New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Happiness Is…

This morning I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today. These last couple weeks have been a whirl-wind of different things happening. Aud has been a little under the weather, I have been planning two major events in her life (baptism and 1st birthday), most of my amazing mum friends went back to work, I’ve had interviews and meetings trying to figure out what I am going to be doing in a month’s time, oh ya, I started my blog, and am writing for two other online blogs, and not to mention I still have my domestic duties like housework, cooking, and being the best mum I can be to my baby girl. Remember when I wrote that post about having me time, well I can honestly say this last little while I haven’t felt I could squeeze it in! We all have those moments right? Moments where a whole day, week, even an hour goes by and we wonder where it went, what we did? I think it only gets harder as we have families, get older, priorities change, goals get bigger. This post will be about a couple different things so stay with me because I’m feeling inspired this morning and I need to share it, you know my motto, sharing is caring!

Today I started to write a list, I should say a new list, because I have about 100 “to do” lists around my house, just waiting to be checked off. So today’s list consisted of everything I need/want ‘to do’ with no timeline. Included in that list- get out scrapbooking stuff, start scrapbook, organize front hall, organize closet, sort through Aud’s clothes, sort through pictures on computer, figure out stain remover for babies clothes, organize kitchen cupboards, pick up birthday invitations…you get the picture, a smorgasbord of things to do. Behind that list was another list of things to do for her baptism, pick up decorations, confirm guests, pick up cake, pick up catering, go to costco, decorate and set-up ect, ect…I can say I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of work I have given myself for the last little while. I know you’re thinking what about Jon? Well he works, he’s the breadwinner, besides I love the man but he just learnt how to turn on a vacuum let alone be able to use it properly.

As women we automatically assume the need to be a multi-tasker even if it means putting ‘me’ on the back burner. If I were in an interview and they asked what my biggest strength is, that would be it, but it is also my biggest weakness. I take on a lot at once, I am a people pleaser so if someone asks me to do it I will, even if I have a million other things to do. It’s just the way I am. I like to make people happy, who doesn’t? These last few days I have had some major mood swings and poor Jon has been on the receiving end of those. You could say it’s stress, or exhaustion, or busy mummy brain, but I think I have figured out the root.

Happiness. As I’ve mentioned before I am a bubbly and positive person in life, I have lots of friends, a great family, a beautiful baby girl, I’m healthy, you know all the staples to leading a happy life. I guess some day’s I forget. Some days I let the moment’s of true happiness pass me by, forgetting to focus on the things that make me happy. I think as mums we can all relate to this.

I came across this blog I used to read that I had forgotten about in the shuffle of life. He writes about the 10 things that always bring happiness. I read through each one carefully and have hung onto every word. It was so soothing and inspiring to read. It just takes one moment, one action, even one post to read to bring you back to that place. I’m realizing that all these things I have to do, all the tasks I need to check off my lists, I’ll get to it. I know this post doesn’t quite jive with my others but I just felt the need to write about this. I’m going to leave you guys with one of the things he writes about in his blog:

“Focus on things that truly matter. The simple fact that you are even here, alive, on this planet is a divine miracle. You should not spend the time you have being busy, being miserable. Every moment you get is a gift, so stop focussing on unhappy things, and spend your moments on things that truly matter to your heart.”

Taken from www.marcandangel.com

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Yes…No…Maybe? Reaching those Golden Milestones

Do you get those emails every month about what milestones your baby may reach, and read the list very carefully and think to yourself why hasn’t she done that yet? or have a book that you are constantly referring to every time your baby does something new, and think my babies a genius! Well you are definitely not alone. Watching your baby grow is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences as a new parents and it is only natural for us as parents to want to make sure our children are on track and reaching those important milestones you read about. Your doctor even gives you a checklist with questions asking what your baby is doing at that stage. I found myself constantly reading up on things Aud was doing, wasn’t doing, maybe was doing. Was that a wave? That was definitely a wave. Did she just babble? I think I heard mmmore. Is that considered crawling? She’s definitely going to walk soon. Come on, I know I’m not the only one with these delusional thoughts that my child will be putting together complex sentences by 12 months and be a ballet dancer by 14 months.

At baby girls 9 month check-up the nurse hands me the ‘developmental screen’ checklist and I carefully go through each question…“by nine months of age does your baby…”as if I am taking my college exams again, I make sure I don’t miss a thing. The first few of course I check the boxes of ‘yes’ and then I get to “Understand short instructions (e.g. Where is the ball? Or Wave bye-bye?)…uh oh…she doesn’t do that. Do I cheat and check yes? Do I put a mark in the middle of the yes and no so it’s like a maybe? Yah, I’ll just create my own answer. So that’s what I did. I put a check mark in the middle. When the Dr. came in and went through the list with me, obviously she stopped at the ‘maybe’ answer. I was worried, I was actually thinking that if I didn’t check yes to all the questions it meant something was wrong.

