

6.Physical and Developmental Issues

As we all know, screen time is a primarily sedentary in nature. Our kids are sitting down or lying around while using their electronic devices.
The time our children spend without physical activity while on their electronic devices  adds on to their already high number of hours they spend sitting inside the school. All this time without physical activity, inevitably leads to weight gain, poor muscle development, and many other physical issues. Lack of physical movement not only affects our children’s physical development, but it also negatively impacts brain development, as it is needed to form brain connections necessary for physical coordination.
Additionally, the use of screens might delay a child’s ability to form words. A recent study presented by the American Association of Pediatrics argues that for each 30-minute increase in handheld screen time, there’s a 49 percent increased risk of expressive speech delay. As we all know, when kids can’t express themselves properly they get really frustrated, which causes them to act out more and to use their bodies to try to communicate with us, and to use destructive attention-seeking behaviors.

7. Dangerous EMF Exposure

One growing area of concern is the fact that our brains (and especially our children’s) may be harmed by overexposure to electronic devices. While EMF (electromagnetic fields) exposure in smaller doses doesn’t seem to be a concern over short periods of time, the more frequent and intense the exposure the more problems arise. This is especially true for children, as their brains are rapidly growing and changing from birth through adolescence.

Children who use devices close to their heads for longer periods of time have potentially a higher risk to the damaging effects of EMF exposure.

8. Disconnected Families

We can’t deny that technology makes family organization and calendar management much easier. It also allows us to immediately communicate with our children and spouses, via text, email, whatsup… It allows us to connect with family and friends that might live far away from us, via Skype, whatsup, google chat…

However, in our busy lives, finding good quality time to connect with our children is very difficult. Allowing technology to cut into those precious moments is something we might try to avoid . Excessive screen time also leads to an increase in serious parent-child conflicts.

While it can be fun to have a family movie night or play a video game together, we should not resort to that as an every day activity. The reality is that screen time means less face-to-face, natural interactions with our children.

I will continue addressing the 10 main reasons why we should control our children’s technology use in the next few days. Stay posted!

Much love, Diana-

Strollers

1. Umbrella & Compact Strollers

GB Pockit Plus

This stroller is unbelievable! With its innovative two step folding technique, the Pockit+ folds into a compact, handbag-shaped package in seconds. This stroller is cleverly designed to stand alone when folded, and has an automatic fold lock for security when folded and for easy transport or storage.

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The Pockit+ has one-hand push for convenient pushing and steering, adjustable harness system can be easily set at different heights and fastened or loosened for a cozy and secure fit, and a comfortable and multi-adjustable seat-back meets the need of every child, whether sitting up or reclining for a relaxing sleep.

This amazing stroller can be used from birth (when used with car seat) up to 55 lbs, and with its innovative design allows it to fit in an overhead compartment of an airplane, so it’s the ideal companion when traveling with a child.

Summer Infant 3D Lite

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We got so much use out of this umbrella stroller during our last trip to Europe. It’s sturdy and super light weight, and carried our 2 year old daughter without issues down the streets of Madrid, Salamanca, Caceres and many other magical places, with ease.

3Dlite features an innovative air-light aluminum frame which makes it super lightweight to carry and push – yet durable enough to stand the test of time! With its open design, you can easily access the large storage basket or recline almost flat which is ideal for on-the-go naps or diaper changes!

BabyZen YoYo +

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Going far afield with a child in tow? With the new 2016 BabyZen YoYo+ 6+ Stroller, it’s easier than ever: this year’s version of the stroller that folds up small enough to fit into an airplane overhead compartment has some great new features. The BabyZen YoYo+ weighs only 13 pounds. In addition to that teeny-tiny fold, it has a reclining seat, an extendable leg rest, and the “soft drive” system, which enables you to navigate over rougher terrain without having to lock the wheels in place.

2. Luxury Strollers

Quinny Rachel Zoe Jet Set Moodd Stroller

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This Rachel Zoe x Quinny Special Edition merges your favorite Quinny stroller with Rachel Zoe’s unparalleled, award-winning fashion sensibility. This fashionable stroller is truly one of a kind, inspired by the jetsetter lifestyle and paying homage to the luxurious detail found in the design of vintage leather luggage. Premium cognac leather and oversized gold detailing complement classic black and white fabric for a look that is tailored to perfection, allowing parents to walk their way in style. Not only the stroller is amazing, but the many accessories that can be added to it, are to die for if your pockets are deep enough.

Stokke Xplory Newborn Stroller

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This stroller is gorgeous and it allows your child to be up close to you and far away from the dust of the ground. The height of the seat is adjustable to raise your baby higher for interaction.

This stroller is truly one of the best strollers on the market. The versatility it has is amazing. It can be set in so many positions.

