Jax Baby Park Hopper Passport | IT’S HERE

jax baby park hopper | Jax, FL Night Nanny

Jax Baby Park Hopper Passport | GET YOURS HERE

Looking for outside fun in Northeast Florida? Become part of the Jax Baby Park Hopper family! What exactly is a Jax Baby Park Hopper? A Jax Baby Park Hopper is a person who hops from park to park hitting as many parks around Jacksonville, Florida with their kids as possible! It’s like a bucket list for local family entertainment! Of course what good is park hopping if you don’t take the time to enjoy yourself as you check each of them out?

We’ve put together the ultimate Jax Baby Park Hopper bucket list!

The only rule is to have fun! You can take your time and do one park a month or take the parks by storm and hit several a day! Again, the only rule is to enjoy yourself! Take some photos (and post to Instagram with the hashtag #jaxbabyco), pack a picnic lunch, grab a friend, and make sure you bring plenty of water to drink! We’re including a fun Jax Baby Park Hopper Passport for you to print and keep track of your adventures! Write in your highlights and rate each park.

In no particular order because I am totally random like that!

South Beach Park & Sunshine Playground

There’s a playground, a skate park, a seasonal splash pad, tennis and basketball courts and a few other amenities to enjoy while you’re there! Located at Osceola Avenue and South Beach Parkway, full address for GPS purposes is 2514 S Beach Pkwy, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Ed Austin Regional Park

There’s no way we could write this and not include this park in our Jax Baby Park Hopper passort! With over 100 acres it has just about everything a park can have! There are hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, and a skate park! They even have an awesome 18-hole disc golf layout that includes open and tree-lined fairways. They even have tournaments out there! There’s more to check out, just do it! The address is 11751 McCormick Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225

Ringhaver Park/Ortega River Nature Preserve

They have a great playground that is fenced in with picnic tables and a covered pavilion. There’s a hiking trail that’s beautiful and a boardwalk along the Ortega River and a pier that may be used for launching kayaks and canoes. It’s worth noting that the walk from the parking lot to the launch is a long way, so be prepared for that if you plan to launch from there. The address is 5198 118th St, Jacksonville, FL 32244

Stockton Park

This park hugs the St Johns River in the Ortega neighborhood. While there isn’t a playground, there is a lot of wide open play space, and sometimes that’s just as nice. Most any day of the week if you visit you’ll see someone casting a line in the river. The address is 4021 Ortega Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32210

Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park

Known as Westside Regional Park to locals, this park is tucked away just west of Roosevelt Blvd./ HWY 17. There’s a covered pavilion with picnic tables, a couple of grills, bathrooms, water, and a playground to enjoy. What really makes this place special is that at several locations in the park you can see remnants of a 16-foot wide brick road that once linked Ortega to Jacksonville.  There is a footpath with a short hike to an observation tower where you can catch great views of planes from NAS Jax. The address is 7000 Roosevelt Blvd, Jax, FL 32244

Friendship Fountain

Located at the west end of the Southbank Riverwalk right near MOSH, Friendship Fountain is gorgeous day or night! You could plan a trip to MOSH and visit the fountain in the same day. If you have the time and enjoy boat rides the St Johns River Taxi & Tours picks up from there, it can be seen from the fountain. Address 1015 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207,

Boone Park

Don’t skip this one up, it’s a definite must see! Even the most adultish adults want to be a kid again when they get to this park! Listen, we don’t judge, enjoy yourselves! If you’re looking for a playdate or to make friends this just might be the park for you! Hey, you could join the Jax Baby Park Hopper family together! Located in the Riverside area at 3700 Park St. Jax, FL 32205

Memorial Park

This park has a paved loop that circles around a grassy lawn. Enjoy walking along the St Johns River, a picnic in the park or grab lunch at many of the nearby restaurants in riverside. I highly recommend Hovan in the heart of 5 points. The address is 1620 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204

Egans Creek Park

Fernandina Beach, Florida is a short 45-55 minute drive north from Jacksonville, Florida and is home to a couple of amazing parks! Egans Creek Park is one of them. Located at 2251 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Be sure to bring some sunscreen as there isn’t a ton of shade and bug spray as it is near a salt marsh. You may also want to bring your binoculars and camera, there is lots of amazing wildlife in the area! If you own kayaks this is a cool place to put in as they have a kayak launch on the public access dock.

Pirate’s Playground

Again, located in Fernandina Beach, Florida! Okay, so it’s not technically called a “park”, call it what you will, but this place is awesome! It’s shady, has unique equipment, and is right around the corner from Egans Creek Park. You could hit both in one day or if you enjoy hiking you could hike Egans Creek Greenway and hit this park on the same day. Pack a picnic lunch to eat along the greenway, but please be sure to pack out anything you pack in and please don’t feed the wildlife! Leave no trace practices are critical to keeping this ecosystem healthy. Located at 2500 Atlantic Ave Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034.

