Category Archives: Health & Wellness

5 Health Benefits of Using A Negative Ion AirSense Air Purifier

 

What are Negative Ions?

With a negative ion air purifier, the purifier creates negative oxygen atoms, otherwise known as ions. The air purifier then releases the ions into the surrounding atmosphere. Negative ions occur naturally around large bodies of moving water such as waterfalls and rivers. They are also prevalent after a rainy day.
Negative ions are invisible, scentless, and tasteless. But, your body can sense when there is an abundance. That feeling you get when you arrive at a beach or waterfall is because of negative ions. It’s refreshing and energizing.
However, indoor levels of negative ions tend to be lower than outdoors. That’s where home air purifiers come in handy! Ionic air purifiers recreate the energizing feeling of being near a waterfall right in your home. Here are five reasons why the negative ion AirSense air purifiers are beneficial for your health.

Benefits of Using A Negative Ion Air Purifier

1. Negative ions clean the air.

The air in our homes contains many airborne particles or VOCs that make it hard to breathe. Negative ions attach to these particles to create a negative charge. The negative charge causes the particles to attract to positively charged surfaces such as the floor or TV screens, removing them from the air.

2. Cleaner air reduces respiratory problems.

When the air is cleaner, it is easier to breathe. Particles in the air such as paint fumes, perfume, and smoke create difficulties for our respiratory passages, making it harder to breathe. Fewer particles in the air mean less coughing, fewer allergy symptoms, and better health.

3. Negative ions make our bodies more energetic.

Our bodies have biochemical reactions to negative ions that are revitalizing and energizing. There is a reason why we feel the way we do right after a good rainfall or being near a river.

4. The increase in energy makes us more productive.

When we stay indoors or spend ample time in front of a screen, we tend to feel groggier. That is because computer screens give off positive charges and deplete negative ions in the surrounding area. Also, indoor atmospheres tend to have low levels of negative ions in general.

5. Negative ions increase mental concentration and performance. 

Studies have shown those who are exposed to higher levels of negative ions perform better on tests than those who aren’t. That is because negative ions promote oxygen flow to the brain.

Music for Babies: The Benefits of Introducing Your Baby to Music

Have you ever watched your baby groove to her favorite tune? Or cry tears of joy when she hears a familiar voice sing a beautiful song? If so, you may think that your little one was born with a natural talent for music. Well, you’re correct!

Unlike eyesight, babies have highly developed hearing abilities from day 1. That’s because they begin to hear and respond to different sounds before they’re born. As your baby hears different sounds, she forms neural connections in her brain to help her interpret what she’s hearing. Introducing her to music early on is very beneficial for early brain development.

Music Helps Brain Development

In a study by McMaster University, researchers discovered that musical training is beneficial to babies before they can walk or talk. In the study, infants and their parents participated in a weekly music instruction program for six months. The participants were selected to participate in either one of two classes. The first class involved learning nursery rhymes, music-making, and lullabies. The second class had parents and infants play at various toy stations as music from “Baby Einstein” played in the background.

The results of this study demonstrate that interactive musical lessons benefitted development. The babies who participated in the first class developed more sensitivity to musical keys and notes. They also showed early communication skills such as pointing at objects or waving goodbye. These babies also smiled more and showed less distress than their counterparts.

Music For The Soul

Music can lift your baby’s spirits in the same way that it lifts yours. Your baby’s favorite lullaby has the power to soothe her to sleep in the same way that relaxing music can melt your stress away. The way music affects your baby is no different than the way it affects you. Infants begin learning how to react to the things they hear even before their first day and continue learning as their hearing develops. Thus, babies are also emotionally prone to the effects of music as well.

Music for Babies

All music is baby music so go ahead and share your all time favorite songs with your little one. So the next time you or your baby feel a little blue, cheer yourselves up by dancing together to a catchy beat. You can also use music to teach her about the world around her. Your baby is actively learning about the world as she engages in all the sights and sounds.

Music introduces a larger range of sounds than background noise alone. By tapping on your baby’s foot to your favorite beat, you are also showing her how to interpret what she hears with what she feels. Babies are also much more sensitive to different tones and pitches than we are. By developing her natural ability to pick up the nuances of music, it will also help her develop her ability to listen for all the nuances of language as well.

