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Premiere ISSUE




do’s & don’ts during delivery postpartum








PREGNANCY 16 18 20 22

Beautiful Bumps 5 Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician Nursery 101: Function + Style Expert Q & A: Pregnancy


24 26 28 30

It’s in the Bag: What to Pack for Labor Postpartum Fitness Local Workouts New Moms Will Love Dad’s Do’s & Don’ts During Delivery Expert Q & A: Birth



32 34 36 40

Out & About with Baby in Downtown Indy Good Night: How to help your baby develop healthy sleep habits Balancing Home & Work Expert Q & A: Infancy





42 44 46 48

It’s in the Bag: Packing the perfect diaper bag Momma (Group) Can You Save Me? Finding Your Support Group in Indy 10 Budget-Friendly Places to Entertain Your Toddler in Indy Expert Q & A: Toddler

our bundle of joy has

ARRIVED If you are picking up our premiere issue of OhBaby!, chances are you are expecting a new arrival of your own. While there is nothing more exciting than welcoming a child into the world, at times it can feel a bit overwhelming. Our mission at OhBaby! is to provide a go-to resource that will guide you every step of the way – from the early stages of pregnancy to those first tentative steps into toddlerhood. Just like our parent publication, Indy’s Child, our newest member of the family puts the focus on all things local. The compact design makes it easy to stash in your purse or diaper bag for quick reference, but don’t let the size fool you – OhBaby! is jam-packed with information on everything from designing the perfect nursery to helping your baby develop healthy sleep habits to exploring our great city with little ones in tow. We’ve broken the information into four stages – Pregnancy, Birth, Infancy and Toddler – so you can easily find what you need when you need it.

It has been 32 years since we first launched Indy’s Child with the goal of keeping parents connected to all that our city has to offer. The arrival of OhBaby! takes this one step further – giving you the support you need from day one. We congratulate you as you embark on this new and exciting journey called parenthood. And, OhBaby…you are in for quite a ride!

Mary Wynne Cox PUBLISHER




E D I TO R Karen Ring |

D I G I TA L P U B L I S H E R Wendy Cox |

D I G I TA L E D I TO R Jeanine Bobenmoyer |

AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E Jennica Zalewski |


B U S I N E S S M A N AG E R Roxanne Burns |

INTERN Meg Wynne |

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amanda Dorman of Downtown Indy, Inc., Jeanine Bobenmoyer, Summer Daily, Pete Gilbert, Katrina R. Holtmeier, Desta Ntamere.



COPYRIGHT OhBaby Magazine is published annually. Copyright 2016 by Midwest Parenting Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products, commentary, or services herein. For information on subscriptions, editorial guidelines, advertising rates and more, visit


2015 Silver Award Winner Design Awards Competition


2015 Bronze Award Winner Editorial Awards Competition



putting the ‘I’ in


The block NDY-Visit Indy signs have become an iconic staple of the downtown Indianapolis landscape. From engagement shots to family photos to just-for-fun pics, adults and kiddos alike take their place as the “I” in Indy. The signs - which move around the city, from the Statehouse and State Fair to other high traffic locations appear on social media channels with the hashtag #LoveIndy. So when we asked our friends at Visit Indy if we could feature some of those great NDY photos in OhBaby! they said yes. And we cheered. After all, Indy is our home, and we #LoveIndy too.

The dynamite staff at Visit Indy works tirelessly to spotlight all that Indianapolis has to offer for visitors, conventions, residents and local businesses. Check out for more details and give them a like on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @visitindy.



Top: Instagram via @BJS4120, Center left: Instagram via @cnbforever13, Center right: Twitter via @themomista, Bottom left: Twitter via @hensleyah, and Bottom right: Instagram via @jennawoestman

ON THE COVER Hunter (age 8 months) Photographer: Ashlee Hiffernan, Ashlee Lauren Photography Outfitting/Styling: nurture boutique, Indianapolis





Famous Indy Babies

John Green Author (The Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns) Born August 24, 1977

Our great state has produced some amazing talent and these notable names are among those born right here in Indianapolis.

Ryan Murphy Screenwriter, TV Producer (Glee, American Horror Story) Born November 30, 1965

Kurt Vonnegut Author (Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions) Born November 11, 1922

Adam Lambert Singer (current Queen front man and solo artist) Born January 29, 1982

Brendan Fraser Actor (The Mummy, George of the Jungle) Born December 3, 1968


That is how many bones a baby has when it is born. Adults have 206. A baby’s bones fuse as they grow, which explains the difference. Source: www.

Did You Know? The protein that keeps a baby’s skull from fusing prematurely is called “Noggin.” Source:

Sasheer Zamata Actress/Comedian (Saturday Night Live cast member) Born May 6, 1986 David Letterman Talk Show Host/Comedian (Late Night with David Letterman) Born April 12, 1947 Source:

Trending Sophia and Jackson took top prize in BabyCenter’s 100 Most Popular Names of 2015. Looking for a name a bit more out of the ordinary? Millennial moms and dads are finding inspiration in: Instagram (Lux, Reyes, Amaro) Royalty (Duchess, Princess, Reign) YA Fiction (Katniss, Eleanor, Hermione) The Solar System (Venus, Cassiopeia, Luna) YouTube Stars (Kingsley, Cameron, Dallas) Video Game Heroines (Rayne, Jade, Zelda) Source:





Whether you toss these adorable items on your own registry wish list or stockpile them for gifting, these local finds will have everyone saying “Oh baby!”