 

Bugaboo Donkey Weekender

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OMG! This is stroller is so beautiful! The bugaboo donkey weekender is in a totally fabulous blue-grey marle colour with super classy hints of cognac leather on the handlebar and bumper bar. It comes with a lovely and chic Bugaboo Weekender bag.As expected from bugaboo, the weekender bag isn’t just your average overnight bag. It screams class with its quality fabrics, diamond embroidered lining, hidden pockets, removeable wallet, tan leather handles and the all important embroidered bugaboo branding.

This stroller converts for one baby or two, as you can see in the section below about double strollers.

 

3. Double Strollers

Baby Jogger 2016 City Select Double Stroller with 2nd Seat

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This is one of my absolute favorite double strollers! We used it from with our twins until they were 4 years old, navigating the streets of New York City, and with our singleton until she was out of the stroller. It’s a fantastic, versatile, and easy to maneuver stroller!

Bugaboo Donkey

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This is stroller is versatile with 19 different configurations. The Bugaboo Donkey expands into a side-by-side double stroller and back to a single one with a very spacious and chic side luggage, in just a few simple clicks. The expandable side luggage basket keeps essentials at hand with room to pick up more along the way.

The Bugaboo Donkey is the only pram on the market that expands width-wise to convert from single mode to double mode.  It can also accommodate two baby capsules, two bassinets or any combination of baby capsules, bassinets or seats you need.

The Bugaboo Donkey is easy to push and maneuver with one hand thanks to the front swivel wheels and tight turn radius. No terrain is too rough for these big foam-filled tires, even when the stroller’s fully loaded or converted to a double stroller.

To convert the Bugaboo Donkey Stroller into double you just have to purchase the Duo Extension Set.

4. Running Strollers

Single: BOB 2016 Revolution PRO Jogging Stroller

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BOB’s best all-terrain stroller has all the features you need and is suitable for children from 8 weeks old and up to 75 pounds. I love this running stroller. This is BOB’s most deluxe all-terrain stroller. It has hand-activated rear drum brakes for the best downhill control. The front wheel can swivel for top maneuverability or lock for added stability. The state-of-the-art suspension system takes bumps in stride and the adjustable handlebar provides a perfect fit for parents. Pair it with the BOB B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax to create the best travel system for your lifestyle.

Double: BOB 2016 Revolution PRO Duallie Jogging Stroller

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The Revolution Pro Duallie is BOB’s most deluxe on- and off-road stroller for larger families. Fully loaded for all your adventures, this stroller is perfect for intense workouts or casual strolls, when you want both kids along for the ride.

The Revolution Pro Duallie is the most deluxe, 2-kid all-terrain stroller from BOB, the #1 jogging stroller. Hand-activated rear drum brakes make for the best downhill control. The front wheel can swivel for top maneuverability or lock for added stability. The state-of-the-art adjustable suspension system takes bumps in stride and the adjustable handlebar provides a perfect fit for any parent. Pair it with the BOB B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax to create the ideal travel system.

Baby Gear

iBaby Care M7 Baby Monitor

This monitor is outstanding. It is Wi-Fi enabled so you can always look at your baby on your own phone (iPhone and Android). It has full HD imaging, and 360 rotation capabilities. It projects a very nice moonlight soother on the ceiling to help your little one fall asleep. The price tag is elevated, but it is definitely worth!

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor – Track Your Infant’s Heart Rate & Oxygen Levels

This monitor was a Godsend to my husband and I when we brought our preemie twins home. We weren’t to concerned about having a camera to look them constantly, but we wanted to be able to listen to them at all times.

Most importantly we wanted something that would alert us should they stopped breathing. We were used to having hooked to several monitors that would alert us and the medical stuff should something went wrong. Having this monitor definitely helped us sleep better at night.

 

Halo Sleep Sacks

Bedding such as pillows, thick quilts, comforters, pillows, sheets, stuffed animals, and blankets pose a suffocation hazards. To keep your baby warm, try a sleep sack or other sleep clothing that doesn’t require additional covers. When choosing a sleep bag, make sure the width of the neck isn’t wide enough for your child to slip himself completely in. Halo has wonderful sleep sacks, in fleece for the winter, and cotton for the summer.

Baby Safety Alert: Cribs, toys, sleep positioners and formula

 

One of the main goals parents have is to keep children safe. We take our time, do our research and buy a wonderful crib to help them feel safe, sleep positioners to prevent SIDS, toys from a great brand so they don’t get hurt, and a great formula to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to grow healthy.

Over the past weeks, we learned that the crib we thought was safe has killed children before; the toys we thought harmless, have taken children to the emergency rooms; the sleep positioners we thought prevented SIDS do not, and pose a suffocation hazard; and the number one selling formula contained beetles.