Babies have a natural inclination for music as they have for language and sounds. By introducing music early on, their natural talent becomes stronger. Also, music is good for the soul. Just like playing and singing, it is a way for your and your baby to bond as you create memories with your favorite songs.

iBaby monitors and air purifiers have music and recording capabilities that let your baby listen to her favorite songs and lullabies.

Find your Baby’s Estimated Due Date and Prepare for What’s Ahead

Calculating your baby’s estimated due date is simple. Just use the start of your last menstrual cycle as your starting point, add 40 weeks to it, and there you have it!

Knowing your baby’s estimated due date can help you plan for your new little one. However, it is important to prepare yourself for the unexpected. It is very rare for a baby to be born on their exact due date.

The journey of parenthood typically begins the moment you find out about your pregnancy either from a doctor or two little lines on a pregnancy test. When this happens, a flurry of questions may come up such as the all time favorite, “When is the baby due,” or even “What do I do now?” Knowing your baby’s estimated due date will help you better prepare for the journey that awaits you.

Parents with multiple children can especially agree that you cannot be one hundred percent prepared for everything that can possibly happen. The important thing is to do what it takes to prepare yourself as much as possible so you’ll have a smooth sailing pregnancy.

Here are a few things to consider during your first month of pregnancy:

  • Double check that you are really pregnant by taking a second or even third pregnancy test
  • Ask your healthcare provider for information on how you can maintain top notch health for you and the development of your baby.
  • Start taking prenatal vitamins
  • Read books, books, and more books on pregnancy
  • Maintain healthy habits and nutrition
  • Take cute belly pictures
  • Quit smoking & drinking
  • Research morning sickness remedies such as ginger or acupressure bands
  • Find resources for potential baby names such as books and websites. Check this out for starters! 
  • Speak with your healthcare provider about any medications you may be taking
  • Drink lots of water! Incase you’re having trouble with this, here are other ways you can stay hydrated. 
  • Learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress

These are just a few items to help you better prepare during your first month of pregnancy. Also, building a strong support system of friends and family will make sure this life changing journey will be full of joy and excitement.

How Harmful is High Humidity to your Family’s Health?

Humidity is more than just about our comfort. For the most part, we know how to keep things fairly even, but sometimes we simply let our indoor humidity get a bit out of control. It’s certainly good to know exactly what can happen if our homes have too much or too little humidity. It’s especially important to note just how harmful high humidity can be to our health.

What is Humidity?

In a nutshell, humidity is a measurement of how damp the air is or isn’t in any given environment. Your air isn’t just air – it contains moisture in varying degrees depending on the temperature. The higher the air’s temperature, the more water the air can hold. Many things can contribute to indoor humidity: our own perspiration, showering, washing and drying anything, cooking, you name it.

Does Indoor Humidity Matter?

Absolutely. We often measure humidity in two ways: absolute humidity and relative humidity. Absolute humidity is a measurement of how much water is in the air depending on its temperature. Relative humidity, however, is a percentage measurement of the humidity in relation to the maximum humidity for that temperature.
The most common measurement for our homes is relative humidity, and it’s preferable to keep it between 25% and 55%. Problems arise when our homes’ humidity levels dip below 25%, or rise above 55%. Considering we humans can spend up to 90% of our time indoors, it is absolutely critical to keep an eye on the relative humidity of the environment around us.

How Does Humidity Affect Us?

From a basic biological standpoint, we respond to humidity via perspiration. If the air is warm enough to be saturated with water vapor, our sweat is less likely to evaporate. On the flip side, when the air is cold, our sweat evaporates quickly. In essence, our bodies have an immediate and direct response to the humidity around us.
But because we have such a direct response to humidity, we often overlook the fact that our bodies can have indirect responses. It gets even worse when we leave the normal threshold for relative humidity, because we don’t necessarily associate humidity with our health and well-being.

But Can Humidity be Harmful?

Without a doubt, high levels of relative humidity – especially if exposed for a prolonged period of time – has an incredibly harmful effects on us.
Notably, high humidity levels can affect allergies and complicate respiratory diseases brought on by certain biological agents such as mites and mildew. Mold, mildew, and mites all thrive in environments that are high in humidity. We all know how deadly certain molds can be. Black mold can be incredibly damaging to almost all human functions, affecting your respiratory system, circulation, mental faculties, and more.
Just as scarily perhaps, high levels of relative humidity affects the concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home. VOCs are significant, because prolonged exposure to them leads to terrible health conditions such as eczema, nervous system damage, and cancer. This is especially true for babies and children.