So the Dr. asks me why I checked in the middle, “well sometimes if we wave bye-bye she flings her arm around, so she’s almost getting it I think.” The look from the Dr. pretty well explained itself- it really didn’t matter if I checked yes, no, or made up my own box, there was nothing wrong with Aud not yet ‘listening to instructions.’ I’m not saying I threw out my book or unsubscribed to the emails, but I have started to take it all with a grain of salt.

I remember watching a movie called “Babies” while I was preggo, (recommended but warning: husband will be extremely bored). It was about 4 different families raising a baby in four very different parts of the world; San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, Namibia. Watching these babies in four entirely different cultures, being parented in different ways and all with different personalities helps you to see that it really doesn’t make a difference whether or not your baby reaches the milestone at the exact time the books say, they all ‘catch up.’ Whether your child walks at 10 months or 14 months, your child will walk.

I have a core group of mummies and babies that I have spent the last year hanging out with. All of our babies are around the same age, so we all got to ask questions, give advice and learn with each other. We would always talk about the different milestones our babes were reaching, and what to expect when they do; it was such a relief to actually see that even though all the babies were around the same age they were all growing and developing in their own way. I always heard that there is this unspoken competition between new mums but I can happily and honestly say I never experienced that with my new friends. We all grew as new mums with each other and probably made decisions as parents we never would have had we not met. I am so grateful for my new friends and couldn’t of found a better group of mummies and babies.

So in the end, you can read the books, and mark the checklists, but don’t worry so much if your baby isn’t saying ‘babababa’ by 8 months, or if he’s not rolling over at 4 months, or walking at 12 months because he will. Before you know it you will be wondering where the year or two went when you could put your baby on the floor and entertain them holding up a black and white picture, and watch them sleep in their bouncy chair for 3 hours…at least until you have the next one…

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One Word-Teething

It’s been a couple months since baby girl sprouted another tooth, I have been wondering when the next one would be. Constantly feeling inside her mouth as she thrashed it from side to side to feel that little nub that I was sure had come up. Aud has had a runny nose for the last month, and I mean runny. Every top I wore eventually had a snot spot on the shoulder by the end of the day, it’s the little things. Teething started around 3 months, she started to put everything in her mouth and not to mention the drooling. I probably said “she’s teething” for a couple months until a tooth actually started to rear its ugly head. Read on to hear about my experience about teething. It’s aint pretty. She’s cranky, she’s tired all the time, she drools, her sleeping is a disaster…as a parent I have to say teething is brutal so I can only imagine what Aud is going through.

Believe it or not her first tooth broke the skin on my birthday back in March. I remember feeling inside her mouth and there it was! That little, pearly nub had popped through her bottom gums. I actually cried a little bit because it was the feeling of “she’s growing so fast!” But I pretty much cry at every milestone and growth spurt. I knew this was only the beginning, since that first one had come it was only a matter of time before more followed. So I took action. I reached out to my fellow mum friends for some advice and they gave me some great ideas to help the pain the baby girl was in. Naturally I feel the need to share with you…remember sharing is caring!!

Frozen Washcloths: Wet and twist a washcloth and put it in the freezer. Aud loves these when she’s teething and it’s small enough to hold herself


Baby Feeders: (Brand’s I used- Sassy and Nuby) These are great because you can fit an ice cube and frozen fruit in the net and baby can hold it and chew and suck on it all she wants and only the juice or water will get through the netting. Also great for baby is starting solids.


–  Teething Rings: Aud had a couple teething rings, we lost one but have managed to hold on to her favorite. The Nuby ring she LOVES! It’s colorful, soft, and lots of space for her to hold and chew. She also loved the Sophie the Giraffe Teething Ring (not the usual Sophie) but unfortunately she lost it and I just refuse to spend $20 on a teething toy.

Frozen Teething Rings: You know the typical teether’s we all used as babies, we don’t use them often but she has the Nuby BPA free Icy Bite teething ring that she really likes.

There are some really great products out there for babies when it comes to teething. Just make sure you are looking for BPA free and stay on top of washing them in the dishwasher or by hand.

I want to talk a bit about something I have yet to try but have heard a ton about. Amber Teething necklaces. Yes, it’s a necklace for your baby to wear that draws out the pain from teething and is said to work. The necklaces are made from Baltic amber and have been used for healing purposes for centuries. I have talked to several mums who have used these necklaces on their babies and they swear by them. I haven’t tried it yet but I think I have been convinced. You can find lot’s of info about them online so read up on them and decide if you think it will help you baby. When I get one for Aud I will let you guys know if it works for her.