Dark Denim Bow Tie $15 each

Upcycled Book Letters IN LOVE Onesie

Little Green Bean Boutique, Indianapolis $18 each

Crafted by local brand Sunday Afternoon Housewife nurture boutique, Indianapolis $22.50 each

Organic Cotton Knotty Hats $10 each

Momma Goose Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

Little Green Bean Boutique, Indianapolis $21.95 each





are keeping the baby’s gender a surprise



What are you craving right now? Pickles, avocados, watermelon (not together)

How are you feeling this month? Nauseated! “All Day” sickness


want baby’s dad in the delivery room

KARA BABCOCK - 37 WEEKS How are you feeling this month? Very pregnant



MARTINA SCHUETT - 34 WEEKS How are you feeling this month? Feeling great, but starting to feel more pressure and definitely going to the restroom a lot!


let strangers touch their bump

MOLLY HASSER - 23 WEEKS What are you craving right now? Anything with Berries and anything sweet!

LIZ FREEDMAN - 24 WEEKS, TWINS How are you feeling this month? Tired, but great overall!


have experienced pregnancy brain



What are you craving right now? Anything Apple. Apple sauce, apple juice, apples

What are you craving right now? Graeter’s Ice Cream OhBaby!



5 tips for choosing a | words by | Summer Daily

For first-time parents, or parents who are looking for new pediatric care, choosing a pediatrician is a big decision. The doctor you pick will be the one you count on not only for routine well visit appointments, but the person that guides you through the inevitable scary high fever episodes, fast-moving rashes and the multitude of other sudden ailments that tend to befall kids. How do you find the best pediatrician for you? Dr. Mary Hodson, a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of Greenwood, and Linda Kortanek, the Executive Practice Director at Northpoint Pediatrics, understand how overwhelming this process can be. Here they provide their suggestions for finding a pediatrician you’ll be happy with for the long haul.

Recommendations Talk with other parents that you trust and respect for their suggestions. Find out why they like their doctor or what complaints or concerns they have. When people love their doctor they are more than happy to tell you all about him or her. Plus, getting a short list to work from gives you a more manageable number of options than the fifty pages Google provides.

Research Once your list is narrowed down, do your homework to make certain the



doctors you are interested in are qualified. Where did they get their degree? Have they been certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics? This may seem like an obvious step, but it will help you quickly eliminate doctors you won’t want to consider.

Location and Accessibility When you have a new baby, you visit the doctor’s office a lot. How far is the office from your home, work or daycare? What is the after-hours call policy? Do they offer same day appointments for sick kids? Will you have access to another doctor if yours is unavailable? Some offices also offer online resources like a patient portal where parents can get questions answered, schedule appointments and access information like vaccination records. Not only does this technology make caring for your child easier, but it is also a good indicator of how progressive the office is.

Specialties  Find out what areas the doctor specializes in and if they are comfortable with special needs issues. “When you’re pregnant, you don’t know if you’re going to have a child with special needs or not, so finding someone who is comfortable with that is really important,” says Dr. Hodson. It’s reassuring to know your pediatrician can handle any situation that may arise.

In person visit Interview doctors while you are still pregnant. A good pediatrician will be happy to answer your questions and chat about any concerns you have. Only by meeting in person can you get a feel for how the office runs and the doctor’s personality, says Kortanek, who adds that your doctor will do much more than just administer medicine. He or she will also follow your child’s growth

and development, discuss behavior, and answer any question that you have (no matter how silly or insignificant it may feel to you). “I think the single most important thing is having a face-to-face,” says Dr. Hodson. While many factors come into play when choosing a pediatrician, at the end of the day, you and your doctor are partners in the health and well-being of your child. Developing a good relationship starts with your first meeting. Finding the right pediatrician may take some time, but the effort you initially invest in the process will pay dividends later. And if you find that you have chosen someone that you are not comfortable with, don’t hesitate to make a switch. Your child’s health is too important to leave in the hands of someone with whom you don’t have complete confidence. 




NURSERY DESIGN 101 function + style | words by | Desta Ntamere

Designing the perfect nursery for your little one can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. From selecting a versatile color scheme to choosing furnishings that will grow with your child – a little planning will go a long way in creating a nursery that is both stylish and functional.

Think safety first Baby’s safety is top priority. When planning the room, remember to:

+ Pay attention to crib placement. Don’t place the crib over or under a register, near a window or near other pieces of furniture that baby could use to climb out. Place the crib on an inside wall if possible to prevent large temperature fluctuations. Also, don’t hang anything near the crib that can fall or that baby can grab hold of.

+ Use No-VOC paint to avoid toxic fumes. + Attach dressers and bookshelves to the wall, so that nothing can be pulled over on your little one.

+ Install proper safety devices on cords from curtains and blinds to prevent a strangulation hazard.

