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About Dr. Craig Bissinger

Craig Bissinger is a highly respected, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. During his twenty-year career, Dr. Bissinger has delivered over 5000 babies and guided thousands of couples through the nine-month adventure of pregnancy. He has a busy obstetrics and gynecology practice in northwest New Jersey.
Dr. Bissinger completed medical school at Ohio State University and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago where he was selected as the chief resident.

He is a teacher and lecturer, having taught medical students and residents from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harlem Hospital, Roosevelt Hospital and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey, on an ongoing basis as part of his lifelong commitment to training the next generation of doctors.

Dr. Bissinger is a medical expert and frequent contributor to the Fisher-Price website, as well as the past editor and author of numerous articles for Healthology.com’s pregnancy section. He has been a contributor to ABC.com. While waiting for babies to be delivered, Dr. Bissinger has written two as of yet, unpublished medical thrillers, Ill-Conceived and Deadly Medicine.

Here are my most recent posts

Review: Happy Baby organic baby food pouches

My wife and I are always looking for healthy, organic and tasty foods to feed our kids. My wife, especially, has always struggled with feeding the kids homemade organic foods vs. anything that comes in a jar. And the recent trend of frozen baby food doesn’t work as well, since our freezer is already jam packed with packages of breastmilk, homemade food and more recently, a quarter of a grass-fed cow. Given that insanity with which we approach food, I was please to find the
Happy Baby organic baby food pouches a welcome option for baby food.

Pros: – Delicious flavors. We tried the beet/blueberry/banana, broccoli/pea/pear, spinach/mango/pear and chick chick – all of which our hungry son inhaled rather rapidly. – The Stage 2 pouches come with a nifty resealable cap so you don’t have to use the entire pouch in one sitting. – The pouches are not only made of BPA-free, eco-friendly packaging but they are easy to throw into the baby bag. The pouches are also lightweight and travel really well. – The process of using the pouches enables the food to be cooked at a lower temperature and without any additives = healthier food. – A little over $1/bag, so reasonable in price, especially if you mix it up with some other stuff, like rice cereal, banana, avocado, or other fresh food you might have on hand.

Cons: – One bag doesn’t constitute a full meal for our son. Truth be told, neither do two. We mix it up with other stuff we’ve got on hand.

All in all, the Happy Baby Pouches have been a huge hit for my wife, son and me.

GreatDad.com Review Policy: The featured product for this review was provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.

Review: Bambino Mio Cloth Diapers

We’ve always used disposable diapers, but for our youngest, we had heard good things about the Bambino Mio cloth diapers and decided to give it a try.

Bambino Mio Cloth Diapering System

This is my kind of cloth diaper. They were easy to use – just a cloth diaper to fold (there is a boy/girl fold) and insert into a cover, along with a disposable liner. The cover is very easy to close with simple and secure velcro closures, fitting snugly to the baby. From the minimal research I’ve done on reusable diapers, the Bambino Mio system is the most complete cloth diapering system out there – from the cover, cloth diaper, liner, laundry bin to the detergent. Here is my list of pros and cons.

Pros

– One-stop-shop for cloth diapering needs. Bambino Mio offers diaper and cover sets, including a birth-to-potty set, which enables you to purchase all of your cloth diapering needs in one fell swoop. Bambino Mio also offers a laundry bin, laundry bag, wet bag, detergent and antibacterial sanitizer.

– Not as gross as I initially thought. You dispose the liner, so you’re washing a wet diaper, but not any solid waste.

– Reusable diapers are better for our environment than disposables and you aren’t sending the diaper and waste into a landfill. With the Miofresh cleaner, you can even cold machine wash the diapers, and then line dry, if you’re so inclined.   – You can work with a diaper service if you don’t want to invest in the nappies or wash them yourself, although we have our own nappies.

– Disposable & flushable liners are very convenient.

– Snug fit, easy to assemble and put on.

– Seems to absorb well and the liners seem to wick away moisture from baby’s skin.  Doesn’t absorb as well as disposable diapers but the diaper does not contain chemicals to wick the moisture away and the baby’s skin is better protected as we tend to change his diaper more quickly after being soiled.

– Over time, I think we’ll save a ton of $ with the Bambino Mio diaper system over disposables, and this includes costs associated with laundering. Using a baby cost calculator, the cost for disposable diapers is roughly $72/month, cloth diapers I wash myself is $19/month.

– Very natural way to diaper the baby. Our baby is not exposed to unnecessary chemicals in disposable diapers.

Cons

– There are many steps in the diaper changing process. Removing the soiled diaper and liner out of the cover, getting the liner into the toilet, the diaper to the laundry bin, wiping down the diaper cover, then re-diapering the baby…

– The velcro fastenings are easy to use but easily snag on clothing and blankets
– Our diaper covers were soiled immediately following our son’s poop at least once a day, forcing us to do the wash a bit more frequently than was recommended.
– For a cloth diapering rookie, there is some getting used to in cloth diapering a baby.

All in all, the cloth diapering system by Bambino Mio is not that much more complicated than disposable diapers and the benefits to the environment, our baby’s lack of exposure to diaper chemicals and savings to our pocket-book far outweigh any hassle.

GreatDad.com Review Policy: Some of the featured products for this review were provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.

Review: Haba Toys Discoverers’ Meadow Ball

The Discoverer’s
Meadow Fabric Ball is a soft plush ball made of fabrics of different textures. The green ball has soft colorful toys surrounding it, and these toys can be moved by pulling objects on the opposite side of the ball. The toys include a butterfly, worm, snail, bird and flower. The toys make noises, such as the squeaking flower, the rattling snail, and rustling foil butterfly.
I like this toy because of the various objects that the baby can grab, clutch, and move. The ball is also a nice size for a baby to hold. The noises keep a young one entertained. All-in-all, this is another wholesome, simple, natural cloth toy that young babies seem to enjoy and is easy to clean (just throw it in the wash).

GreatDad.com Review Policy: Some of the featured products for this review were provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.


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Review: Haba Toys Play Dice

The Workshop Play Dice by Haba is a soft plush cube with pictures of various tools on each side, like a tape measure, power drill, lock and pliers. There is also a robot and handy man. The cube includes a dangling magnifying glass and the lock has a velcro latch. The cube makes various sounds – the sound from the velcro closure, rustling foil, and a rattle anytime the cube is moved.
I like this toy because the sounds keep baby happy and the magnifying glass enables him to clutch onto the toy. When the cube gets dirty, you can throw it in the wash. Mainly, I like this toy because given all the plastic and electronic toys out there, I am refreshed by this traditional, natural cloth cube with wholesome drawings. It doesn’t feel like a toy that the baby would be overwhelmed by, but still keeps him entertained.
On a side note, my older kids (2 and 4) have been enjoying this Workshop Play Dice as well and have been using the magnifying glass (which really magnifies) to look at small objects around the house.
GreatDad.com Review Policy: Some of the featured products for this review were provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.

Labor and Delivery: An Obstetrician’s Experience

The primary care giver during labor is the nurse. She/he will make sure your partner is comfortable during labor. She/he will carry out the doctor’s orders as well as help guide you through labor. The labor and delivery nurses can make or break the birth experience.

A caring helpful nurse will make sure both of you are comfortable, answer loads of questions and be a conduit to the doctor. Needless to say some nurses don’t provide the same level of concern. If you sense the nurse isn’t really in tune to your needs, ask to speak to the shift supervisor about changing nurses.

While in labor, your partner will have vaginal exams performed to see how her labor is progressing. We measure the dilation of the cervix from 0-10 centimeters. Dilation between 0-5 centimeters is considered latent phase. It can last up to twenty hours (now you know why there is no hurry to get to the hospital the first time around). The last five centimeters go much quicker (1-2 centimeters dilation per hour is a good rule for the first baby. Subsequent labors will go at a faster rate.) This is known as the active phase of labor.

If your partner has an epidural already, you won’t see a difference in the intensity of the labor contractions. For those utilizing narcotics or natural childbirth, the contractions seem to come faster and stronger. Speaking with the nurse or health provider will help give you an idea when they anticipate the delivery and help your partner gauge her ability to tolerate the discomfort of labor.

A new type of discomfort enters the picture as the baby starts to move down the birth canal. Rectal pressure occurs when the baby is pressing on the surrounding organs and tissue. Your partner will complain of an intense desire to defecate. It generally is a good sign that delivery is getting closer. Those with an epidural may note pelvic pressure or a mild sense of rectal pressure.

A vaginal exam will confirm that your partner is 10 centimeters, in the second stage of labor, and ready to push the baby out. Once again there is a tremendous variation on the length of time until delivery. First time moms can expect to push for 1-2 hours. With subsequent deliveries the pushing phase will be much quicker.

Pushing relieves the intense pressure of the second stage. Often times you and the nurse will be working with your partner to help her push the baby out. You might be supporting one of her legs or helping her keep track of how long to push. You might want to hide in the corner. That is up to you and your partner. However, your involvement will definitely help motivate your partner and keep her focused.

Women with an epidural still need the same support and encouragement. The major difference is the diminished amount of pain she is experiencing in comparison to women having a natural birth.

During all stages of labor the baby’s heart rate and contraction pattern is being recorded. It serves as a good measure of the baby’s ability to tolerate the stress of labor. Changes in the heart pattern are expected from time to time, especially when the baby descends into the birth canal. If there is concern about the baby’s health, the doctor will be involved in planning ways to help the baby.

Finally the baby’s head will be visible at the opening of the vagina. This is known as crowning. Once again, it may take a while before the baby arrives. 

 

Many physicians choose to enlarge the space for delivering the baby. They will cut an episiotomy. It is cut right before the birth of the baby. Contrary to popular myths, it isn’t done to hasten the birth so they can go play golf. It is performed to avoid tearing of the tissue. The epidural or a local anesthetic is sufficient to manage the discomfort from the incision.

The baby will make its entrance soon. This is a good time to review your plans for delivery. Are you going to be next to your partner, looking over the doctor’s shoulder, or standing in the corner? This is your experience, not ours! You do what is right for you! The vast majority of men witness the birth of their baby. Nearly 100% are happy they did.

When the baby comes out, it is placed on the mom’s stomach or given to a nurse. The umbilical cord is cut (by you/your partner/or doctor). Take a few quick pictures and enjoy the moment. The baby will be wrapped in a blanket while the doctor finishes their work.

This is a good time to ask the nurse to take a family photo. The baby will go to the nursery for a short visit with you in attendance while the doctor finishes up their work.

Congratulations. Now the hard work begins.

Dr. Craig Bissinger