Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Which USB-C cable should I buy?

There is a new USB cable that is starting to be shipped with the most recent gadgets.

The new Nexus 5X and 6P devices both use USB Type-C, a vastly improved power connector that will soon be used more universally for our connected gadgets. But because it is relatively new, one should be aware of some potential problems in getting faulty or improperly engineered cables.

A cable that is not up to the proper standards could cause serious damage to your nice new device, so you want to be very careful when purchasing supplemental cables.

Benson Leung, a Google engineer who is well versed in the technology, has reviewed the following cable as meeting the standards and specifications needed to delivers safe and adequate connections for all of your devices.

All of the below cables will meet your needs.

Cable Matters 2.0
Cable Matters 3.1


Monday, November 23, 2015

Helping to train your baby or toddler to sleep through the night

Sleeping through the night is something all of us as new parents dream about - but it rarely happens.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanks to mom, and all the moms out there who breastfeed or have breastfed....

The purpose of this message is to express gratitude and thanks to my wife - generally for being a great mother, but more specifically for her tireless work and effort in breastfeeding our son.

 I've been thinking a long time about doing this in some form or another, but this is my first real attempt to do so....

My wife was adamant before giving birth that she would breast feed our child.  Of course, I was completely on board, as the health benefits are well known and published widely (read here) and it would save us a ton on formula.  

 I was happy for her to do it, but I always figured that we might still supplement with some formula, or that at some point she may want to switch completely over to formula as many moms do.

Yet, that was not to be the case - we really never used formula at all (well, except for the very, very early days when mom and son were getting the hang of the breastfeeding routine and he needed immediate nourishment).....

Amazingly, my wife breastfed and pumped around the clock, day and night, to provide our little one with all the nutrition he needed, and she wife continued to produce and pump (and freeze) milk until our son reached the one year mark. 

Going back to the early days, one of the things I was most impressed with was after my wife returned to work after maternity leave, as she still tirelessly fed my son from her own breast,  pumping multiple times a day while at work.

Despite working full time in a demanding job she would take the time to lug the equipment, the pump and pieces, and bottles to work every single day and bring home with her more milk than my son could even drink (we actually bought a deep freezer to store the excess milk).

Sometimes co-workers asked "are you still breastfeeding" - or "you have to go and pump again?" - some inquiries were likely from genuine curiosity, but others seemed to imply a bit of judgement, or possibly even frustration that she would drag such a thing into the work space (my wife works in a very male-dominated field).

She endured these things so that our son would receive the best nutrition, with the added fantastic benefit of also being essentially free.

My hope is that this comes off as genuine, as I truly can't imagine how much patience and endurance was needed to make it through all of those work days, all of those nights up multiple times, and all of the uncomfortable-ness from the giving of herself.

Husbands, PLEASE be patient and gracious to your breastfeeding wives.  When I reflect upon the effort that she took, I am continuously amazed.  She put herself through a lot at home and at work, doing something that was essentially taken for granted and expected of by the men in her life (I kid about my son being ungrateful, of course...haha, he doesn't know any better).

And this is not meant to be a put-down to those mothers who did not breastfeed, or chose to stop breastfeeding earlier on...I mean only to give thanks to my wife for what she did.  

So, a gigantic, humongous, sincere and loving THANK YOU from your husband for going through this.  I love you.

One possibly helpful bit of information for those soon to be or currently breastfeeding, my wife would give this hands free pumping bra her highest recommendation.  (small request - please buy it from the link or from one of the banners below [you may have to disable ad blocking tools] as I will receive a small commission)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Teaching your baby to drink from a straw.

Somewhere between the age of six to eight months your baby should start using a sippy cup.

There are basically two steps to teaching your baby to drink from a straw:

1) Model the behavior for your child - drink from the straw as they watch.  

2) Then put the straw up to your child's lips (or a separate straw, so as to not share your germs).

I first introduced my son (at just under 7 months old) to a straw by showing him how to drink from it myself, using a regular straw. 

Be careful at first, as you need to limit the amount of times your baby sips from the straw.   They will drink too much and too quickly from an adult straw and can aspirate the water (it will get into his or her lungs).

In the video below, you can see that I pull the straw away after a couple seconds.

Learning to use a straw early on will help your baby to develop finer motor skills with his or her mouth.   

This cup, with a weighted straw, works great for the real little ones (less than one year), because no matter which way they tilt it, the straw stays under the liquid.

But I would also introduce other types of sippy cups that use spouts, as you child should learn to master both.

Another good cup to try is the Miracle 360 cup, although my son tended to prefer the straw cups early on.

Now he seems to like both spout/nozzle cups and straw cups.  

No matter which cup you get, they all have drawbacks - none are "perfect"....