How does High Humidity Affect VOCs?

Humidity affects the presence of VOCs in your home a number of ways. We typically use activated carbon in our homes to filter out unwanted and dangerous VOCs from entering our air. High levels of relative humidity, however, significantly reduces the performance of these activated carbon filters. This has the effect of letting in more VOCs than normal, certainly a terrible consequence of high humidity.
Perhaps more alarmingly, an increase in humidity also increases the concentration of VOCs. Volatile organic compounds are nearly omnipresent in our daily lives via the chemicals used to treat common household items. They exist in paints, carpeting, composite wood, upholstery, air fresheners, etc. Your own baby’s crib could be a hotbed of VOCs and toxins from the pressed wood it was built with, to the glue it’s held together with, and with the paints it’s decorated with. When the relative humidity increases in temperature, these VOCs are released in higher amounts from these different sources.
This means that a high humidity not only allows more VOCs in, but allows more chemical off-gassing to occur. Definitely horrible news for your family’s health.

How to Prevent These Problems?

Maintaining a healthy balance of humidity in your home is ideal and relatively easy to do. Getting fresh air into your home is simply the best. The more your air circulates, the cooler the temperature will be, and the less harmful toxins will stick around.
Using a dehumidifier also helps in keeping moisture at the right levels. This definitely helps prevent sections of your home getting too damp, and thus mold and mildew to develop.
Ionic purifiers can be incredibly effective in removing indoor air pollution from your home in general. With ionic purifiers actively working to remove VOCs, there’s little chance of them building up to dangerous levels and harming your family in the long run.
Combining all of these methods will help in preventing health problems due to high humidity now and in the future.

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Is Mozart’s Music Effective for your Baby’s Growth?

Everyone has at least heard about the Mozart effect. It’s that theory people who listen to Mozart’s music are temporarily better at spatial reasoning. As a result, people have taken these studies and applied them to babies, reasoning that this approach would be very helpful with their developing minds. It makes sense that classical music would affect your baby’s growth and development for the better.
But we wonder just how effective the Mozart effect actually is. Can classical music actually help babies become smarter?

Mozart and the Human Brain

Back in the 90s there was a huge media storm surrounding a couple of studies that linked classical music, specifically Mozart’s music, to higher cognitive brain functions. The first study was published in 1991 by French researcher Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis in his book “Why Mozart?” He wanted to study the effects of music’s healing properties and development on the human brain.
In 1993, his study was further expanded by three researchers: Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky. They wanted to specifically study the effect of Mozart’s music on spatial reasoning. With their test group of college students, they discovered that the effects did enhance their spatial reasoning, but only for a maximum of 15 minutes.
There were sound positive results, just not specifically on children, IQ, and long-term growth.

The Mozart Effect

The media caught on to the research and pretty much ran with it, and gave the research great amount of attention for the rest of the 90s. Articles in subsequent years kept on touting how classical music increased people’s IQ’s, despite the fact that the studies never attempted to correlate Mozart’s music with IQ. Like a decade-long game of Telephone, the story grew and changed beyond the original findings.
In 1997, writer Don Campbell published “The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit”. In it, he reiterated the previous theories by the researchers albeit incorrectly attributed IQ instead of spatial reasoning, and posited that, logically, it would help in a child’s mental development.
This caused a major frenzy nationwide. In 1998, Georgia governor Zell Miller famously proposed $105,000 of the state’s budget would be devoted to providing classical music CDs to children. Products began showing up on shelves that took advantage of this wave of interest, notably Baby Einstein’s Baby Mozart VHS.

So Are Babies Better Off?

Now that it’s decades later, we should theoretically be seeing much smarter babies, right? The unfortunate thing is that most of the benefits were simply overblown by the media, and by some companies. No scientific study has ever shown a correlation between listening to music, and IQ growth.
There are some modern studies that do show that music has an impact on human development in terms of how we process that sort of stimulus to open up our minds. It’s a reason why we listen to music while working, or to gain inspiration creatively.
It was also discovered that though listening to complex music was temporarily beneficial, learning how to play a musical instrument was definitely effective in increasing IQ. The increase averaged roughly three points, which can be significant.
In conclusion, introducing your baby to Mozart’s music won’t really turn them into a genius, but perhaps they’ll gain an appreciation for the classical giant. And to really make them shine, have them learn the piano so they can play Mozart on their own

What’s your take on Mozart’s music on babies?