Kathryn Abbey “Hanna Park”

Hiking, biking, boat ramp, playground, beach access, and a seasonal splash pad, this park basically has it all and you can camp too! Located at 500 Wonderwood Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32233

Treaty Oak at Jesse Ball Dupont Park

Known to Jacksonvillians as just “Treaty Oak Park”, this octopus-like southern live oak has seen a lot in her 250 years in Jacksonville. A location just perfect for photographs, I’ve witnessed a few weddings happening beneath the canopy of possibly what is Jacksonville’s oldest living tree! Some GPS works with just “Treaty Oak Park”, others require an address: 1123 Prudential Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Losco Park

Losco Park has a playground, a lake, hiking and biking trails, and a seasonal splash pad so the sun doesn’t do you in! Located at 10931 Hood Road South Jacksonville FL 32257

Stinson Park & Baker Park

A cool little playground find right off of the river! Just a short walk, literally across the street and you can check off Baker Park from the list. Baker is a great place to see boats passing under the draw bridge! Stinson is located at 4050 San Juan Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32210

Balis Park

Located in the Middle of San Marco Square, Balis Park isn’t much of playspace per say. It is however, a charming place where you can take the kids to snap a few photos, and let them toss a couple pennies in the fountain as they make wishes! Located at 1999 San Marco Blvd Jacksonville FL 32207

That concludes our Jax Baby Park Hopper Guide!

Be sure to print off the Jax Baby Park Hopper Passport (below) to take with you on your adventures! Snap photos and tag @thejaxbabyco with the hashtag #jaxbabyco and post to IG. Contact us and let us know which ones you love, which ones you really love, and which ones you didn’t even know where there! We want to hear from you!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Cannellini Bean Soup | 30 Minutes | FREE Printable

Cannellini Bean Soup | Jax, FL Newborn Help

Cannellini Bean Soup

This recipe for cannellini bean soup is perfect if you’re short on time, but not on love! I enjoy feeding my family, my friends, and the families we work with so much. Cooking is a hobby of mine and food might be my other love language. Recently our daughter and one of our sons each asked if I would write down some of my recipes for their favorite meals so they would know how to make them. The practice of writing down recipes is truly hard for me. I’ve always been one to just freestyle in the kitchen! I open the fridge, pull out the veggie drawer, and see what ingredients I have stocked in my house. Then, I listen to the food Gods as they speak to me! Toss in a little of this and some of that, season, stir, and taste.

I decided this would be a great opportunity to get them involved.

As our kids have grown (and some flown the nest) I’ve come to realize our days cooking together (and gathering together to share meals) are fewer and further between. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but what a great opportunity this is for us to make time to get into the kitchen together again. My daughter and I decided that my quick cannellini bean soup would be a great recipe to start with. I had her join me in the kitchen to record this recipe as I prepared it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it together.

Cannellini Bean Soup | Serves 4 | 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 TBsp butter
  • 3-4″ sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1- 10 oz can tomato soup
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBsp garlic powder
  • 5 cups of kale chopped well
  • 2-10 oz cans of cannellini beans
  • 3 quarts of chicken, vegetable, or beef stock

Directions:

  1. Chop onions.
  2. In a large soup pot heat butter over medium heat and sautee onions until softened.
  3. While the onions cook down, roughly chop 4 tomatoes and slice the garlic and add them to the pot. Add bay leaves and rosemary.
  4. Next, add 3 quarts of chicken, beef, or vegetable stock [my preference is homemade stock or Better than Bouillon]
  5. Add in black pepper, salt, garlic, and tomato soup. Stir well.
  6. Turn the heat up to high and stir until just boiling.
  7. As your soup begins to boil add in the kale, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  8. Give a few more stirs, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  9. While it simmers drain and rinse 2 cans of cannellini beans.
  10. During the last minute of cooking add in your beans and stir.
  11. Remove bay leaves and rosemary.
  12. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Serve warm or store in the fridge or freezer within a couple of hours.

Be sure to print your recipe card!

This cannellini bean soup is so simple to make it’s almost fail-proof. If you try and enjoy it, check out a few other recipes we’ve shared in the past, leave us a comment, and feel free to share about us with others on Facebook and Instagram. If you’re expecting a baby or have a newborn and are in the Jacksonville, Florida area reach out to us, we would love to support your family during the postpartum time period. Not only do we cook, we also validate your feelings, help you find solutions that work, make sure you get all the rest you need, and [icing on the cake] we’re baby and postpartum support experts

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Varicose Veins in Pregnancy | Aches & Pains

varicose veins in pregnancy | Jax, FL Birth Classes

Varicose Veins in Pregnancy | Aches & Pains Series

Just when you think pregnancy has nothing else to offer, varicose veins are thrown into the mixing bowl that is life! Varicose veins can be seen through the skin as large, sometimes twisted veins that bulge or raise from the skin, usually in the lower legs or ankles. Most varicose veins are not terribly painful, but in some cases, they can be. Spider veins are smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels that can twist and turn and usually appear on the legs and face. Both varicose veins and spider veins appear most frequently during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Why Do Varicose Veins Appear During Pregnancy

While varicose veins can be hereditary, pregnancy is one of the biggest risk factors for developing them. So, let’s get this straight, it’s a package deal huh? If we take the baby we have to spin the wheel of pregnancy and take any or all of what life hands us? Wow! During pregnancy the increase in blood volume and the rise in hormones causes the veins to become larger, more dilated, and the circulation from your legs is slower due to the increased pressure of the growing uterus and baby. Standing for long periods of time, obesity, a history of blood clots, and constipation can also be contributing factors.

But wait! There’s more! Act in the next 10 minutes and . . .