The main goal of this article is not to alarm you, but to inform and to give you some tips on how to keep your children safe.

Alert #1: Sleep Positioners, Suffocation Hazard

One of the main concerns parents have with regards to their baby’s sleep (besides helping them sleep) is safety, specifically SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome]. There are many things parents can do to help reduce the risk of SIDS, such as putting your baby to sleep on his/her back.

Many baby product manufacturers used this valid concern to market products arguing that they reduce the risk of SIDS, claim that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Sleep positioners are among these products.

Since 1980s the FDA has approved 18 sleep positioners because evidence suggested that they eased the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and prevented flattening of the skull; NOT because they reduce the risk of SIDS, which is one of the main reasons why most parents are buying and using them.

However, reports of at least 12 deaths among infants from 1 to 4 months of age over the past decade, and multiple nonfatal cases in which babies awoke in unsafe positions after being place in a sleep positioner; indicate that sleep positioners posed a higher risk than we initially thought.

This promoted the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue a warning that baby sleep positioner can carry the risk of suffocation and death. Health officials say the mats with barriers designed to prevent a baby from rolling over SHOULD NOT be used under any circumstances.

If you’re using sleep positioners with your baby, stop using them; the modest benefit does not outweigh the risk.

 

Learn more about Baby Sleep Safety.

Alert #2: Similac® Powder Formula, Bug Contamination

Abbott Laboratories recalled last week about 5 million containers of its top-selling Similac powdered infant formula due to possible contamination by beetles and larvae of the bugs. The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that the formula containing the beetles ‘poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract.’

If your child has been showing digestive symptoms such as a stomach-ache or refusal to eat, after drinking the formula, you should contact your child’s pediatrician.

The recall includes:

  • All lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in plastic containers, including 1.38-lb, 1.45-lb and 2.12-lb containers
  • Similac Sensitive Isomil Soy – 12.4-oz cans – only lots numbers containing RB
  • Similac Advance – 12.4-oz cans – only lots numbers containing RB
  • certain lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in sizes such as 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans
  • Similac formula powder in 8-ounce sample cans that could have been given out in doctor’s offices and hospitals

If you have been feeding this formula to your child, or have it in your pantry; please visit company’s, http://www.similac.com/recall, or call their consumer hot line at (800) 986-8850, to check if you have products with the affected lot numbers. Abbott said those products should be returned to the company for a full refund.

 

Alert #3: Fisher Price Toys, Tricycles and High Chairs, Safety Concerns

Fisher-Price announced a wide-reaching recall of more than 11 million toys and kids’ products. More than 7 million tricycles, 1 million high chairs, 2.9 million infant toys, and 120,000 toy cars and ramps. Nearly 50 products are included in the recall.

There has not been any report of death, but several children required medical attention. There have been 10 reports of injuries on the tricycles, including genital bleeding. A protruding part near the tricycles seat, which children can fall or accidentally sit on, is the alleged problem.

There have been 14 reported incidents with the high chairs; children can fall on or against the pegs on the rear legs of the high chair resulting in injuries or lacerations. The pegs are used for high chair tray storage. There have been 50 reports of valves coming out of inflatable toy balls, with poses a choking hazard. Finally, there have been several reports of wheels coming off some toy cars, also posing a choking risk.

The toys included in this recall are very common, so please visit Mattel’s website http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp or call 1 800 432 5437. Fisher-Price is offering replacements and repair kids for the recalled toys and baby equipment, but not refunds.

Make sure you examine your children’s toys regularly, look for loose parts, small pieces, or broken parts.

Alert #4: Simplicity-Sorelle Cribs, Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards

Albee Baby recalled Sorelle brand Prescott model. This recall uncovered the real manufacturer of Sorelle’s crib, Simplicity. Simplicity is no longer in business, but recalls of its products continue.

CPSC has received one report of a consumer who, in April of 2010, removed the Sorelle Prescott label from the crib and found a Simplicity crib label underneath. (The consumer purchased the crib in July of 2009, prior to the Simplicity mattress support recall.)

Child product safety advocate Nancy Cowles was fuming when she saw the Simplicity brand had been obscured. “How’s a consumer to trust these manufacturers? I’m sure many of the families would have made a different choice if they had known they were buying a Simplicity crib,” Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, told Consumer Ally.

In the April 2010 Simplicity recall, CPSC reported the death of a one-year-old child from Attleboro, Mass. who suffocated when he became entrapped between the crib mattress and the crib frame. In addition, CPSC has received reports of 29 incidents involving the Simplicity cribs where the cribs collapsed due to the metal mattress support frame detaching or bending. These include one child entrapment that did not result in injury and one child who suffered minor cuts when his head struck the broken mattress support bar.

This recall is limited to Sorelle “Prescott” cribs sold online by AlbeeBaby.com between July 2009 and October 2009 for between $180 and $210.