 

Five Lifestyle Changes Every Woman Must Make When Pregnant

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! You are now one with your baby. It is time to take care of your child with these five lifestyle changes.

Finding out you are pregnant and carrying a new life is one of the most magical things that could happen to a woman. If you were planning this pregnancy in advance, you might have been taking prenatal vitamins and have been leading a healthier lifestyle. And if not, here are the five things you should do as soon as possible.

Eat well
Eating well certainly does not mean ‘eating for two’, as people used to think. Choose wisely what you eat, and give preference to organic, non-processed food. Do not forget about supplements.

Exercise moderately
Pregnancy is not the reason to stop working out, if you are doing it regularly. However, especially in the first trimester, it is important to exercise caution. Talk to your personal trainer to see if you need to adjust your gym routine.

Know what’s around you
Many household items contain harmful chemicals that we usually do not think about on a daily basis. Detergents, cleaning supplies, perfumes, make-up, shampoos… all of these might need a revision after you get pregnant. Read the labels and learn what is safe to use, and what is not.

Get out of the house
Don’t spend all of your free time at home! It is good to get some fresh oxygen for your blood. Going for walks will give you more energy, and will improve your muscle tone.

Maintain positive attitude
You might be worried that what you eat or do will largely impact your baby’s health. It is important to maintain positive attitude during pregnancy, and remember that about 95% of babies are born healthy. Do your part by being a responsible mother, but do not beat yourself up if you have an extra cup of coffee once in a while.

Five Must-Have Baby Gadgets Every Parent Needs

Baby girl's nursery in pink tones with toys in the crib and on the chair
Baby industry today offers so many products that it’s easy to get lost when you’re expecting a baby. We’re breaking it down to several baby gadgets that every family must have.

No matter if you are registering for your baby shower or just found out that you are pregnant, you will have to make several choices as to what gadgets you need for your baby. In the sea of products that are supposed to make your and your baby’s life easier, how do you choose what you really need? We are breaking it down to five essentials every parent needs.

  • Thermometer

As a new parent, you will have a natural fear for your baby’s well-being. Whether or not your baby is having a fever will be the question you will ask yourself often. Baby thermometers come in many forms – from app-enabled ones to those built inside a pacifier – parents have many choices to suit their needs.

  • Baby monitor

Modern day nanny cams offer much more functionality than just monitoring the baby. For instance, iBaby Monitor M6T has a temperature and humidity sensor, music player, and, of course, night vision. This long list of features allows parents to eliminate additional gadgets, such as white noise machines, or room temperature thermometers.

  • Breast milk pump

Gone are the days when our mothers and grandmothers had to manually pump breast milk. Choosing an electric breast pump over a manual one will help you save time and allow you to do other things while pumping. You can choose to either work or simply relax while the pump is doing its job.

  • Humidifier

It is recommended to keep humidity at about 55% in your baby’s room. This will naturally change depending on the season and the climate in your area, with air getting drier in winter. Dry air can irritate baby’s skin, nose and lungs. When setting up a humidifier, remember to fill it with bottled water rather than tap water, and place it out of baby’s reach.

  • Vibrating chair/pad

It’s a fact, babies like everything vibrating. Nowadays parents can choose from a variety of vibrating seats, bassinets, and pads to keep their babies calm. Remember to keep the bouncing chair on the ground and never on a raised surface. Always secure your baby with a strap.

Benefits Of Breastfeeding For You And Your Baby

breastfeeding
There is no doubt that choosing to breastfeed is a smart decision. Let’s take a look at the benefits it brings to you and your baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and numerous experts in childcare recommend to breastfeed children exclusively for at least first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding provides many benefits not only to the baby, but also to the breastfeeding mother. Choosing to breastfeed means you will have:

  • Healthier baby. Breast milk carries all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of her life, and it is packed with disease-fighting immunities that protect your baby from illnesses, including childhood cancers.
  • Healthier you. Breastfeeding can reduce your risk of certain cancers. Studies have shown that women are protected against breast and ovarian cancer when they breastfeed for an extended period of time.
  • Healthier weight. You can burn from 300 – 500 calories a day, depending on how often you breastfeed, which helps you to shed the ‘baby weight’ faster. At the same time, breastfeeding may protect your child from obesity. Babies learn to eat until their hunger is satisfied, which leads to better eating habits.
  • Quality time with baby. Nothing else helps to bond better with your newborn than the time you spend together while breastfeeding. The child feels comfortable in your arms, where she can feel your smell and hear your voice. It also reduces the severity of postpartum depression, if any.
  • Convenience. When you choose to breastfeed your child, you are also saving your household quite a bit of money – several thousands per year, in fact. Breast milk is always available to a baby, and does not need to be heated up or prepared in any way.