When the blood vessels of your vagina relax the blood flow to your vaginal area increases, resulting in a swollen, sore, or tender vulva. In extreme cases, the vessels may bulge, they can look bluish and feel lumpy. Being on one’s feet for long periods of time, exercise, and sex can make it worse. Vaginal swelling or varicose veins of the vulva and vagina won’t affect how you deliver and should resolve by about 6 weeks postpartum. Hemorrhoids are another type of varicose vein. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins that develop on the anus or in the rectum. Search, “hemorrhoids in pregnancy” on our blog for help with this bonus discomfort of pregnancy.

Ways to Cope or Relieve the Discomfort of Varicose Veins in Pregnancy:

  • Sleep on your left side. This will help relieve pressure on the inferior vena cava.
  • Minimize the swelling of your veins by reducing your sodium intake
  • Elevate your legs several times throughout the day
  • Compression stockings may be helpful
  • Get extra fiber in your diet
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Reduce the time you spend on your feet standing

And for those sexy vulvar varicosities!

To help you cope with or relieve the discomfort of vaginal varicose veins we have a few suggestions. Cool baths can be soothing, even if only temporarily. If you don’t enjoy cool baths try just filling the tub enough to cover your bottom or using a sitz bath on the toilet. Wearing a support garment specifically designed for vulvar varicosities may also help with the discomfort. Will it help you bring sexy back? That’s a story for another day ! Here’s another idea. When you have to sit, sit with a small pillow or something similar between your legs to apply counter pressure directly to your vulva. Last, but certainly, not least grab that bag of frozen veggies that no one is going to eat (or maybe you’ll snack on while you hang with a frozen crotch, we don’t judge) and apply it to the tender area!

I don’t know about you, but for me, dealing with one lovely pregnancy symptom a day was more than enough for my emotions to handle! Thank you for reading and be sure to search on our website, “Aches & Pains” for more solidarity and ideas to make this pregnancy more comfortable!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Support Local Families By Shopping Local

Support Local Families Jax, FL

Support Local Families By Shopping Local

It’s times like these that we need to support local families by shopping local. There’ nothing like hitting that “buy now” button and receiving a package at your doorstep when you get home from work the next afternoon. We love ordering online as much as the next person, but do you know what we love even more? We love to support local families, caring for other families, all while caring for our own and supporting our community!

Stores are out of everything!

People are preparing in a way that is best for them. If you’ve been to the stores in the last week or have watched online the shelves are going bare. Stores are doing their best to restock, put limits on products to ensure they go further, and some are limiting hours to ensure the elderly have an opportunity to shop with less traffic. Some folx are stocking up on things like toilet paper and meat, others are planting gardens to in case this lasts a long time, some are having a Corona party and swimming. We knock no one for their methods during this time.

Support local families by getting to know them!

Find out who your local soap makers are. Hello, sanitation! Discover the crafters of washable paper towels in your area. What a great way to do something amazing for your family, another local family, and the environment at the same time! Artesian bread bakers, tea makers (immune system boost F.T.W.) beekeepers, food truck vendors, and service providers like The Jax Baby Company and Grow Family!

Here’s a shortlist of small local businesses, some specials they’re running, and ways to help you get started quickly! Support local families in Northeast Florida and our amazing communities within it! Make a huge impact, purchase small local!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Stay Entertained During Social Distancing | 10 Ways

Stay Entertained During Social Distancing

Stay Entertained During Social Distancing | 10 Ways

We are happy to share ways to stay entertained during social distancing with all of our readers! Since the start of the COVID-19 virus, parents, grandparents, and caregivers are doing their part to reduce the rapid spread of this virus. Coronavirus is here, likely to stay, so slowing the spread of this virus is imperative to those who are most vulnerable. The Flatten the Curve campaign is giving scientists and medical personnel the time they need to study and treat this virus. This graphic does a great job explaining, in the most simple way, why we all need to be proactive and do our best to help flatten the curve!

In addition to helping you keep your baby safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, we want to help you stay rested, stay entertained, and hopefully stay well!

Here are 10 Ways to Stay Entertained During Social Distancing:

Go Outside!

It’s been beautiful outside over the last two weeks. Fresh air, sunshine, walks, and maybe a little bubble blowing can be good for the body and the soul! This week we’re planting a butterfly garden with Milkweed, Lavender, Aster, Black-Eyed Susans, and a few other plants. Along with the plants, we’re adding a birdbath, a few large rocks so the butterflies can sun themselves, and even a shepherd’s hook to hand a hummingbird feeder. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and enjoy nature, the objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection.

Read a Book!

Reading is proven to be good for you and for your baby! You learn new things, your baby is exposed to language and literature, and bonus, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that people who read regularly are two and a half times less likely to have Alzheimer’s. Win-win!

Rock Painting

Painting can be therapeutic, and painting rocks, well it’s just good ole’ therapeutic fun! There are entire groups dedicated to painting rocks, hiding them around town, and finding painted rocks. When you find them, many will have the name of the group on them! Be creative, be unique, be inspirational, and most importantly, have fun!

Support a Small Local Business

Most small local business owners and employees aren’t getting a paycheck during this shutdown. Many were faced with the hard decision to shut things down temporarily or risk public health. Those who chose to be proactive and shut down didn’t make the decision easily, but they did do what was necessary to help keep you, your family, and your friends and their families as safe as possible. Sadly, some businesses will feel the impact so greatly they will be forced to shut down permanently. Show your monetary and social support! Donate or purchase products or services online and share, share, share about their businesses with everyone you know to help create social awareness. From me, a mother, and the owner of The Jax Baby Company, I thank you personally!

