Congratulations on bringing a bouncing baby into the world. You've just gone through the difficult phases of pregnancy; all those weird cravings, mood swings, and yes, the weight factor. But all these are behind you now and you can now concentrate your efforts on your health and that of your baby.
Now, bringing up a new baby isn't as easy as you might think, and by now, those sleepless nights must have put a few things into perspective! For starters, infants are fragile and weak. They need to be handled with care. In addition to this, they also whine a lot. This means that you'll need to connect with your patient side. But on the brighter side, they are cute, adorable, and looking at those sparkling eyes will make you forget that they threw up on you! Whether it's your first child or a second one, there are baby concerns that you need to take note of. These include:
1. Health Concerns
If you gave birth to a healthy child, you have no reason to worry about some serious conditions. The problem, however, is with babies born with congenital anomalies such as congenital heart diseases, spina bifida, Anencephaly, Craniorachischisis, and Gastroschisis to mention but a few. But if you work closely with the best neonatologist, they can help to manage these conditions right after birth.
However, there are issues that you'll need to be aware of lest you become overly concerned about your child's health. Among them is the teething process. This usually begins in their 4th to 6th months after birth. The experts from Kute Keiki address the importance of understanding the teething phase as it can help you to take better care of your child. This is especially the case with the teething symptoms that are very similar to those of other ailments. The common signs and symptoms of teething include:
- Red and swollen gums
- The need to chew and bite everything
- They'll be fussy and cranky
- Trouble sleeping
There are so many misconceptions associated with teething. For instance, vomiting, diarrhea, and high fever will always be associated with teething while in the real sense, they might as well be symptoms of other ailments. To be sure, always take your kid to a qualified pediatrician if you notice any changes in your child's health.
Most new moms and dads will be on the fence regarding the types of foods to feed their babies. This is normal and every seasoned mom knows it all too well. Under normal circumstances, you should breastfeed your child exclusively for 6 months. Thereafter, you can introduce healthy solid foods. Breastfeeding supplies your baby with crucial elements (a perfect blend of nearly all vitamins, proteins, fats, and antibodies) that boost their immunity. In layman's terms, it's their first immunization. Breast milk contains everything your baby needs to grow healthy. Now, when it comes to introducing solid foods to your child, do it cautiously as not everything that goes will be good for them. There are formulas out there that are specifically designed and formulated for the needs of your child. Below are factors to consider when choosing baby formulas:
- Nutritional contents – Consider formulas with the right balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates are energy foods while proteins are body-building foods. These, your baby will need in plenty when growing up.
- Form – Baby formulas come in various forms, including powdered formulas and ready-to-use formulas.
- Cost – If you don't have the financial capability to buy commercial baby formulas, you have the option of making a home-made formula that's healthy and nutritious. But there are formulas on the economic side that are still okay.
- Age – Most formulas have an age indicator, meaning that it's important to consider the age factor as not all formulas will work for certain ages.
- Allergies - Allergies are genetic and your baby will most likely have the same allergies found in your family. If you notice any allergic reactions with your baby, it's important to seek help from your pediatrician.
3. The Baby's Soft Spot
This is the spot on the baby's head where bone formation is not complete, also known as the fontanel. This is a major area of concern, especially to new parents. Don't worry, you'll not be touching the baby's brain! It's just a protective membrane, and come to think about it, it was just the other day that your baby's head survived one of the toughest rides coming to earth and no harm was done!
4. The Umbilical Cord
Your baby's umbilical cord is supposed to fall off within the first two weeks of birth. You should, however, get concerned if after the two weeks, the umbilical cord is still showing signs of bleeding or it's swollen. At all times, it's important to keep the cord dry by swabbing it with a soft cloth dipped in alcohol. In addition to this, avoid the temptation of pulling the stump yourself; it's supposed to fall off on its own.
5. Baby Is Not Smiling
Within the very first days, raising an infant will seem like working for a serious boss who never smiles! But don't worry, this is normal and as long as your baby is feeding well, you have no reason to get concerned. They'll give you a perfect smile in their 5th or 6th week so wait for it. It's also okay for your baby to cry because this is how they communicate. But it could also mean that they are in pain and uncomfortable.
The most important thing when raising an infant is to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of ailments. You need to keep checking their temperature, the condition of the skin, and their feeding habits.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.