If you have one of these cribs, you should immediately stop using them and contact Albee Baby for a replacement crib, store credit or refund.

 

Learn more about baby sleep and crib safety.

 

Safety Alert: Stay away from drop-side cribs

Safety is one of the topics we cover the most when we consult with parents. We advise you to always (1) make sure that your baby products and furniture is JPMA certified, (2) check the list of recalled products, and (3) use the products in the exact way the manufactures details in the manual. It saddens me to read about baby products’ recalls, as there are always terrible stories of children who have been hurt or died because of those products.

Today, we wanted to urge you to not buy drop-side cribs, and to get rid of them if you already have them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 10 million drop-side cribs since in the past 2.5 years, including 2 million in the month of June 2010 alone. This has led them to propose new crib safety standards that will ban the sale of drop-side cribs and prohibit their use in hotels and daycare centers.

These new standards will not be finalized until December this year. However, we ask you to follow them NOW! There have already been enough deaths and injuries among our babies and children because of this. When drop-side hardware breaks or deforms, the drop-side can detach in one or more corners of the crib. If an infant or toddler moves into this space, the child can get trapped or wedged between the crib mattress and drop-side and suffocate. Infants can also strangle in the “V” shape formed by a drop-side that detaches in an upper corner.

One of my mentors always says ‘don’t look at what something costs, look at what it’s worth’. Certified are not necessarily more expensive than non-certified. The safety and wellbeing of your children is way more important than a couple hundred dollars, you know that! So, if you currently have your baby sleeping in a drop-side crib, STOP! Go buy another one now! Don’t wait!

The cribs are the only place where you would leave your baby unattended; it’s their private safety haven. Make sure it is really safe!

Much love, Diana-

Baby Sleep Safety

We’d like to share with you some simple safety tips to have in mind when putting your baby to sleep for nights and naps. Many of them have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS*.
  • Put your baby to sleep on his back
  • Keep your baby’s face clear of coverings
  • Do not leave loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib
  • Do not over-clothe your baby, avoid overheating
  • Use a safety-certified crib (JPMA certified)
  • Have a firm crib mattress
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep on the sofa, or untied on a swing/ bouncy seat
  • Maintain an appropriate temperature on your baby’s room (68 – 72 F)
  • Improve the ventilation in your baby’s room
  • Avoid exposing your baby to tobacco smoke
  • Offer your baby a pacifier (under 12 months old)

Educate babysitters, day-care providers, grandparents, and everyone who cares for your baby about SIDS risk and the importance of observing the advice offered here.

Much love, Diana-

* SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death. There are no symptoms. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant’s risk.

Kids on a leash?

I have always disliked the idea of having kids on a leash. In fact, I remember having this conversation with my husband before our twins were born, and he was very much in favor of leashes and I thought there was no way I would put my babies on a leash. Well… since my babies are on the run, I’ve kind of changed my mind!

My girls are 14 months old now and are running, climbing, exploring… and I can’t bring myself to think about taking them to the street without a stroller and without any kind of restrain. What if they decide to run in different directions? What if we get into a crowded area and I loose sight of them? I think leashes are a fantastic idea!

I can imagine that airports, amusement parks, malls, stores are much easier and safer to navigate with your children on a leash. As other mom pointed out in a moms group I’m part of, it’s really not much different than strapping them into a stroller, high chair, car seat etc. It’s all designed for their safety not to harm the children or degrade them.

Some people believe that children feel that they have no control, and that it is better to have them walk holding the stroller or your hand, and once they let go, you restrain them again in the stroller. This way, they know they have some control over what happens to them. In fact, there’s a very popular and highly acclaimed philosophy of child rearing, Montessori, that opposes child-restraiment.

I’m no expert on Montessori philosophy, but I would see a leash to be more Montessori than the alternative. I am assuming than a parent would not just let his/her child run wild in dangerous and crowded situations. In this case, I see the leash as a better alternative to forcing the child to walk right next to you, forcing them to hold your hand, forcing them to sit on the stroller, all of which my children often do not want to do, especially when they know how to walk. The leash allows them freedom of movement while allowing you to keep them safe.

I will never use the leash to control the child’s movement; I will not yank on it, or restrain them with it. I will use it as a safety net if the child ran into a truly dangerous situation unexpectedly. I see a child leash as just a way to tether child and parent together to avoid separation, not to control the child’s movements. Ideally the child would be unaware the leash had a restraining effect.

I also believe that in certain circumstances they are particularly useful and lifesaving. For those of us with twins, or higher degree multiples; or for those with children very close in age; for those with kids with special needs who are not always aware of the dangers around them… I think the leashes are fantastic tool to help us keep our kids safe. So, I am definitely getting them for the spring!