Catch Up on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Shows

Whether its shows for you, your partner, your family, or just the kids, there are never-ending options in streaming! Here are 150 educations shows you can find on Netflix! Disney released Frozen 2, two months ahead of schedule, and now we can all rejoice because toddlers everywhere will soon put Moana songs to rest and begin belting out their newest favorite Froze song! Working Moms, Love is Blind, and Ozark are some other favorites right now!

Try Your Hand at Making a New Recipe

Baking bread, preparing a big pot of soup, making a casserole for dinner and one to freeze, or making a fresh key lime pie might be one of my favorite ways to stay entertained during social distancing. Seriously, food is how I show my love to my family and friends! Anyone who knows me well has probably received a meal from me!

Here’s a simple, yet delicious recipe, Terry’s Key Lime Pie:

Ingredients:

  • One 9″ graham cracker pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
  • One 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (I said simple and delicious, I said nothing about healthy)
  • 6 oz. non-dairy topping
  • 1/2 cup of Terry’s Homemade Key Lime Pie Juice (or any fresh lime juice will do)

Directions:

  1. Mix condensed milk with non-dairy topping (medium speed) until blended.
  2. Add lime juice to the mixture. Blend well.
  3. Pour into graham cracker pie crust.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
  5. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Finger Paint

To stay entertained during social distancing sometimes means busting out finger paints, or baby booty paints, lol! Finger painting is a beautiful way for kids (and adults) to express themselves, show their creative flair, and to use their imagination! Finger paints can be done outside in the driveway or on the back patio, in the bathtub using the walls of the tub/shower as their canvas, and even on the kitchen floor! Mom, dad, and even baby brother or sister can join in the fun! This is a great time to get a tiny hand and footprint to save! Finger paints can even be made with food items like pudding cups, and even using greek yogurt and food coloring, Kool-Aid packets, or icing dye!

Pamper Yourself

In this time of social distancing don’t forget to take a time out for you! DIY spa treatments at home: cucumber and honey puree face mask, coffee, sugar, and coconut oil body scrub, lavender and Epsom salt foot soak, and a nice long soak in the tub might be just what you need! Listen to a book or your favorite music while enjoying some downtime!

Get Back Into a Lost Hobby or Start a New One

Do you play an instrument, write, draw, paint, garden, or crochet? Ever wanted to learn how? Nows that time! Carpe diem! Starting a small window garden can be a great way to ease into enjoying fresh herbs without being overwhelmed. Basil, rosemary, and dill are super easy window garden herbs that you can enjoy year-round inside! Youtube is an excellent resource to learn to crochet and paint, Jada in Stitches, Fiber Spider, and Let’s Make Art are three great YouTube channels to subscribe to. Often when we become parents we forget who we are and we lose a sense of self. Stay entertained during social distancing by getting back into something you LOVE or learning to love something brand new.

Make a Tube Run

What’s more fun than finger paints? Making a tube run for pom poms, Hotwheels, or if you’re super-duper brave, marbles! This can be completely child-led depending on your child’s age and ability level. Simple supplies like tape (I recommend painter’s tape), cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls or construction paper or white printer paper rolled up, either Hotwheels or small round items like pom poms, marbles, dried beans. Photos for inspo below!

newborn Jax, FL | stay entertained during social distancing
stay entertained during social distancing | overnight help jax, fl

BONUS IDEAS: A DIY Photo Shoot

Set up in an area with lots of natural light, grab those too cute for daily life duds and go paparazzi with your baby! Don’t be afraid that your baby isn’t smiling or that your photos aren’t professional, just have fun! Memories are made this way! if you can get some selfies with your babe that’s a big bonus! Share on social media and tag your friends who have kiddos and send them love, laughter, and help them stay entertained during social distancing!

Build a Fort

Using whatever you have around the house, build a fort! Chairs with sheets draped over them, from the back of the couch to the counter! Toss in some pillows, a flashlight and add kids and yourself for fun!

The Jacksonville Baby Company hopes you and your family are healthy, happy, and stay entertained during social distancing! If you have ideas you want to share to help others we would love to hear about them. Share in the comments or share on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth

Keep Your Baby Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic

baby safe during the Coronavirus

Keep Your Baby Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We know many of you are remaining calm, cool, and collected, but are silently wondering should you be doing more to keep your baby safe during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We have some words of advice during this time.

First, as you’re probably already doing, remain calm and don’t panic.

Panic is stressful to the body and we know that large amounts of stress put our immune systems at risk. COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus impacts those with compromised immune systems, infants, and the elderly hardest. So keeping calm really is numerous uno.

Secondly, what do we know about COVID-19?

The best way to prevent getting COVID-19 (coronavirus) is to avoid being exposed to this virus. So, how’s it spread? The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. First, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Secondly, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. The incubation period is asymptomatic for at least 14 days. That means anyone can appear well and without a single symptom for 14 days. Two full weeks! We also know that someone with a good immune system may not react or display the same symptoms as a newborn, the elderly, or individuals who are immune-compromised.