Experts recommend starting to breastfeed within the first hour after your baby is born, if possible. To learn about breastfeeding diet, read here about what not to eat while breastfeeding, and here for what to eat.

How To Make Your Baby Sleep Through The Night

baby sleeping in her crib
How can you make your baby sleep through the night? Sleep training will be successful when you are firm in what you do.

It seems like parents of young babies are tired and sleep-deprived all the time. But did you know that if you start sleep-training your baby after a certain age, you can get a good night sleep of at least 7-8 hours?

You can start sleep-training once your baby is about 4 months old. At that age she can safely sleep through the night without being hungry if you let them. Establishing a routine does wonders for babies; so wake the baby up at about the same time every day, and don’t let her take long naps in the afternoon. When putting the baby to sleep for the night, stick with the familiar actions: change her into pajamas, take a bath or read a book. Your goal is not to get the baby any more excited, so choose quieter activities.

Helping your baby distinguish day and night will also help her sleep through the night. To do that, keep the crib close to the window and do not use blinds. Gradually, the baby will learn that darkness means night and it’s light during the day. When you are putting the baby to sleep, keep the lights dim. Similarly, if the baby wakes up at night, keep the lights low.

When you are ready to start sleep-training, you have to stick to the plan. Prepare yourself for a couple of nights of cries, but always remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Note that the younger the baby is when you start sleep-training, the easier it will be for her to learn the new rules.

The baby should be awake when you put her to bed. When the baby learns to fall asleep in your arms only, it makes it difficult for her to learn to fall asleep by herself in the crib. If she wakes up at night and starts crying, do not rush into her room. Instead, take a peek through a video baby monitor with night vision. Modern nanny cams allow you to even talk to your baby through the monitor from a different room. If you do decide to go in, remember to keep it quiet, try not to pick up the baby unless absolutely necessary, and do not offer any food.

Continue to stay consistent, strong and firm once you start sleep-training. It will only take a week or two for a baby to learn to sleep through the night, and you will be glad to have longer nights.

Last Minute Halloween Preparations For Your Kids

Halloween pumpkins with candles inside on display on a porch
Pumpkin carving, putting together costumes, and getting excited about trick-or-treating… the end of October might be kids’ favorite time of the year. Shhh, don’t tell Santa.
With Halloween just around the corner, are you all set yet with your kids? If you are juggling family, work and kids, here are some last minute things you need to get off your Thanksgiving checklist.
Treats
Make sure you have enough treats ready for all the kids who might stop by your place for trick-or-treating. While kids surely do love sweets, we believe you can give them some healthier snacks with equal success. Last year we wrote about healthier trick-or-treat options that kids love.
Cameras
Are you ready to capture some epic moments? Save the memories with photos and videos taken on Halloween night. Do what you need to do: charge camera batteries, make some space on your phone, or use a video baby monitor to capture the moment. We are using our favorite iBaby Monitor M6 that shoots photo and video in incredible HD quality, even in the dark. With sound and motion alert activated, the monitor will automatically take a series of photos or a short video, if you place it on the porch of your home.
Safety
Talk to your kids about being safe on Halloween. That means not only going over ‘stranger danger’, but also about what the kids can and cannot eat. Make it a rule that kids cannot eat until you allow them to do so. When you are back home after the candy hunt, sit down and go over the treats together. Throw aways everything home made, as well as treats that are not individually packaged. When you go trick-or-treating, make sure you wear a reflector or glowing bracelets or necklaces to be more visible to the drivers.
Foods
Think about preparing a special meal for your family on Halloween with some spooky dishes. And of course, have your kids involved in the preparation. If you continue to make some dishes every year for Halloween, you will make a great family tradition. We love Halloween recipes ideas found here.
Costumes
And finally, something that makes Halloween the holiday we all love: the costumes. Try them out some time before the big day to make sure it fits well and kids can move freely. Have your kids practice some scary moves, say character lines, or just make silly faces.