Add in the basics Before delving too far into the design, there are a few fundamental items that will make all the difference in how the nursery functions. Be sure to:



+ Use a nightlight or lamp with a dimmer for night feedings and diaper changes.

+ Install darkening shades or curtains to promote nap and bedtime schedules.

+ Choose furniture that can grow with your little one – a crib that transitions to a ‘big kid’ bed, a dresser that serves as a changing table and clothing storage, and a chair comfortable for night feedings but also large enough for reading time together in the coming years.

Let the fun begin! With safety and practicality covered, it is time for the real fun to begin! Not sure where to start? Take a cue from these current design trends to find your inspiration:

+ In one word, the current trend for nurseries

is Sophisticated – pair neutrals with understated brights and metallic accents; mix and match furniture pieces; and incorporate both heirloom and modern accents.

PANTONE colors of the year

Rose Quartz


+ When it comes to color, pastels are back! Mix these softer hues with the gray/neutral palette that is still very popular; add in some metallic accents and you’ve created a current color scheme with timeless appeal. Black and white with pops of color is also a classic, on-trend option.

+ Decorate the ceiling to add a designer touch. Opt for a solid color that differs from the walls, or add wallpaper with a cool geometric or small floral print. Using metallic paint adds reflective light to small or dark spaces.

+ Reclaimed or rustic wood finishes remain popular. Wood letters or other wood accessories are a great way to incorporate this trend without overwhelming the room. (Note: Be careful using palette wood, as some are treated with chemicals that don’t belong in baby’s room.)

+ A fun statement light will take the room from drab to chic with the flick of a switch!

Now that you have the ingredients for creating a stylish, functional, fabulous nursery, be sure to add in some personal touches to create a room that you and your little one will enjoy for years to come.

Desta Ntamere is the owner of Ntamere Lifestyle Management, LLC, offering Interior Design, Personal Organizing and Home Staging. As a mother of three young boys, she is passionate about helping her clients find peace and joy in their homes. See more of Desta’s work at:




pregnancy My husband and I are expecting a boy and we cannot agree if we should have our son circumcised. Are there definite health benefits to this procedure? As with any procedure, there are risks as well as benefits to circumcision. Whether the benefits outweigh the risks is still controversial. The potential benefits include a slightly lower risk of urinary infections, reduced likelihood of STD’s and HIV infections, and some protection from penile cancer. Risks of circumcision may include bleeding, swelling, infection and injury. The decision to circumcise is best made in consultation with your child’s pediatrician; he/she can help you consider the medical aspects, cultural factors and your personal beliefs to help you make the best decision for your son. Dr. Carol Johnson, pediatrician with Franciscan Physician Network

I haven’t felt my baby moving as much as usual today. Should I be concerned? Any time fetal movement is decreased from normal, it's time to slow down and see what's going on.  When a patient tells me their baby's movement is decreased, especially after about 24 weeks gestation when it should be fairly consistent, I ask them to do kick counts. This means that the patient takes a break from what they're doing, has a little snack with some sugar in it, and lays down on her left side someplace quiet to focus on the movement of the baby.  If no to little normal movement is noted in 30 minutes



(about 10 movements), it's time to call the physician. Sometimes, as women get further along, the movement is present but subtle, and you just have to quiet down and wait to feel it.  However, if there is concern, this is not something to wait on...Call the doctor and get it checked out. Dr. Susan Benson, St. Vincent Fishers

I received a positive result on the Group B Step Test.  What does this mean in terms of my baby's health? Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacteria that is normally found in the rectum and vagina of approximately 25% of all healthy, adult women. The bacteria typically does not cause infection in adults. However, a mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery. In the US, GBS is the leading cause of sepsis (infection in the blood) and meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain) in a newborn’s first week of life. Therefore, ALL pregnant women are tested for GBS between weeks 35-37 of pregnancy. If a woman tests positive for GBS, then she is treated with antibiotics through an IV. Antibiotics significantly decrease the risk of GBS causing infection in the newborn. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), if a GBS positive mother is treated with antibiotics, there is only a 1 in 4000 chance of delivering a baby with GBS infection. Therefore, it is important for pregnant women to be tested for GBS and to know if they are a carrier for the bacteria. Cherrell Triplet, MD, Southside OB-GYN and Franciscan St. Francis Health Women & Children’s Center


it’s in the



With all the planning prior to baby, what to pack in your hospital bag shouldn’t be a source of stress. We turned to the experts from theCityMoms – the premier local support network for moms in the greater Indianapolis area – and asked: “What are the essential hospital bag must-haves?”

ing s… tak g wipe rk. These in s n a o l cle is w “Facia after baby d.” freshe er a show ed me feel re n S. help – Kaitly

“I took my favorite headbands and hair ties so I could keep my hair contained.” – Joli H.

“Breast pads and nipple cream.” – Cheryl L.

“Camera and phone chargers – bring those!” - Hillary B.

“Thank yo u

cards for the nurse s!” – Stacey M.

d t I packe crazy bu d n to u r e so t si h much ea l “This mig They were ita Depends. the massive hosp ds.” a p use than d n a nts underpa M. – Megha



“Your own pillow!” – Dana P.