Another way that COVID-19 is spread; from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but person to person contact is thought to be the number one way it’s spread. Basically, anyone could have it, so there’s that.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. What we do know if that with viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, like influenza, women are at an increased risk for developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses. How? By following the same guidelines listed below.

Here’s what you can do to keep your baby safe during the Coronavirus pandemic:

  • This is going to sound redundant, but wash your hands all the way up to your elbows well with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. Wash often and avoid touching your face with your hands. Remind your family and anyone who comes into your home or around you and your baby.
  • Social distancing measures have proven to slow the transmission of disease and save lives. It’s proven to help! So social distancing is next on our list.
  • Avoid going out unless necessary. If you must go out avoid anywhere there’s a crowd when you can. Public or private events, even grocery shopping during peak hours is not a great idea. Remember social distancing can and does help! I would cancel any non-essential appointments or outings. When you must go out if you have the option to leave your baby at home with a caregiver or partner do that as a first option.

Other things you can do to keep your baby safe during the Coronavirus pandemic:

  • Wipe down cart handles well with hand wipes or hand sanitizer applied to paper towels. Keeping a few white hand towels in your car to bring into stores to cover the cart handles is a good idea as well. Then you can toss them into the washer and bleach those suckers.
  • Use your elbows or your hand covered with your shirt or that hand towel if you brought it to open doors. Doorknobs and light switches are crawling with germs.
  • Change your baby in a safe place outside or in the back of your vehicle right before going into the store and or right after coming out of the store instead of using the bathrooms in the store. Most stores are on heightened alert and are being vigilant to sanitize more often, but again the bathroom is an enclosed space and you can’t be too careful during this time.
  • Make sure all caregivers are feeling well (although remember, people are asymptomatic for at least 14 days). Have each caregiver remove their shoes at the door, change into clean clothes upon arrival and wash their hands up to their elbows well with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds before touching your baby.
  • Breastfeeding provides protection against many illnesses. If you’re breastfeeding your baby it’s highly recommended that you continue to do so. Giving toddlers breastmilk during this time isn’t a bad idea at all! If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 the decision to continue breastfeeding, stop breastfeeding, or to pump milk and have someone else feed your baby should be made between you and your medical providers. Breastfeeding provides infants with lots of antibodies and it’s likely your body was already producing antibodies specifically to help your baby fight this virus before you ever knew you had it. Again, remember people with Coronavirus are asymptomatic for at least 14 days before visible symptoms.

Are you still wondering if there’s more you can do to keep your baby safe during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Here are our final 5 recommendations:

  • Just say no to travelers, visitors, likewise traveling or visiting, get-togethers, and playdates during this time.
  • Create a plan just in case you, your partner, or you both come down with the virus. How will you care for yourselves? Do you have what you need at home to get through the next few weeks at home? Who will care for your baby if you get sick and cannot?
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks).
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.
    To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
      OR
      • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Alcohol solutions.
    Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
    Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.). Complete disinfecting guidelines are found here.

The Jacksonville Baby Company is being proactive.

We want to keep your baby safe during the Coronavirus pandemic. If you or your baby is sick, please stay home! If you or your baby have flu-like symptoms contact your providers away for advice, testing, and treatment. We are reaching out to current and past families we’ve worked with to make sure they feel informed and have what they need during this time while also trying to reduce the risk of infection. If you have any questions or pressing concerns please let us know.

Lastly, if you or your immediate family tests positive for the Coronavirus and you need supplies please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We will help in any way that we can including dropping off supplies in a box at your driveway. Practice good hygiene, remain cool and calm, and most importantly be kind to one another.

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth

Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

being a new parent Jacksonville, FL | Jax, FL playdate

Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

What’s being a new parent like? Let me paint a picture for you. You give birth to a beautiful baby. You’re over the moon about this tiny bundle of everything right in the world. Your heart couldn’t be fuller, it’s surreal being a new parent. There really are no words. The hospital stay has been a whirlwind. Nurses coming in and going out just as you doze off each time. Your pediatrician stops in, your photographer is working her magic, and excited family and friends with smiles from ear to ear.

You’re feeling ready to get home!

You make your way home for the first time as a family of 3! It smells like home, it looks like home, it’s wonderful. As you settle in you gush over this beautiful baby and family you’ve created. WOW! Being a new parent is so incredibly amazing! Tiredness is setting in. You’re feeling like you could easily sleep for 24 hours straight. You feed baby girl really well, change her diaper, and she’s back to sleep. Your bed has never felt so good, you are fast asleep in no time.

Suddenly you wake with a jolt!

She’ stirring again. Is she hungry again you wonder? Is she just working out some gas bubbles? She’s not waking and seems to be falling back into sleep. Your husband is snoring, the house is still. You start drifting off to sleep again.

. . .

Your husband wakes you, he’s standing over you with your little one in his arms.

“Babe, I think she’s hungry. I just changed her but she is still fusing and rooting around.” You sit up wiping the drool from your chin. You work to get her to latch, it seemed to be easier at the hospital. She’s finally on the boob, you look at your phone, it’s only been 45 minutes since you laid down, wow. Okay, she ate an hour and a half ago, but she definitely seems hungry. She is sucking away.

. . .

You call your husband to come back in.

“I don’t know if she’s hungry or not,” you tell him. “She was fussing and trying to eat. I finally get her latched and she sucked like she was starving and then she fell asleep again, not 5 minutes in. I don’t know what to do. Being a new parent is wild, huh?”

