Tips for Raising a Healthy Baby

There are so many times in your life that people will give you unasked for advice, but never so much as when you have a new baby. Trust yourself! And don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, do your own research and second-guess what you’re being told. Here are some of the things I’ve done in my own family that I feel have made a big difference in the health of my children.

1. Breastfed My Kids For a Year

Even though I experienced first-hand some horribly unkind  breastfeeding discrimination, I persevered and continued to breastfeed my oldest son. My family was very supportive and that made a huge difference for me. With the rest of my babies it was so easy to just know that is what I wanted for them and what would be best for them. Sometimes you have to fight through someone else’s disapproval of the healthy choices you’ve made!

2. Choosing a Physician Carefully

We treat our relationship with our pediatrician as a partnership. I once had a doctor remove my baby from the room to do a medical procedure without asking me! I was horrified! We called doctors and friends and I actually asked a charge nurse for advice on which doctor would be the most open to our health choices and would be willing to work with us. On our first visit with the pediatrician we chose he walked in the room and said, “I understand you want to be very involved in any health care decisions for your children. I am honored to be a part of that process – how can I help you?”

3. Don’t be Afraid to Explore Non-Conventional Health Alternatives

My oldest son and daughter were both prone to fluid build-up in their ears. What I’d learned about chiropractic care for infants and young children is that it can be very beneficial in helping to prevent ear infections. As a result of regular care when needed, none of my four children have ever had ear infections! This was another case of being proactive and taking personal responsibility for my children’s health care.

I think the bottom line for us was realizing that WE were responsible for our children’s health. And really, for the health of the whole family. Sometimes it isn’t as easy as just accepting cultural norms or whatever doctor happens to be able to fit us in, but being proactive with our children’s health is important to us.

What about you? What do you do to help raise healthy children?  

Children’s health is at the top of every mother’s mind. What’s your favorite tip for raising a healthy baby? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs November 14 to December 18, 2011. A random winner will be announced by December 20, 2011.

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