Tylenol: I know, I know some mums are hesitant but think of it this way if you have a toothache or a bad headache you are going to take something to relieve the pain, so how can you not offer your child something to do the same? We use Tempra, the banana flavor, and it seems to work the best for us, especially at night.

Last but not least is TLC. When baby girl is teething she needs a little extra TLC. Lot’s of cuddles, hugs, kisses and she even wants to nurse more. I give her whatever she needs when she is teething. Anything I can do to help lessen the pain that comes along with it I do. They say imagine your worst toothache combined with a headache and times it by 10 and that is what babies feel when they teeth. Just do whatever you can to help them out, not only will it ease their pain but it will ease yours as well.

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Ten Things You Can Expect When Expecting

This past weekend I met a few (yes a few) lovely women who were expecting their first baby. It brought me right back to just over a year ago when I was expecting my first. As I was talking to them I caught myself often saying, “me too!” and “oh ya, I remember when that happened.” I’m not going to say it gave me new baby fever, but it did inspire me to write my next post! This is for all you expecting mum’s out there, these are the top ten things you are bound to experience when you are preggo. And for those who have already experienced the below, sometimes it’s nice to reminisce…

1) Advice: Everyone and I mean everyone, from your neighbour, to your mom, to the nice old lady behind you at the checkout is going to give you what they think is golden advice. Some you might think “Huh, good to know,” and others you will politely nod your head, look like your listening intently while thinking “really lady?” Just don’t forget to smile.

2) Google: You will probably Google everything from what your baby looks like in your belly to what that pain in your groin was earlier today. All I can say it, Google is not always right! I remember at one point my Dr actually told me to stop Google’ing! I settled for signing up to www.babycentre.com, along with every other expecting mum.

3) Books: I read a couple books during my pregnancy but I had one that was a favorite called “Your Pregnancy: Week by Week.” By Dr. Glade B. Curtis and Judith Shuler. I couldn’t wait to read the progress every week and I found it easy to understand. I also bought Jon a book called “Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies.” Note to self: a) don’t buy men a book that has the words “For Dummies” and b) don’t buy men books.

4) Peeing: When my belly really started to bulge and felt like I was carrying a bowling ball around, it was at about 7ish months that I started pee’ing every 2.5 minutes. They tell you to drink lot’s and lot’s of water, but what they fail to tell you is that the moment the water touches your mouth you have to pee again. Ask your boss to move your desk beside the bathroom.

5) Crying: Ohh the emotional rollercoaster that is pregnancy. You will probably find yourself crying at diaper commercials, in the baby aisle at the drug store, and especially when your man asks you if you need help getting out of bed. It doesn’t any get better after baby.

6) Touching: As soon as you announce your bun in the oven everyone will want a piece of it. Going back to the old lady behind you in the check-out; it’s ok to let her know you don’t invite the touching of the belly. It’s something you will want to practise for when she moves in on baby.

7) Cravings: It will happen sooner or later in your pregnancy. Whether it’s ice cream, lemons or Nutella, just give in, this is the one time you don’t need to feel bad about guilty pleasures, but try your best to just go for one serving.

8) Nesting: There will come a point where every little pink or blue onsie, every soft blanket, and stuffed animal you see you’ll want. If you are having a baby shower then try to wait it out until after it happens! If you must then buy your bringing baby home outfit, and things for yourself like nursing tops and bras, and new pajamas and slippers for the hospital.

9) Empathy: It’s actually amazing how people tend to react around pregnant women. Doors get opened, seats become free, and the overall manners of society come full circle. I walked into a McDonald’s to use the restroom (also to get a McFlurry) one night on our way to a friend’s cottage and with it being the only public bathroom for miles of course the women’s had a huge lineup. As I made my way to the back of line the lady up next actually came to the back and asked me if I would like go before she did, no one protested, so I took her up on it. Always say yes to this, trust me.

10) Sleep: Last but certainly not least. I’m sure everyone is telling you to sleep while you can. Maybe you listen, maybe you do what I did and roll your eyes and think you have too much to do to sleep. But seriously, sleep. Just do it. Go to bed early, take naps, sleep in the car, sleep whenever you can. Just do it, you’ll thank me.

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Hush Little Baby, Don’t You Cry…

It all started around the age of 6 months. The waking went from once a night to 3. Of course to help soothe her and ease her teething pain I would nurse her back to sleep. I just couldn’t let my baby cry when I knew picking her up and stickin her on the boob would make her feel better. I felt so terrible for her. The pain her mouth must be feeling, and we just moved so she’s in a new place in a new room. I would do anything to make her feel better, and if it means becoming a human pacifier then so be it, she’ll grow out of it. HAHA. WRONG! It got worse, even after the teething and being in our place for a couple months, the waking went from 3 times to a night, to 4, to 5, to 6. No one was getting any sleep (oh except for Jon, did I mention he was a VERY sound sleeper). So Aud and I would wake up in the mornings, bags under our eyes, cranky, tired, she would nap for over 2 hours in the mornings and 2 hours in the afternoon, and because I have a million things to do all the time I didn’t sleep when baby slept. Needless to say, I was hardly a pleasant person to be around all the time. At night most mum’s probably look forward to bed time, not me. I dreaded bedtime. I actually thought about just moving into her room at one point. I tried some sleep training, but it didn’t work for us. We weren’t strong enough, (a-hem Jon wasn’t strong enough), or so I thought. Finally, finally I reached my breaking point. You’re probably, wondering really? It took you that long to get to your breaking point? I took the easy way out. It was easier to just nurse her and have her fall back asleep that way then going through the hour of crying, and anxiety if I didn’t. But I knew that solution wasn’t the right one, not for me and especially not for baby.

So I will start with the first method we tried. The gentler of the CIO methods, increment training, (geez it sounds like we were training for the Olympics or something…) The method is that you start off leaving her room for 5 minutes, during those 5 minutes (longest 5 minutes I have ever experienced) just keep yourself busy (this is when Pinterest came in handy) and when the time is up, go into her room for only 2 minutes, rub her back, shush her, try to calm her down but do not pick her up, do not talk to her, be as boring as possible. The first night we put her down in her crib, drowsy but awake, and left the room. As soon as we closed her door she started to cry. So since I thought it would be harder for both of us if I went in I sent Jon. I built him up all week about this “sleep training” we would, no-no, he would be doing all weekend. “Prepare for no sleep babe,” and “you can’t pick her up, don’t talk to her, just rub her back.” So after the first 5 minutes were up in he went. She cried even louder when he went in there. It was like a “WTF are you doing in here? Where’s my boob?” sort of cry. I could hear him “Shushhhhh, shushhhhh. It’s ok baby, daddy’s here.” Of course I’m outside the bedroom door thinking, don’t talk to her, be boring!  Men, do not listen to instruction. So after about two minutes he comes out, she’s still crying, I’m pretty well in tears at this point, and Jon just has this defeated look on his face and it’s only been 7 minutes. Oh god. So now we are suppose to let 7 minutes go by? We do it all over again. Get the pattern? Leave for 5, in for 2, leave for 7, in for 2, leave for 10, in for 2. We are suppose to follow this pattern all night until she falls asleep. I read some people did it for 2 hours. 2 HOURS!! There is no way, no way I could do that. Some mum’s can, and that’s completely fine, no judgement. Maybe you live in a house where you have a staircase and a whole floor separating you from baby. For us, we live in a small apartment where the only thing separating us is a wall, needless to say we hear every whimper, cry, and movement that goes on in her room. So we decide we will do it for a couple more rounds. So 7 long, long minutes go by (still crying) he goes in, “Shushh, shushhhh,” I hear him say, (still standing outside the door.) Then all of a sudden she stops crying!! IT WORKED! I thought. It actually worked! I can still hear him shushing her, but she isn’t crying. But what’s strange is the “shushing” keeps getting closer to the door, and then backs away again. It hit me, HE PICKED HER UP!! NOOOO!! Oh Jon. A minute later, she starts up again. Well, I guess he put her down. He comes out, “you picked her up didn’t you.” Again, the look of defeat on his face says it all. The third time he went in, he sat on the floor beside her crib and she played with his hair and giggled. Ok, this was not working for us. We are just going to have to live with the fact our child is not a good sleeper. Maybe we’ll try again in a couple months.

A couple months did go by, and no changes really. She was kind of all over the place. Her napping was impeccable, she would fall asleep on her own, suck on her fingers and have a couple good naps, but at night she was a different baby! This is when I met Nanny Robina. If you remember I talked about her in one of my first posts, (Sleep, Anyone?). I told her my story, and she suggested that we had to try again with the CIO. She was good at motivating, and pumping me up for it.