You both laugh an exhausted little laugh.

Your husband, the sweet daddy he is gets the breastfeeding book out. “Well, the book says she should be eating about every 2-3 hours. She ate about 2 hours ago, maybe she’s not hungry. Should I burp her if she wakes again, maybe it’s gas?”

. . .

Cue the dog barking at a UPS driver across the street.

You wake again and find your husband passed the fuck out! Poor guy is exhausted. He’s a champ. He’s stayed alongside you as you labored, never leaving your side. He came home cared for the dogs, updated family, loaded all your stuff in the car, cared for the baby so you can rest and now he is finally getting in a good rest. Good for him! You cover him with a throw and turn the lights down for him.

. . .

Fast forward to your fourth day at home.

Breastfeeding is way harder than you thought it would be, your boobs are sore and your neck is aching. Your pumping so your husband can give a bottle so you try to get rest at night. Rest, yeah that looks like 3 hours straight, if you’re lucky. You don’t know what day it is, but you know your baby is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. You’re starting to feel overwhelmed and slightly inadequate to be her mama. You think to yourself, wtf was I thinking, I can barely keep plants alive, being a new parent is insane, what a rollercoaster. Tears and silly laughter follow and you wonder if this ever gets easier.

Your husband suggests calling your mom over for some help.

You both need sleep. Breastfeeding feels more like a full-time job than the sweet bonding experience you envisioned and hoped for. You’re running on fumes. Your fuse is short. You have threatened to cut the next person who rings the damn doorbell. You didn’t want to call your mom, but her help is sounding better and better.

Let me stop you right there!

Being a new parent is ALL the things. It’s incredible, fulfilling, fun, scary, and H-A-R-D! Being a new parent is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. You can bond, shower, eat, and SLEEP, for more than an hour or two at a time with the right care and support!

With The Jacksonville Baby Company being a new parent means you’ll thrive!

Our team knows the ins and outs of postpartum and infant care. The physical, emotional, and mental aspects that come with giving birth. We are experts in breast and bottle feeding. We know how to handle, store, and prepare breastmilk and formula. We are very well-versed in deep latching, spotting troubles before they get out of control, feeding positions, different techniques for bottle feeding, burping, diapering, cord care, literally all the things. You can sleep, eat, shower, and do so with confidence that your baby is great hands. Toddlers, extended family, and pets love us too! There is no way not to thrive with us by your side!

Contact us today! It costs you absolutely nothing!

You’ll walk away with a crystal clear vision of what your first few weeks as a new parent will be like with proper support and care. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience, we are up to date and in the know on all things birth and parenting. We support ALL people, ALL parenting styles, and are genuinely happy to do so!

[This blog is meant to give you an idea of what being a new parent can be like for some, others have a unique experience of their own. We will talk more about other experiences in future blog posts]

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect | Preparation Ahead

our bodies are not perfect | Jax, FL Birth Classes, Birth Prep in Jax, FL

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect

Our bodies are not perfect! I feel no shame in saying that. We need glasses when our eyes are meant to see with. We’re born with ears and yet hearing aids are needed. We’re sometimes given legs that don’t walk and organs that grow outside of our bodies. Our bodies are not perfect and it doesn’t hurt us or reduce our existence to admit this.

Death isn’t something we want to think about, yet like birth, we will also all die. Some of us are faced with untimely deaths, this is reality. Spend any amount of time in labor and delivery or working with expecting parents and you realize that not every baby will survive while others beat all odds. I know, it’s HORRIBLE and absolutely heartbreaking to think about, but it’s true.

What’s crazier?

The natural birth culture that pregnant moms face in 2020 often leads to the conclusion that they really don’t accept the preventable death of babies. Say what?!

When we say things such as, “Your baby will come when he’s ready”, “It’s the way it was intended, the natural way” (hello tornados, earthquakes, and rattlesnakes are natural too), “It’s just a guess date, not an expiration date”, we’re ignoring reality. This reality slaps the faces of those who’ve lived through preterm birth, experienced infertility, have a chemical imbalance, and who’ve survived the death of an infant when a pregnancy becomes post-date and doesn’t beat the odds.

We should avoid saying these things altogether.

Seriously, STOP!

By saying these things it shows that the person doesn’t understand the emotional aspect of supporting a person through labor and childbirth. Learning to use better language, ask questions that challenge pregnant people to work through their nervousness, fear, or anxieties surrounding childbirth would be a better course of action or response.

Our bodies are not perfect and it’s totally cool because our self-worth is no way determined by our bodily functions!

Our bodies are not perfect and there’s more harm than I’m willing to assume the risk of by saying otherwise. Our bodies do amazing things and they do weird shit! We’re unique and have quirks. We’re different, and imperfectly perfect, sure, but our bodies are not perfect.

There is no one size fits all approach to childbirth or parenting.

There are just too many variables in play. If care providers step aside and believe our bodies are perfect and all babies will come on their own time every time, we will lose more babies. If they believe they can save every single baby by way of interventions every time, when there’s literally no way to do that, we fail by over intervention. We suffer birth injury and sometimes even death. When we believe inducing everyone at the same exact gestation can lead to more harm than good we lose babies. Vice versa just waiting until the baby is ready to come on his own can lead to post-date infant loss too.

Midwives and OBGYN’s are human beings, extraordinary ones at that!

