Diary of Your Child's Milestones First year- Part 2

So here is Part 2- the second half of baby's first year is also filled with some sweet and fun milestones that you don't want to miss. Compare your newborn baby's first picture to how they are now, and their abilities and changes by their first birthday! Isn't life amazing?  Read on for some more exciting milestones-https://www.culturelle.com/resources/Diary-Of-Your-Childs-First-Year-Part-2

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Baby Milestones the First 6 Months - Part 1

One of the biggest joys of parenthood is watching and capturing your baby's first milestones. Its truly amazing how much they learn to do physically, socially and cognitively in such a short period of time.  No two children are ever exactly the same but in general miletones occur in a generalized time frame and order. This blog is part 1 of some very exciting milestones that occur from newborn to age 6 months. Remember to have fun with baby and don't do too much comparing to other babies, but if you ever have questions or concerns please bring it up with your pediatrician https://www.culturelle.com/resources/Diary-Of-Your-Childs-First-Year-Part-1





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Making Ends Meet: Side Gigs That Can Provide a Substantial Second Income

Hey everyone, welcome to my first guest blog by Eric Kelly Mydadventures.com. I thought it was such a great topic because we all know raising kids and finding quality time is a real balancing act. In fact, I too have recently started a so called side gig. Not only as Dr.Jen do I care for kids health and wellness but also integrate the importance of self care for parents too. It’s a necessity when raising kids, not always a luxury and so I want to let moms/dads know its ok and allow them time to care for themselves without the guilt, but also as a role model for their kids. (the added income is a plus too) Here is my side gig https://www.everskin.com/with/drjentrachtenberg for skin care and wellness from the inside and out. Read on from Eric about the many other opportunities regarding side gigs- and find what works for you and your family.


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Making Ends Meet: Side Gigs That Can Provide a Substantial Second Income

Sometimes, single parents need help making ends meet. It’s a shock to the financial system to be reduced to a single income after years of sharing expenses. Many people are taken by surprise and find themselves falling behind, not knowing where to turn for help. There may be relatives who can help out, but that’s not a sustainable solution. As a single parent needing to spend time with your kids, it’s tough to find a second source of income when it means being away from home for more than eight hours a day. Kids need emotional support, a role model, and help with their homework. That’s why a side gig can be the perfect solution, providing a valuable source of extra money while keeping you home at night.

Child Care

If you’re home with the kids, providing child care services can be a natural fit. There are lots of people out there who need child care services at different times of the day or night. You may know other single parents who are working a second job in the evening or on the weekends, which gives you a ready-made clientele. You’ll need to be sure your home is large enough to accommodate extra kids for a few hours a day and that you have plenty of toys and activities to keep them busy.


There are many opportunities via the gig economy for people who have specific skill sets. Freelancing allows you to work from home and set your own work hours. The key is finding the right niche depending on whether you’re a writer, graphic artist, website designer, and so on. Many companies need transcribers, fast and accurate typists who translate recorded items into written documents. Or, if you have a background in editing, there are lots of opportunities for proofreaders.


Use Your Creativity

If you’re a creative person who enjoys making crafts and giving them as gifts, there’s a side gig out there for you. Websites like Etsy are clearing houses for people who want an easy way to find a clientele online. There’s really no limit on the kinds of things you can sell, anything from handmade dolls to comforters can earn you extra money. Scrapbooking is a popular skill among people looking for someone to make theirs look nice. Or, you could try selling scrapbook layouts on the internet.

Virtual Assistant

Companies and websites often need help from a virtual assistant, someone who works off-site handling administrative duties like arranging conference calls, handling expenses, and responding to inquiries for bloggers. If you have a secretarial/administrative background and can multi-task, there are lots of VA opportunities out there for you.

Doggie Love

Pet sitting and dog walking are in-demand services these days as busy professionals look for ways to keep their pets happy during the week. It’s easily done from your home, and if you have a pet yourself, you’re on your way: your customers will have a ready-made playmate. If you’re only home in the evening, make it known that your services are available in the late afternoon and evening. You might be surprised at how many people need your services in the evening and on weekends.

The gig economy has opened a whole new world of money-making possibilities for people in every conceivable situation. It’s ideal for a single parent struggling to keep food on the table and maintain a nurturing home environment for healthy children. It takes a willingness to hustle and work hard, but it can make all the difference for you and your family.


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Tips on Teething for Toddlers and Babies

I love giving live seminars with mom and baby together as it's so helpful and satisfying when moms can get the information they need and ask their specific questions.  I was also introduced to an amazing new teether by doddleandco.com that's great for small hands to play with and chew on, made of high grade silicone, dishwasher safe, and no place for germs to hide. Here's a few take aways from my talk and enjoy the live video as well below

Teething 101 Tips and Myths

Developmental age 3-4 month babies drool alot and learn to put hands together this is normal development and not necessarily at all teething

Hereditary -    most babies start to have teeth erupt around 6 months of age (yes it can be sooner) or  even not until after age 1