“Slippers or socks with grips on the bottom.” – Suzanne C.

“A nice nightgown instead of PJs – makes it more convenient when the staff comes in to check on you.” – Erin W.

“Comfy night clothes you don’t mind could possibly get ruined.” – Bonna H.

“Chapstick or your favorite lip balm and hand lotion that you like. It gets soooooo dry in the hospital!” - Jenn B.

“Nothing needed for baby except for the outfit to go home in. The hospital provides onesies and sleep sacks.” – Suzanne C.






LOCAL WORKOUTS NEW MOMS WILL LOVE | words by | Jeanine Bobenmoyer

We know the struggle is real to find time after baby’s arrival for a shower, let alone a workout. If you’re still in that post-baby phase of sneaking in a secret shower, we support you. If you’re trying to catch some sleep, we support you. If you’re searching for a new postpartum fitness routine, we support you, too. And so will these great workout options for newly minted mommas in the Circle City. Walking. Strap baby in the stroller and take off on foot! Walking is a great way to ease back into your exercise routine, get moving at your own pace and enjoy a little quiet time. The Monon Trail, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Central Canal Towpath all offer designated paths with fantastic views.

Pilates. Quite a few Indy-area studios offer both pre- and postpartum Pilates programs designed to support recovery, strengthen pelvic floor muscles and improve posture. Reforming Indy Pilates – with locations in both Carmel and Fishers – offers a generous class schedule and supportive instructors.

Hiking. Lots of beautiful nature trails can be found throughout Indianapolis, including favorites at Fort Harrison State Park and various Indy Parks. The Indianapolis chapter of Hike It Baby meets on a weekly basis for free group hikes and socializing. Babies are encouraged to join in carriers so mom can hike hands-free.

Mommy and Me classes. From yoga to dance, there are a number of options that allow mom and baby to get active together. Discover a full list of great Mommy and Me classes at

Stroller workouts. Stroller fitness classes have swept the nation, offering an opportunity to join other postpartum moms in the quest for sweat. Led by certified fitness instructors, workouts vary from stroller strides to light hand weight work. Baby Boot Camp hosts a flexible schedule of classes at the Fashion Mall and St. Vincent Carmel, and instructor Kara is a gem.

Note: Be sure to check with your health care provider before starting any new exercise regimen.




dad’s during delivery | words by | Pete Gilbert

Dear soon-to-be dads, Being with your significant other while she delivers a baby is a slippery slope: It's an incredible experience, but at the same time offers many opportunities for the dad-to-be to make a fool of himself. Don't be that dad. There are definitely some unwritten rules that need to be addressed before the big day. While a few may be common sense, most I had to learn the hard way. As a three-time dad, I'm here to help. Follow these Do's and Don'ts and you will be well on your way to Super Dad status.

Before Labor

+ Do bring an extra layer of clothes. If your wife wants the delivery room thermostat set at sixty degrees, guess what? The room will be sixty degrees. So bundle up.

+ Don't ask for anything for yourself. Nurses are there to take care of your wife, not get you a blanket.

+ Do have your own bag packed ahead of time (your wife likely packed hers a month ago – if not, see “It’s In The Bag: What to pack for labor” on pg. 24).

+ Don't wait until your wife is laboring at home to ask her advice on what you should pack for the hospital.

+ Do have a car seat ready and properly installed for your baby.

+ Don't walk around the halls of the hospital with it still in the box.

+ Do practice changing a diaper ahead of time (on a doll…with the help of YouTube, if necessary).

+ Don't think you're less of a man for doing so.

+ Do bring snacks.



+ Don't think the hospital's "nourishment room" is going to be stocked with all sorts of deliciousness. We’re talking peanut butter or crackers. Both if you’re lucky.

During Labor

+ Do remain calm. + Don't say things like, "That’s so gross!" Think it all you want, just DON'T SAY IT ALOUD!

+ Do bring a camera and politely ask a nurse to take some pictures if that's what your wife wants.

+ Don't take a selfie while your wife is laboring in the background and post it to social media. That’s grounds for removal from the room or the family depending on how lenient your wife is.

+ Do hold your wife's hand...BUT ONLY IF SHE ASKS YOU TO!

+ Don't rub your wife's legs and feet if she's had an epidural... remember she's numb down there dummy.

+ Do be empathetic. Gents, I'm pretty sure it's a pain we can't comprehend.

+ Don't compare your wife's labor pain to one you've previously experienced (like that time you hit your finger with a hammer and it hurt really bad!). And don't make a sex joke of any kind – remember that's what got her into this situation in the first place.

+ Do stand off to the side of the room and slowly slide down a wall if you're feeling faint.

Oh, and I almost forgot one final thing... Do cry your eyes out. The day your child is born is the most amazing day of your life.

For more parenting columns from Pete, follow along with his blog at A Dad Influence on and his Facebook page A Dad Influence. 

+ Don't ignore it and pass out in the middle of the delivery room floor. (Men, do you really want medical treatment from an OB/ GYN?)