They’re doing the best they can to the best of their ability, each and every time. Some may be too hands-off while others may be too intervention happy. It happens. They’re trying to do their very best, to save as many lives as they can, and deserve grace and kindness along the way.

Our bodies are not perfect and in many ways, we trade the risk of intervention for the risk of losing a baby.

Who should get to decide that? I believe whole-heartedly the parents should get to decide that, with or without their provider’s approval, but hopefully they’ve talked it through with their care providers, they trust their providers, and have been thoroughly and honestly counseled on the matter.

Our bodies are not perfect. The way of the world isn’t perfect.

Anyone who believes that it is foolish and has never witnessed or experienced trauma in birth. You cant eliminate all death in pregnancy or completely stop birth complications from happening. We can try, but we can’t stop it. There’s a balance that must happen.

Our bodies are not perfect, but nothing in life is!

We can be happy with how things go, we can be terribly sad, or grieve how things go, life isn’t perfect and that’s okay!

We can prepare for childbirth none-the-less!

How?

You can take a childbirth class that doesn’t set you up to feel like you’ve failed. Because there is no right or wrong way to birth, only different ways and ways you accept or ways you do not.

Take a class that helps you learn about birth, the variations, how to communicate your needs, and get answers to your questions. Find a class that is NOT focused on birthing the “right” way or on using the “best” method. The way you give birth is not the first act of love for your child. There is no right or wrong way it is simply the way your body needs to do things. If you start letting your physical functions determine your self-worth things get messy. Most aspects of birth are out of your control. Choose a class that teaches you how to advocate for yourself and prepares you for the worst and the best-case scenarios.

You can find the care providers that feel good to you!

Ask about their philosophical approach to birth. Ask the tough questions. How are your provider’s communication skills? It’s important to trust and feel good about your care providers. Are you treated kindly, respectfully, and with autonomy? You’re looking for woman-centered life-saving care, both are important.

You can line up support for after you give birth! You’re gonna need it, we all do! We may not all get it, but we sure do need it!

Our team is completely present for you as you welcome your baby home or come home with empty arms and broken hearts.

We’re there to lighten your load. We will nourish your body and ease your mind where we can. We listen empathetically, validate your feelings and concerns, and help find real solutions for the solvable issues. Our team is there to help you rest, sleep, and heal. Likewise, we’ll be there to commiserate and comfort you when there is no fixing the shit you’ve endured. People often overlook the period of time after birth, they fail to prepare and they regret it greatly. Don’t skip on fourth-trimester preparations!

Our bodies are not perfect, and we can still show up and slay!

Adjust your lens.

Trust your gut.

Trust your team!

Ask the important questions.

But at the end of the day, your body’s functions do NOT determine your self-worth! The sooner we all get with that reality the sooner we will be happy in this life!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

5 Ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up

Ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up | Jax, FL Nanny

5 Ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up

Today we’re giving you 5 ways to comfort a baby without picking them up. Not because we don’t love holding babies, we totally do! We’re giving out these goodies because sometimes you can’t pick them up, other times, you’re touched out and need other solutions. The Jax Baby Company is big on giving parents and caregivers options and solutions that’ll work for their family.

During the fourth trimester, it’s not uncommon for parents to feel overwhelmed and be exhausted.

It’s important for parents to take care of themselves so they don’t crash and burn along the way. When burnout occurs relationships and careers struggle. No one wants new parents struggling or suffering, especially our team! There’s a fine line between normal levels of manageable stress and unnecessary suffering. This goes for parents and for babies! There have been no scientific studies to date that show periodic crying is harmful to anyone, including babies. It’s safe for your baby to cry for short periods so long as they’re safe, cared for properly, and their needs are met.

What we’re not saying: Leave babies to cry for long periods of time or ignore babies.

What we are saying: It’s okay to take a few minutes for Y-O-U and to accomplish other things on your list.

Here are 5 ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up

Not only do these five ways work, but they’ll also help you and your baby build confidence through-out the day. You’ll want to practice these early on and practice each and every day throughout the day. Success will come, it takes time and practice for you and your baby! You’ll be able to go longer in between as you and your baby become pros and this! Before putting your baby down and trying these things make sure your baby is not hungry, dry and clean, as well as calm when being held. All the comfort in the world won’t help if they are dirty or truly hungry.

Swaddle

Babies are snuggled up cozy and tight in the womb. It’s warm and comforting, it’s home! The womb must be like chicken soup when you don’t feel well. Swaddling is one of the best ways when done correctly to soothe a baby! The trick is to get it snug, but not too tight, allow room for the hips to move freely, and be sure there’s no way the swaddle can get up around baby’s mouth or nose. A good swaddle, a slight sway(not bounce), and then lay your baby down. If you have a baby that’s a little older (but younger than 8 weeks) you can swaddle with one arm out! After 8 weeks swaddling is no longer recommended by the AAP. A sleep-sack would be a safer option.

White Noise

Once your baby is swaddled nice and cozy utilize a shusher or white noise machine to recreate the comforting womb sounds. This is the next layer of comfort. It should be loud enough to be the primary sound in and around the room, but not close to the ears. I always tell parents I personally recommend reserving this tool for naps, overnights, and to get in a shower!