Helpful Hint-   massage gum with clean finger

                        use high quality teethers to gnaw on for comfort

                         try  a cold wet wash cloth to suck on 

                        if severe use a pain reliever only as needed


                      Use alcohol to rub on gums for pain- it can get absorbed and potential                                       intoxication

                     avoid gels with numbing properties (benzocaine) potential serious side effects   and can numb back of throat  difficulty swallowing

                    avoid homeopathic teething tablets (unregulated and may contain                                                   belladonna)  thats's a  hallucinogen

                    No to Amber teething necklaces- no evidence to support decreases pain of                                   teething  and is a choking and  strangulation risk

Myth- teething causes fever

                     Fever is not a symptom of teething-, nor is severe diarrhea , vomiting and if not drinking:or extremely irritable- if concerned see your pediatrician-

Truth           Teething is a diagnosis of exclusion- toddlers get sick often with colds, fevers stomach bugs, ear infection  and more, so don't blame teething until other causes are ruled out. We don't want baby to suffer if he has something else that needs treatment.





Self Care To Do List- Healthy Habits for New Moms

 This seemed like a great topic post Mother's Day. As a pediatrician and mom of three, I wish I could go back in time and give myself the gift of this blog post. The stress and mommy guilt is real, but I am telling you it doesn’t have to be that way. Self-care is a necessity for your own health, and for your baby too. Just as I preach healthy habits in kids, we as moms need to continuously support our own healthy habits to be positive role models, and to feel good ourselves! You, my friend, are worth it. Read on for my tips that are a necessity to staying sane , especially in the baby period. 



Introducing Solids to Baby- When to Start and What Foods to Give Baby

This is one of the most fun and exciting milestones in the first year of life, when you start to feed solids to your baby. Its gonna be messy so be prepared , relax and have fun with it. Don't get too crazed right away about how much baby eats ( most will end up on face, bib and floor) Just as a guide, baby need only a few tablespoons to start out as a meal. Most nutrients are  still supported by either breast milk or formula.

When to start?  Baby is often ready between 4-6 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends if exclusively breastfeeding can wait until 6 months then add in supplemental food.  Also baby needs to be able to sit with little support, keep head up, look interested in food, reaching out, and ability to swallow purees without tongue thrust reflex- spitting it all out. 

Rice Cereal- The biggest Dr. Jen  NO- NO  Avoid putting rice cereal in bottle!  It's unnecessary sugars, often adds on too much baby weight/ calories than necessary, interferes with long term health and no evidence it promotes sleep. Please wait to feed baby purees with a spoon unless your pediatrician tells you otherwise. And another word about that rice cereal. - I tend to tell parents to avoid it, as again its just starch/ sugar and has unfortunately a lot of Arsenic in it even if you buy organic or brown whole grain rice. If you give cereal try barley, or oatmeal . But remember cereal does not need to be your baby's first food. Read on....

What foods to offer at the start ? I recommend giving purees before going to finger foods.  Introduce fruits, veggie, as well as beans, meats and grains. In addition (unless your pediatrician says otherwise, or your baby has very bad eczema or food allergies) you then want to add in the most highly allergic foods around 6 months  (peanuts. tree nuts, fish, seafood ,eggs, wheat, soy ,milk) in small amounts  but frequently throughout a week. We now have research to back up early introduction of these foods can help reduce the risk of a food allergy in your baby. So don't be scared to start these foods- if you have more questions please speak with your baby's doctor. And remember to avoid any foods that can be choking hazards , so when moving on from purees makes very small soft pieces of  foods and avoid honey until age 1 due to risk of botulism.

The whole idea of food introduction is to give a wide array to your baby to get them used to different flavors and then soon textures as well. The bland days are gone for baby. You can add spices and seasonings just avoid adding excess salt and sugar..It's especially important to have baby start taking foods high in iron like the fortified cereals but also meats, beans, eggs, dark green veggies too. Watch my video to hear what I have to say about the best order to give new foods to baby .I think you may be surprised by my answers!! - Dr. Jen




Potty Training -Helpful Tips for a More Positive Experience

Potty training is an important milestone to many parents. It often signifies a huge leap of independence when a toddler knows when and how to use the toilet by themselves.  It's also a big relief not to have to buy diapers anymore!. But as a pediatrician in practice for so many years there is no "right " age for this toilet training to happen. I would say on average here in the US its most often between 2-3 yrs of age. But each child is unique and even if physically able to undress and go sit on the potty or hold in their urine for a few hours they may not be emotionally ready or even just too busy playing to make running to the toilet a priority. Parents please don't stress, potty training is not a contest. I promise eventually it will happen. When you feel you and your child are ready for the process my best advice is to be persistent , consistent and positive.  Read on in this article where I share some more potty training advice : http://www.rashtiandrashti. com/parentscorner.asp?id=96


Tips on Building Baby's Immunity in the First Year of Life.

Last night was a great evening at the Big City Mom's Biggest Baby Shower NYC. There were so many amazing experts and products for expectant parents to see and learn about. I was on a great panel to help inform new moms and dads to be, about infant nutrition, health, boosting immunity and even info on importance of financial savings for baby too. I am passionate as a pediatrician to help take the anxiety and many of the fears out of parenting especially that first year of life. Watch the short video clip to find out about some of my important tips to build immunity for your baby from birth through age 1.