+ Do be in the room the entire time. + Don't wander. Side note: I almost missed the delivery of our third baby while I was in the waiting room telling my mom to go home because I didn't think my wife was going to have a baby that night. I am not an expert in labor time management and neither are you.

During and After Delivery

+ Do participate in the delivery. + Don't mistake the umbilical cord for “other”anatomy and shout, "IT'S A BOY!"

+ Do cut the cord if you’re asked. + Don't be gentle with the scissors. You've gotta squeeze those things hard – that cord is like a garden hose.

+ Do offer to wash the baby when the time comes.

+ Don't be afraid of the meconium – it won't last forever. If you don't know what meconium is, Google it. But not at mealtime.




birth I would like to have a drugfree birth. If the pain becomes unbearable, is there a point at which it will be too late to change my mind? There are a few options for pain control during labor, and depending on the option you choose, the timing can be different:

+ IV pain medication (narcotics) are often used during the earlier stages of labor. This medication will make you sleepy sometimes, and also goes through your blood stream to the baby.  We like to avoid using this medication toward the end of labor/pushing phase because sometimes, the mother is too sleepy to push, and the baby also comes out "sleepy". If your labor is going fast or you are greater than about 7cm dilated, we often skip this option.

+ Epidural anesthesia is used throughout labor. It doesn't affect the mother by making her sleepy, and it also doesn't transfer through the blood to the baby. Often physicians have differing opinions on when is "too late" to do this, but most will agree that if you can sit up and sit still to have it placed, you can do it at any time, even if your labor is advanced or moving fast.

+ Local/pudendal blocks are used to numb the vaginal area for the pushing phase of labor.  Since these are short acting and local, we usually don't place them until the patient is ready to push or closer to delivery.  It's really never too late for this option.  It



won't take away the pain of contractions, but it does make the vagina/vulva numb for delivery, which can help ease pain during pushing and actual delivery. Dr. Susan Benson, St. Vincent Fishers

I find myself crying for no reason since I gave birth to my son two weeks ago. Is this just the baby blues or could I have postpartum depression? There is no doubt that giving birth, caring for a newborn baby and undergoing hormonal changes is one of the most overwhelming experiences a woman can have. In the first few weeks (up to three weeks), most mothers will experience some baby blues. This can be described as fluctuations in mood, lack of concentration, fatigue, teary spells and anxiety. This is normal but temporary. This will be resolved once your body has the opportunity to stabilize hormones, rest, eat well and adjust to the new normal. It is important to emphasize that 50% of all new mothers will experience some symptoms of depression. However, 27% of new mothers will develop postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety. These symptoms are more debilitating and can impact your daily functioning and your ability to care for baby. If you or your partner suspects this, seek professional help immediately. Shannon Loehr, MSW, LCSW, Northside Mental Health

Why is my newborn baby screened for a hearing loss? Your baby’s ears are a gateway to the brain!  Babies start hearing mid-way through the pregnancy, so most newborns have already been listening for 4 months.  This sound has been stimulating brain growth that will become the foundation for their language and speech. Though hearing loss is fairly common at birth, you can’t tell by just looking. If your baby does have a hearing loss you have many options and many people who can help, but the first step is to find out if your baby can hear you.  The sooner we know, the better we can help them with their long-term language and thinking.  Newborn hearing screening is simple, painless, and given during sleep. But if your baby doesn’t pass the screening, it is essential for you to follow up quickly. An important avenue for your child’s access to the world depends on it! Teri Ouellette, MS Ed, LSLS Cert AVEd President, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf




out & about with


| words by | Amanda Dorman, Communications Manager, Downtown Indy, Inc.

As downtown Indy continues to grow, there are always new and exciting attractions and entertainment options. Millennials love the bars and restaurants (with new ones opening every month), but there is also plenty for parents to do with their little ones in tow. Explore the many venues and museums, but don't forget about the parks, historic sites and monuments all conveniently located within our energetic cityscape.

Cultural Trail The Cultural Trail – an 8-mile trail running throughout Downtown’s Cultural Districts – is a beautiful, safe and stroller-friendly way to explore Downtown Indy with little ones. Along the Trail, find public art including the captivating “Ann Dancing” located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Vermont and Alabama streets and the luminary gardens on the Glick Peace Walk. Find a comfortable spot and check out a book from the Public Collection – artfully designed free mini-libraries located throughout Downtown and on the Cultural Trail.



Playscape at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis With water and sand play stations, an art studio, a music room and a climbing area, the Children’s Museum Playscape is the ultimate hands-on exhibit for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The first element kids will want to get their hands into is the giant water feature with boats, nets and other toys to splash around with (thankfully the Museum provides smocks). Babies can get in on the action at Babyscape, an area filled with sensory experiences designed especially for infants. Playscape also includes private Mother’s Rooms – complete with nursing areas, comfortable chairs, a TV and toys – two family restrooms and a diaper changing station.

Central Library Within the Learning Curve at the Central Library, children of all ages can find a variety of games, activities and workshops, not to mention nearly an entire floor dedicated to children’s literature. With a blend of digital and traditional programming for children ages 0–18, the Learning Curve makes the perfect getaway for free fun. The Learning Curve is specifically designed for children – there are reading pods, a green screen and stage, a baby area with toys, an activity wall, a sound board and computers with age-appropriate games. While quiet library voices are always encouraged, being on a floor designated for children allows kids to be kids.

Indy Reads Books On days when the weather is not cooperating, Indy Reads Books on Massachusetts Avenue provides the perfect cozy escape. As Downtown Indy’s only bookstore, Indy Reads Books sells used and new books for adults and children. Plop down on a comfortable seat and enjoy a quiet afternoon that won’t break the bank – all children's books are $1 and all new books are 25 percent off list price. Bonus: books purchased support the nonprofit Indy Reads, an organization working to make Indianapolis 100 percent literate.







It’s two o’clock in the morning and you’re awakened by the sound of your baby crying in the next room. This happens night after night until you feel ready to cry. How can you break this nightly habit so that everyone in your home can get some muchneeded rest? Dr. Lisa Altuglu with the Harcourt Road office of St. Vincent Medical Group said the key is getting your child accustomed to a bedtime routine early on. It’s what she did with her own two children and what she tells the parents that visit her practice. “All people need a basic bedtime routine, babies included,” she said. “Routines tell your brain it’s time to shut down and go to bed.” According to Altuglu, a good way to start is by placing your baby in her crib when she is drowsy and allowing her to drift off to sleep on her own. This teaches your baby soothing skills that she will then carry throughout her life. “Many studies have shown that children who are able to achieve this skill early in life grow up to be more confident as children and adults,” Altuglu said. “So, you are actually helping your baby become a more successful adult by teaching him or her to put themselves to sleep.”



Erin Neu, a registered nurse and obstetrics nurse navigator for Franciscan St. Francis Health added that it might take a few months for your baby to learn to sooth herself and fall into a better routine. It’s tough, but it can be done. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these additional tips for establishing healthy sleep habits in infants:

+ Keep your baby calm and quiet when

you feed or change her during the night. Try not to stimulate or wake her too much.

+ Make daytime playtime. Talking and playing with your baby during the day will help lengthen her awake times. This will help her sleep for longer periods during the night.

+ Wait a few minutes before responding

to your child’s fussing. See if she can fall back to sleep on her own. If she continues to cry, check on her, but don’t turn on the light, play with her or pick her up. If she gets frantic or is unable to settle herself, consider what else might be bothering her. She may be hungry, wet or soiled, feverish or otherwise not feeling well. Source:

In the end, Neu, who herself is a mother of ten and grandmother of two, encourages parents to relax, take deep breaths and try to cherish the short amount of time when the nights are hectic. “All those long crazy nights won’t seem so bad,” she said. “And one day, [parents] may even wish for one more cuddle night. I know I have.”








In between life’s daily demands, parents somehow find time to pursue other interests, unwind and still be top-notch role models – but how? We checked in with four local moms to learn their secrets for balancing home and work.

Danielle, mom to Greyson (age 3) and Genevieve (10 months) Age: 36 Occupation: owner of Fresh Fettle LLC, wardrobe stylist, fashion event coordinator and lifestyle expert Toughest parenting moment: The first few weeks of potty training were trying. Pee. Poop. Patience. Play. Repeat. Need I say more?  How do you juggle family and work demands?  With a lot of mini prayers throughout the day, a quick workout in the morning, joking with my husband via text or a call at least twice per day to stay connected, and asking for help from the grandparents! What tip would you give moms-to-be?  Trust your gut, enjoy your children, resist comparing and do your best. Oh,and just accept that the laundry never ends!  




Anna, mom to Zoey (age 3) with baby girl #2 arriving this summer Age: 34 Occupation: medical writer at Eli Lilly, volunteer, mom, wife Toughest parenting moment: The situations where I don't know what to do are the toughest for me. So, there isn't one moment because this happens all the time. A lot of times there's no right answer, which is so frustrating! How do you juggle family and work demands? Most of the time I work pretty standard hours, so I'm at home in the evening with my family. I try to take one evening a week for myself – going out with my friends, business networking events or volunteer work. Weekends are mainly for family. What tip would you give moms-to-be? Don't worry about the "right” way to do things. Figure out what works for your family and that IS the right way for you.

Kati, mom to Leighton (3 months) Age: 25 Occupation: account executive in advertising and public relations, blogger Toughest parenting moment: When my husband returned to work and I had to figure out a routine for just me and Leighton at home. How do you juggle family and work demands? I am an avid list creator and planner. It is a constant work in progress, but it is necessary to wear as many hats as I do. What tip would you give moms-to-be?  Carve out a little “you” time in those first few weeks. The days that I found the time to shower, put on actual clothes and even add a little makeup were some of the best for me because I felt like a human again.