Gentle Chest Rock

You’ve swaddled your baby, laid your baby down, and you’re utilizing the white noise machine or shusher. Now, you’ll place one hand lightly on your baby’s chest and gently rock your baby. This isn’t a full-on rock, moving your baby from side to side, but rather a gentle controlled shifting motion. You’re ever so softly shifting the weight from one side of your hand to the other.

From Crown to Eyebrows

We couldn’t share 5 ways to comfort a baby without sharing this one! A true trick up the sleeve if there ever was one! This one takes some practice, but man is it amazing! You’ll place your entire hand, palm side down at the crown of your baby’s head, your fingers facing one ear and the heel of your hand facing the other ear. The same direction a headband would sit. Then, in one slow very gentle motion stroke their head all the way down to their brows. Repeat. Do this slowly several times over and over. As you learn your baby this technique will be intuitive to you! You’ll figure out what your baby likes and dislikes, how slow they like it, and when you reach a sweet spot. It takes practice, even for us pros!

Pacifier

We highly recommend that if you’re exclusively breastfeeding you wait to utilize a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established for 3-4 weeks. This exclusivity will help establish your milk supply, ensures your baby isn’t being given a replacement for hunger, and helps reduce the chance of “nipple confusion”. After that have at it! If your baby will take a pacifier not only can it be a big help, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends it for safer sleep! If your baby doesn’t take it at first and you would like for him/her to, keep trying! Try different pacifiers, FYI, they make different sizes for babies of different ages. Some babies do better with one type over another. You can dip the pacifier in a bit of milk to help entice them!

Parenting is a wild rollercoaster of a ride! There are ups and downs, and twists and turns, but The Jax Baby Company has your back! Did these 5 ways to comfort a baby without picking them up help you? Let us know! If you’re in the Greater Jacksonville, Florida area and are a new or expecting parent, contact us! We would love to help your family prepare and thrive!

~Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Screen Time Alternatives to Entertain Toddlers

screen time alternatives jax, FL

Screen Time Alternatives to Entertain Toddlers

Today we’re sharing screen time alternatives to entertain toddlers because let’s face it, toddlers are busy little people! They’re curious, imaginative, have lots of questions, and are capable of doing amazing things! Toddlers need lots of creative outlets to explore and we as caregivers, parents, and teachers are here to provide those outlets in healthy doses! So let’s talk toddler screen time alternatives!

Sensory Play Table

Sensory play tables are a great way to engage the senses and spark curiosity! You can change out the options available each week here are just a few ideas for the sensory play table: water, sand, playdough, toddler tweezers, sorting and or lacing beads, crinkle materials, foam stamps, moon sand, Monkey Noodles , and WikkiStix

A Felt Board and A Busy Board

A busy board can provide hours of entertainment over a period of months! Toddlers can examine, explore, and keep themselves busy as they attempt to master zippers, buckles, snaps, latches, hooks, gears, levers, locks, and laces.

A felt board can be another source of fun and creativity with boundaries. Your toddler can have a daily felt board where they get to decide if it’s rainy or sunny, hot or cold. They can have a family tree or a holiday board. Maybe your toddler is learning about setting a table or sorting things in order of size. Use felt to create a screen on t.v. as a screen time alternative!

Books on Tape/CD

While there’s no replacement for sitting and reading with your child, books on tape or CD are a fabulous supplement. The Pout-Pout Fish, Is Your Mama A Llama, and The Caboose Who Got Loose are treasured favorites with the toddlers we’ve worked with! As they hold the book in their hands the story is read to them. The characters come to life from the pages and your little ones will have lots to share with you.

Songs that Teach

Kids love to sing and dance so why not get some learning in there! There are songs that teach just about anything, so using them as screen time alternatives is super-duper smart! The cleanup song, the ABC song, sight words, planets, days of the week, months of the year, and the teeth brushing song are just a few examples! Songs are the way we teach our kids, teach our kids, teach our kids, songs are the way we teach our kids new concepts and procedures!

Blocks

From wooden and magnetic blocks to bumpy sensory blocks to Legos, toddlers love to stack, build, show off their creations, and of course, knock ’em down! A castle, a house, a bridge, and a ship, all magnificent time-consuming projects that require concentration and focus!

Art

Art is a form of self-expression! For toddlers who are eager to talk and share their ideas, art allows them to do so in a magical way! Finger paints, macaroni necklaces, watercolors, acrylic paints, paper mache’, crayons, pencils, glue, sticks, and strings, there are endless possibilities!

Hot Wheels

Wheels that spin at record speed as they jump ramps made of books through hallways and kitchens, working doors, a variety of colors and car and truck types, hot wheels do not disappoint! Toddlers and Hot Wheels go together like pb&j!

Yoga

Okay, I’ll admit when I first heard if kids yoga I thought there were no way kids this young would be still long enough to do yoga! I was right! Well, I was also wrong! Kids yoga is so much more than being still. It’s fun, silly, involves movement, and mindfulness. Our partner, Grow Family cracked the code for kids yoga and provides our community with something as unique as your toddler! Check ’em out!

Many of the things listed in this blog can easily be packed into a travel box or bag so your little big guy/girl can be entertained on the go! At The Jax Baby Company, we’re not anti-screen time, we’re all about options! We know these screen time alternatives will be a huge hit!

Our team of fully vetted, compassionate, and knowledgeable specialist are here to assist at the most pressing time in your life! You owe it to yourself and family to have the best at home!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth