What causes obesity?

Here is a Scientific American article about this.

I found this paragraph interesting:
“Bickham says three theories have been floated for the link between screen time and obesity: food advertising, unconscious eating and displacement—that is, the idea that the media use replaces physical activity. His team’s findings lent more support to the first two variables and less to the third. They found video games and computer use had no impact on BMI (body mass index). Television did, but only if it was the main event. Background TV, for example, didn’t matter.”

Mommy posture

Here is a simple visualization technique to help with your posture and counter the effects of gravity. This is important in maintaining a stable core which will support all the daily activities you need to do, often while holding an ever-growing baby. Your core strength, with good form, needs all the help it can get.
Here is what you do:
Imagine a chord attached to your belly button that stretches up and back to a point in between your shoulder blades. Hooked between these two points, the chord straightens your posture by pulling your abs up and in, and your shoulder blades down and back. This provides the support you need when reaching over to pick up your baby, the stroller….etc.

Baby Swiss Ball Exercises

Having a baby is horrible for your core strength! Your abs become unusable for a while and your lower back gets a severe curve in it from the weight of your belly. Then, once you have the baby, your upper back and shoulders start to curve around in order to hold baby and milk-filled breasts make you want to slouch over. But with some awareness and effort, you can fix this. A swiss ball, or exercise ball, will be a huge help. And once you feel Baby is strong enough, you can even use him/her as a counterbalance while you do your exercises. I started off just on the bed, doing some leg extensions and bicycle motions. This helped my muscles find themselves again, which is the first step to getting them to engage in daily activity. It is strange when you realize you no longer know how to activate particular muscles, but doing exercises which will force them to be used will solve this.

Basic baby brain needs

Here is a really good article that sums up the best basic things you can do to stimulate your baby’s development. I am just reading this now for the first time and I am glad I did because it is so easy to get lazy about some of these things, especially when there are chores and work to do while taking care of baby.
And here is another on the same topic from Parents.
About letting babies cry without comfort….
Here is more advice from Penelope Leach.

Bouncing in Merry Muscles Baby Bouncer

20121001-034729.jpgBaby’s level: 4 months and above, best if baby can support head completely

We got this bouncer when he was four months old and it was perfect timing. He was absolutely amazed at suddenly being able to control so much about his position. He can turn around, bounce up and down at whatever pace he wants, stop his motion completely, and even scooch over to touch the painting on the door. He would often start squealing and experimenting with all kinds of noises. It seems the new physical possibilities stimulate him mentally as well.

Here is the website for Merry Muscles

Tummy time with a rattle

20121001-034406.jpgHere is the tummy time everyone talks about, and he is happier than usual for some unknown reason. He usually gets frustrated by not being able to go anywhere, and just the overall helplessness he feels, so I distract him by tickling his back and patting his tush. Both of these always calm him down and allow him to work the muscles a little longer. I had to do this more in the beginning. Both of us are quite happy to see him get stronger from day to day. He always seems as amazed by his progress and I am. As he grew stronger, we were able to use toys like this rattle to keep him occupied. But the best distraction ever has been the two cats. I get them to sit in front of him and he completely forgets that he is doing a huge back and arm workout.

Note: when my calming techniques no longer work, I scoop him up right away to make sure he knows he won’t be stuck in an uncomfortable situation. I also encourage him to put his head down and rest. It is important that he understands that he has that choice. This way he feels as empowered as possible, despite being a tiny helpless baby. Life is much more exciting when you feel empowered.