Ashley, mom to Wesley (age 4) with baby #2 arriving in September

Age: 33 Occupation: nurse at Riley Hospital for Children; studying to be a pediatric nurse practitioner Toughest parenting moment: Newborn one can prepare you for how little you sleep, or more, the consecutive hours of sleep. My son had colic and the crying all day was extremely challenging. How do you juggle family and work demands? Carefully, since we don’t have family in state. I have a supportive husband with a flexible job that allows me to work part time and go to school part time. I have great friends that watch our son when needed. What tip would you give moms-to-be? Take it one day at a time. Give yourself credit for the small things and do not beat yourself up over the little things.


infancy My baby suddenly seems to not like my milk. Do I need to make changes in my diet? The taste of your milk can change based on what you’ve eaten, medication you’re taking or even strenuous exercise. Keep track of what you eat and do and if you notice your baby not wanting to feed in the same way, see if you can relate it to a change in your diet or activity. If so, eliminate the change and see if things go back to normal. Consider not using perfumes, lotions or heavily fragranced soap while breastfeeding as they could potentially change the taste when your baby latches on. Katy Wolf, RN, MSN, CPNP, IBCLC International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Northpoint Pediatrics

We will definitely be vaccinating our son, but I am concerned about him having so many shots at one time. Can I request a modified vaccination schedule? The vaccine schedule as it’s written has been extensively studied and is very safe. With a modified schedule, you might leave your child vulnerable to certain diseases. The maternal antibodies that initially are passed to the baby wane after the first few months of life, and so it’s important that the infant has been immunized and is starting to make their own protective antibodies by the time this occurs. Many of these diseases—such as whooping cough and meningitis—do occur and sometimes peak in infancy. Modifying the vaccination schedule can increase the chance for errors. Infants’ immune systems are challenged constantly by various germs and



bacteria, but the vaccines will not overwhelm their immune system. Also, studies have shown that an infant’s cortisol levels, which can indicate stress, are no higher with two shots than one shot. In fact, bringing them in for multiple visits in which they receive one shot is likely to lead to more stress. Dr. Laura Maves, St. Vincent Fishers

We just had our first child and I want to start saving for his college education right away. What is the difference between a traditional savings plan and a 529 savings plan? 529 savings plans must be used for higher education, but boast unique advantages like tax-deferred earnings that become taxfree when the money is used for qualified expenses such as tuition, room and board, books and other fees at eligible schools. Many states also offer tax incentives to encourage investment in their respective plans! While most 529 plans are investment products and can fluctuate in value, they are uniquely designed to grow a beneficiary’s savings over time and hopefully reduce loan borrowing. Low minimum contributions also make them accessible to students and families of varied means. Troy A. Montigney, Executive Director, Indiana Education Savings Authority



it’s in the


PACKING THE PERFECT DIAPER BAG Diapers. Wipes. An extra change of clothes. When did diaper bags transform into a Mary Poppins–inspired hotbed of must-haves? We again turned to the experts from local support network, theCityMoms, and asked: “What are the essential diaper bag items?” “A changing pad. I had to change my son on the floor of the Starbucks bathroom and was thankful I had it.” – Sara B. “Extra clothes/socks for baby and an extra shirt for mom or dad. Believe me there will be a day when you’ll need it.” – Megan L. “Boogie wipes.” – Bonna H. “A bag for wet or soiled clothes (it happens!)” – Bryna O. “Travel bibs.” – Kristi S. “Toys for distraction.” – Kendra S. “Extra pacifier because we all know that they lose them so easily!” – Kim F. “Small clutch type bag that's just for mommy items... Keys, ID, credit cards, lip gloss, etc... Keeps it separate from baby items when you need to find something quickly!” – Marie M.

“A muslin blanket makes a great all-purpose item – nursing cover, summer breathable sun cover for pumpkin seat/ snap-n-go, play mat in a pinch, burp cloth – you name it!” – Keri R. “Spray hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes (to wipe down public changing tables, high chairs, etc).” – Melanie A. “Small basic first aid kit.” – Clare R. “Snacks to keep kiddos busy at restaurants or grocery store.” – Ariane S. “(When they get old enough) A baggie of bendy straws, plastic silverware, and disposable placemats.” – Kaitlyn S. “Advil for mom and throw in emergency chocolate.” – Shelly B.




momma (group) can you

SAVE ME? FINDING YOUR SUPPORT GROUP IN INDY | words by | Jeanine Bobenmoyer

Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or are in the Circle City for a brief stint, Indy is chock-full of resources for ANY mom in search of support. We’ve created a list of local mom groups worth their salt – the one qualification we had when pulling it together was that they have to be active groups, not just online forums. Having face-to-face interaction is a powerful support tool! So get over that hump of “will I fit in?” and take the plunge to say hello. Your momma tribe is out there.

City-wide theCityMoms. As the premier network for moms in the Indianapolis area, theCityMoms offers activities in every corner of the city including playdates, MNOs, workshops, sneak peeks and more. There are no limitations on the age of children or moms (stay-at-home, work full-time, babysitters, etc) in this group – all are welcome. Member discounts at local businesses and an online chat forum round out the perks.

More info: or MOPS. A national organization, MOPS or Mothers of Preschoolers International groups are typically run through local churches but do not require members to be parishioners. Groups meet 2-3x/monthly during the school year, offering guest speakers and meals during meetings. Childcare is usually offered.

More info:

MOMS Club. Another national organization with multiple local chapters, MOMS Club promotes support for “the at-home mother of today”. Finding a chapter is easy – just fill out their online form and someone will be in contact to connect you.

More info:

Location-specific Zionsville Moms Group. Welcoming families with young children (newborn to kindergarten), the Zionsville Moms Group is a way to find fun in the northwest corridor of the Indianapolis area.

More info: zionsvillemomsgroup West Side Indy Playgroup. This group focuses on events in the Avon, Brownsburg and Plainfield areas. Moms with kids of all ages are welcome. With playgroups, MNOs and book club, this group is “in the know” on all things westside.

More info:



Noblesville Stay At Home Moms Group. Don’t let the name dissuade you: If you live on the far northside of the Indy area and are a SAHM, working mom, part-time working mom, etc., this group based in Noblesville may be a good fit for you.

GiGi’s Playhouse. As a Down Syndrome Achievement Center, GiGi’s Playhouse of Indianapolis offers parent groups, open play, family nights and more. This group is a wonderful way to connect with other parents and build a supportive network.

More info:

More info:

Other options Baby Boot Camp. Led by local momma (and occasional Indy’s Child contributor!) Kara Babcock, Baby Boot Camp meets on a regular basis at various spots around town for workouts that incorporate the stroller, the babies and more.

More info:

Indy Dads Group. This local group of dads is just in its start-up phase but as part of a larger, national organization, won’t take long to get moving. They meet for social time, family outings and more.

More info: If none of these strike your fancy, that’s okay too. is a great place to search for other groups in your area. Check out your local school PTO or consider starting a group of your own in your neighborhood! Whatever you decide, your tribe is out there.






TO ENTERTAIN YOUR TODDLER IN INDY It starts innocently enough with a few awkward steps – and before you know it, your bundle of joy is walking, running and climbing on everything in sight. If you are looking for budget-friendly ways to tame all of that excess toddler energy, here are 10 outings in the greater Indianapolis area that won’t break the bank. Enjoy wide-open spaces at The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Daily, dawn to dusk.

Experience 5 levels of non-stop fun at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis during Target Free Family Night, held the first Thursday of the month from 4-8pm

Let little ones jump, slide and climb to their hearts’ content in the Brookville Road Community Church indoor playground on the city’s east side. Mon, Wed, Thurs 9am-5pm; Tues 1-5pm; Fri 9am-noon. Explore the sprawling nature center at Holliday Park. Mon–Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 1-5pm



Take a hike on the toddler-friendly trails at Cool Creek Park in Carmel. Go creek stomping, tour the nature center and round out your visit at the playground. Daily, 5am-dusk.

Take the self-guided Farm Walk at Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville, daily 10am - 4pm. $2 per person (kids 4 and under, free).

Get in on some unstructured play during Fishers Parks and Recreation’s monthly PlayFULL Hours for ages 1-5. $2 residents, $3 nonresidents. Visit Fishers. for dates and locations. Pre-registration encouraged.

Indulge your child’s love of fire trucks at The Carmel Fire Buffs and Fire Department Museum. Call (317) 370-6437 for hours. Donations appreciated.

Head to Lawrence Branch Library on Thursdays at 10:30am for a morning of toddler-friendly stories, songs, rhymes and playtime. Spend the summer months making the rounds to the numerous splash pads and spray parks located throughout the city, because toddler + water = hours of entertainment. Find a complete list at OhBaby!



toddler My toddler is obsessed with my phone, tablet, the TV – pretty much anything digital. Should I be limiting his screen time? Children under the age of two learn best with two-way communication. It’s important to get on the floor and play with them, but occasional screen time is acceptable, with some caveats. Screen time is more constructive when it involves two-way communication, like talking to a parent who is traveling. Children are using their brain more in this setting than if they are passively watching television. It is also more productive when they are interacting with you while using it. Try to use quality educational apps, and set up tech-free areas in your home, like the dinner table and the bedroom. Be a good role model and limit your own screen time when they are around. Set limits and encourage unstructured playtime. Dr. Laura Maves, St. Vincent Fishers

My daughter is 14 months old and she is the only one in her toddler class at daycare who isn’t walking. Should I be worried? There is a wide range of normal development and each child progresses at his/her own pace. Your daughter’s pediatrician will be observing her activity and interactions and asking you about developmental milestones at each of her well child visits. This is a good time to ask questions about any concerns you



may have. Try not to compare your daughter to others; she is a unique individual, enjoy her for the special person she is! Dr. Carol Johnson, pediatrician with Franciscan Physician Network

How will I know when my toddler is ready to start potty training? Being able to sense the need to “pee” or “poop” and respond to it is a complex process. Children need to be aware of the urge to go, have the verbal skills to tell you, be able to hold it until they get to the potty, pull down their pants and then be able to voluntarily relax the muscle to be able to release the stool or urine. Not all of these skills develop at the same time, so be patient. You can start to talk about using the potty when your child shows curiosity about it. 18 months is a good time to introduce the potty chair. Talk about what will happen when they learn to use the potty, have them practice sitting on it, observing and imitating other family members. There are good books and DVD’s designed for kids that teach about using the potty. Once your child learns the concept then becomes developmentally ready, they will let you know and it should happen easily from there. Dr. Carol Johnson, pediatrician with Franciscan Physician Network





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