So that night I decided I would try again but this time I would try to ‘Extinction’ method. Basically, letting her cry and not going into her (unless at some point you know you have to). Listen, I know what some people think of this. I know that mums think it’s cruel or that they cry for a reason, that maybe it was separation anxiety, or she is hungry, ect…and I thought of all the same things, but you have to understand that at this point she was getting up almost 6 times in one night. She needed a good nights sleep, she needed to learn what sleeping more than 2 hours felt like! Believe me when I say this was more for her then anything. I decided I would still nurse her around 11 p.m. to “top her up for the night” but after that I wouldn’t. The first night she cried for almost an hour, it took everything in me not to go in, Jon and I are both saying to eachother, “don’t go in, it’s ok, she is safe. Don’t go in.” We didn’t. She finally fell asleep on her own, and didn’t wake up for the rest of the night. The second night she cried for about 30 minutes, then fell asleep on her own and didn’t wake up again. The third night, she cried for about 15 minutes, and fell asleep and didn’t wake up again. It worked, it actually worked.

She now sleeps “through the night,” with the exception of her 11 p.m. feed which I plan to wean in a couple weeks. There are nights here and there she will wake up around 3 a.m., moves around, whines a little for a few minutes but then goes back to sleep. Since we did the “training” she is happier, has much more energy, we’ve even noticed a change in her appetite. I’m not recommending this CIO is for you. It is probably one of the hardest things I’ve gone through as a parent thus far. If you have sleep issues with your baby find something that works for you. If you can’t do the CIO, research the different methods because there are a TON out there to try. There are people that specialize in sleep training where you can pay for their service- which I have had friends swear by and was our next step if this didn’t work. Just don’t give up. You, your hubs, and your baby deserve a good nights sleep, and just remember your baby will still love you, smile for you, and cuddle with you in the morning.

To read how the insomnia began Sleep, Schmeep

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Sleep, Shmeep.

Ok so I’m going to write again about baby girl’s sleeping. If you know me then you know it’s been a bit of a struggle for our family. I’ll start at the beginning to shed some light on the situation. When Aud was a newborn her sleeping schedule was pretty on par from what to expect when they are so little. We would all go to bed around 11 p.m. (not late for newborn standards considering they sleep majority of the time), and would wake for a feed about every 2 hours. We had her sleep in a bassinet beside the bed because like most new mums it was more comforting, easier, and I could watch her breathe all night (ok, I only did that the first month). We never co-slept because Jon and I were a little nervous about it, but there were nights that she fell asleep on my chest, and that feeling of closeness, her listening to my heartbeat while falling asleep, was just so incredible I would never move her (she also seemed to wake up every time I put her down in her bassinet so to get a little shut eye this was the solution). Like most newborns she was prone to movement, and boob to fall asleep. She also liked to fall asleep on her daddy, and I can’t count how many pictures I have of them both sleeping on the couch with a little smile on their faces (cue ‘Awww’). You pretty much do whatever you can to make sure baby has a nice, comfortable, peaceful sleep. We would watch the t.v. on mute, whisper to each other when we spoke, and any noise made I would automatically “SHHHHH.”

Back to baby crying every time I put her down in her bassinet. So remember that friend I told you about in my last post? The one who told me about to get out and meet new mums and babies, well she also had some great advice about getting baby to stay sleeping. SWADDLING! I know your probably thinking, well duh! But we did the swaddle for a couple nights when we brought her home and she didn’t seem to like it, so we were putting her down without. Man, were we wrong! She suggested I go out and buy those ‘swaddle sacks’  or learn how to do a good swaddle with blankets. So I did, and that night I tightly swaddled my little bean in this cute leopard print and pink trimmed swaddle sack I bought (if you know me then you know how strongly I feel about animal print) and what’ya know, it worked! I was able to put her down in her bassinet without her waking up, not to mention she was sleeping for longer stretches! She wasn’t waking up as often as before! I was getting four hour stretches of sleep by the 3rd month! Life was good! I was telling everyone what a great sleeping she was, swaddling saved us all, we were so lucky! JINX! I’ll get to that.

Sometime in her fourth month we moved her to her room in her crib. The transition went really smoothly because from the beginning I had her napping in her crib. Something I strongly suggest for you mums. Put baby in the crib from day one, or at least early on. I have heard horror stories of transitioning baby to crib when they have outgrown co-sleeping or the bassinet. Luckily for us, Aud was already used to sleeping in hers that the first night she slept soundly, me on the other hand, not so much. I think I checked in on her about 15 times, and had the monitor permanently glued to my ear (totally normal).

We also started to move up her bedtime in about half hour increments until eventually we were putting her down at about 7. Do it people! Don’t let your babe stay awake till 11 p.m. The earlier you start this the better. I know, I know you don’t want to have to get up at 7 a.m. but once you get it going, you’ll notice a big change in baby’s routine and it helps with their sleeping habits for the future. Plus gives you and hubs some serious cuddle time, *wink wink*.

We started a bedtime routine with her the week we brought her home with we still stick with to this day. Her routine is Warm bath, lotion, pajamas, lullaby, nurse, bed (this will be changing in the next couple weeks). She was doing really great for a couple months, it even got to a point where she was only waking once a night! HEAVEN! Then the teeth started to come in, and we moved to a new place. Why didn’t anyone warn me what I was in for? Let the terrible sleeping begin.

I’m ending this post here because my experience with teething, and the sleep training could be another page in itself, which you should know by now I will have no trouble writing about. I hope the above couple tips and tricks helps you with your baby. Don’t worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just think in 20 years, they will be moved out and you will finally get that good night sleep you’ve been dreaming about since you were about 8 months preggers and you were getting up every hour to pee….then again….you still may be getting up every hour to pee…keep doin your kegels ladies!

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Starting Solids-Lights, Camera, FAIL!

There is such an abundance of information out there for new mums, and most of it I find to be rather conflicting. The one topic I was just so confused about when the time came was starting baby on solids. Do I start at 4 or 6 months? Do I start her on rice cereal or go straight to pureed vegetables? Do I try the “Baby Led Weaning” or stick with purees? Ahhhh! I think I drove myself crazy leading up to the day I introduced solids. I thought I would talk about my experience with introducing solids and everything in between. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who was a little confused around the subject.

Around 4 months my mum suggested I try introducing the rice cereal into Aud’s diet, I mean why not? My mum started me on it around the same time and lot’s of other mum’s had done the same thing. So I went to the store and I probably stood in that baby food aisle for 15 minutes before I decided which one to get. So many options were in front of me. I bought the one I could mix with breast milk and the one I could mix with water. I decided I would try mixing the one with breastmilk first. So there I was, I had set up the stage, got my camera ready, put baby girl in her cutest onesie, and was ready to feed her the first bite. FAIL! She hated it, spit it all out. With every bite she just had this awful look on her face, so I gave up after a few sad attempts. She just was not ready.  To be honest, at the time I had an instinct that she wasn’t ready, that she didn’t need it in her diet yet and thinking back I should of listened to myself. (I want to be clear that the recommended age by Pediatrician’s to start solids is 6 months. Up until a year milk is the most important food for your baby). Don’t feel pressured by your parents, grandparents, and any elders to start your baby on solids early as they did, there is no better time or right way, its your way. Yes, we all started earlier and yes we are all fine but for the first 6 months your baby is just fine with exclusively breastmilk or formula.

At Aud’s 6 month check up the doctor gave the ok to start solids. We are told to start them on iron-fortified baby cereal is because it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, especially if you are starting in and around 6 months. I kept hearing that I could go straight to veggies and skip the cereal but I decided I would start her on Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal, and at 6 months she was definitely ready for it. The first bite she took no problem and opened her mouth for more! So once again I had the camera out and took about a million pictures! I was so excited to start this new milestone in our journey. Then got the confusing part. I did the 4 day wait rule, watched for any symptoms that could signal a reaction, and she was fine. Ok, so do I introduce a fruit or a veggie next? Do I stop the cereal and start a new food? Do I feed her twice a day now? So many questions! This is where my mummy friends really came in handy! So this is how I started to intro different foods.

Day  1- Intro to cereal, in the mornings. They say to intro food in the mornings in case any reaction occurs you will have a better chance on noticing. The brand we use is Healthy Times, Organic Oatmeal Cereal for Baby which we buy at our local Loblaws or Organic Grocer.

Day 4- Cereal with a single pureed fruit- Once a day. Every 4 days we would try a different fruit until I had exhausted all fruit options! She absolutely loves fruit so she was not picky about her choices.

After we had done the fruit introductions we moved on to vegetables at which point we also introduced dinner. So she would still have her cereal with fruit in the morning, and around 5-5:30 we give her dinner. I was reading that the serving would be the size of an ice cube (around 1 ounce). HA! Audrina was eating almost a whole baby food jar size amount of food! Just go with their cues. If they are full they will tighten their lips, turn their head or protest when you give them a bite. So we first started with pureed sweet potato, then butternut squash, peas, green beans, zucchini, carrots and so on and so on, of course waiting on the four day rule in between each intro. When we had gone through most veggies we stopped the 4 day introduction. Obviously some people will shake their heads to this but baby girl has had absolutely no reaction to any food we have given her so we are confident about the choice. We also started making combinations of veggies and fruit around 7ish months. We are lucky because our girl doesn’t seem to be a picky eater (knock on wood). Since she had about 6 teeth already we also started to give her baby cookies (i.e. Mum Mums) and Puffs (Graduate and PC brands), the ones that all dissolve in their mouths.

Audrina is now 10.5 months and is on 3 meals a day plus a snack, plus her breastmilk. She is on all finger foods (started around 8.5 months) with the exception of breakfast (cereal with fruit). She loves the independence of being able to feed herself and so do I! Although I am watching her closely with every bite it’s a nice change of pace in the day for her to be able to do it herself. I try hard to get her to eat all the food groups in a day but I’ve learned if she doesn’t eat all her green beans at dinner it’s OK! She will make up for it tomorrow. Would you believe the girl loves tofu!! One of her staple dinners is tofu and sweet potato and peas…would you of even thought of that combo?

When we first introduced solids I was so confused with all the mumbo jumbo out there, but now it’s come as second nature. So don’t stress too much about the introduction, don’t be disappointed if when you set the stage and lights, camera, action- baby spits it all out! Before you know it baby will be stealing food off your plate, shoving handful’s of cheerio’s into their mouths, and throwing every piece of food you put on their tray onto the floor (invest in a good mop…seriously!) Happy feeding!!

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Get OUT!

The first month and a half after bringing baby girl home we didn’t leave the house. We were getting to know each other, trying to get a routine in place, and since baby slept all the time I thought I would too. We would go for walks, do a run to the grocery store but that was about it. I am the first out of my friends to have a baby, so I didn’t have many people to talk to about a newborn. I just wasn’t sure what was out there for us to do. I just assumed she was too little to be signed up for anything, and too little to meet new friends. Then I received an email from an old friend of mine from highschool. She wanted to get together, meet the baby, have a coffee. I thought why not? We need to get out, I would love to catch up and since she had an almost one year old boy and maybe she could answer some of my questions about this new mum, new baby life.

Going to meet up with my old friend was probably the best thing I did as a new mum. Since she had been there, done that, she had so much information about what was out there for us to do. I didn’t have to sit at home and wait for my friends to have babies, I didn’t have to go to the grocery store everyday to kill some time. There were so many resources and programs out there for new mum’s and babies I had no idea about! Best of all most of them were free! When I got home from our get together, she had sent me an email with tons and tons of links to all the mum and baby groups and programs we could join in and around our area.  So I picked up the phone and started calling. The reign of us staying indoors all day, being antisocial, and wondering what grocery store I would check out next, was over! I was finally going to meet other new mum’s, swap birth stories and share experiences and did I mention it was free!

The first program we joined was for new mum’s and babies to learn different ways to be able to parent more confidently. Every week there was a new topic from learning Infant CPR, to infant nutrition, to just being able to network with the other mum’s who joined.  It was so great. It was so nice to be able to swap questions such as why does baby girl spit up? And what color poop is your babies? (Trust me, these are the topics of conversation that become second nature when you’re a mum).

After that program I signed up for every program I could. Registration day for the free programs was like calling into a radio station to win tickets to the next Spice Girls concert, (love them). But I always got through and I always got us into the program we wanted. Another program we really enjoyed was called “Mother Goose” hosted by the Ontario Early Years Centre, (almost every Ontario city or town has one). Every week, for two hours we would go and learn nursery rhymes (it’s amazing how many there are!) and meet new mum’s and their babies, and have snack! It was awesome! I met so many other mum’s and we always had something to talk about. We would all talk about what major milestone our babies had achieved, and what new foods they were trying, what transition from the bassinet to the crib was like… I was so sad when the program came to an end. But there were a core 6 of us who have remained friends. We try every week to get together for play dates doing all sorts of things- Splash pads, picnics, walks, home play dates.

The point of this article is to let all the new mum’s out there know you don’t have to stay inside or go to the grocery store everyday. No matter where you live there are programs out there for you and your baby to enjoy. Check out your local library, the local paper, use google, even call your town if you have too! There are resources out there for us new mum’s. If your town doesn’t have a mummy and me group then start one because trust me, you are not the only one feeling like there is nothing to do. I’ve met some really amazing women, and great babies that Aud and I will be friends with for life. It’s been amazing seeing all the babies grow together this last year, and see how close us mum’s have become. I couldn’t be more thankful for that day I decided to leave the house and go for coffee with an old friend. So get out there, buy that mirror for the backseat of your car so you don’t have to be nervous driving while baby sits in the back (you know what I mean), and meet new mum’s! Do it for you, your baby, and your sanity!

 

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Breast is best?

Although I do work hard to stay in shape by watching what I eat and making sure I am leading a healthy lifestyle, I do want to give some credit to being a nursing mum. I used to always hear that breastfeeding can help with losing the baby weight so of course this known fact had some pull for me on choosing to breastfeed, amongst all the other amazing pro’s of nursing your child. But there are challenges that come with it too, so I decided I would write about my experience of being a exclusively nursing mum to hopefully help other soon to be mum’s and new mum’s make the decision whether or not to BF.

First off I will say that choosing to BF is a personal choice. There is so much information about pro BF’ing. I can’t tell you how many times over the course of my pregnancy I heard “Breast is Best,” and although I do agree with this, it’s not for all women and that’s OK! I feel that there really needs to be more information out there for mum’s about formula fed babies aside from what you read on the label. I remember taking a prenatal class, and the Registered Nurse that was running it said as an Ontario RN she was not allowed to advocate for formula feeding. Come on, of all the new things we need to know and learn, being educated about if you choose to formula feed should be at the top of the list with BF`ing. If you choose not to BF there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. Some women just can’t do it. It takes a lot of patience, time and energy. For some women it’s not even about the choice, it’s that they just can’t. Their milk doesn’t come in or they don’t produce enough that their baby has be put on formula to be able to get the nourishment and food they need. Don`t give into the pressure, just make the choice that is right for you and your baby.

If you do chose to BF, you are in for an interesting journey. The couple days I was at the hospital when we had baby girl I called the nurse to help me about a million times. I just couldn`t get her to latch on my own. I was so worried about going home and not being able to feed baby girl, that I would of stayed at the hospital for a week if they let me. So the day finally came when we went home and the first feeding was not a good experience. I tried for almost an hour to get her to latch. She cried, I cried, Jon I`m pretty sure was on the verge of tears as well, (although he will never admit it- men…). Then she finally did it! I felt this feeling of accomplishment. It took a lot of patience and a lot of time and about 2-3 weeks in was when we had mastered nursing. Some days it took 45 minutes to latch other days it took 1 minute, but when you finally do get it, the trouble it took to get there is a distant memory. Don`t give up!

Another challenge I faced was the bottle. We didn`t try to introduce a bottle until around 10 weeks because I had fears of nipple confusion, but of course by 10 weeks baby girl had been so used to the boob that when we tried to give her a bottle of pumped milk she just would not have it. We tried all different bottles and different ways of trying to get her to take it and she was just not interested. There was maybe once or twice that she did take it but because we just weren`t consistent or persistent with it 9 out of 10 times she refused. To be honest, I was ok with it. Jon and I made the choice that we would give up on the bottle and she would be exclusively BF. Some days were harder than others, and not everyone understood my decision. Up until a month or so ago I had to miss doing things socially because I was nursing and I couldn`t leave Aud`s side for more than an hour or two; at times I felt so guilty that I couldn`t be there for my friends, that I couldn’t be the social butterfly everyone loved. I finally on day had a breakdown and one of my close friends put it all into perspective for me. Don`t ever feel you need to explain yourself about the decisions you make as a mum, not everyone will understand the time and dedication it takes to BF your baby. Not everyone will understand you are their lifeline, their food supply for an entire year or more depending on how long you BF for. When you decide to be a parent giving up some of your social life (ok, most…ok all of it…) is just part of the deal, and BF’ing is only the beginning.

These were just a few of the experiences I had as a nursing mum that have stuck out for me. I`m sure I could write pages and pages of what it`s been like over the last year. There were definitely day’s and sleepless nights, (oh those infamous growth spurts!) that I thought forget it, this is so hard, it’s not fair that I have wake up every hour while Jon gets to sleep soundly. But I never, ever have regretted my choice. I have been happily nursing Aud for the last 10 months with no plans of weaning her anytime soon. I chose not to write about any facts, or stats about nursing because I don’t want to be a pusher for it. There are pro’s and con’s for both formula and BF’ing so talk to your doctor, talk to your mum friends, and try to decide what is best for you and your family.

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I hate to break it to ya…

When Jon and I found out we were pregnant it was a day of mixed emotion. Although we were over the moon about having a little baby boy or girl, a million questions ran through my head. Are we ready? Do we need to get married? Can we really raise a child at this point in our lives? Am I ready to have a baby? I did always know I wanted to be a mom, I did always know that one day I would have a big family and since meeting Jon almost 5 years ago I knew it would be with him. But like any relationship we had our ups and downs. Little did I know the 9ish months I would be growing our little baby girl in my belly would be the same year Jon and I went through some of the hardest part of our relationship.

I thought that we would be the happiest couple in the world and that we would be in total bliss while I was pregnant. Yes, we were so excited to have her, and yes we knew this was what we wanted but for some reason I felt alone, I felt like he didn’t share the same emotions as I did, that he didn’t understand what I was going through, how I felt. Notice the word “I.” Of course I was being selfish in my feelings, why wouldn’t I be. I was the one who was pregnant, I was the one who had to worry about perfectly growing our little girl, not him. He didn’t get it. Come on, I can’t be the only one who felt this way.

My pregnancy was pretty textbook, morning sickness, back aches, headaches, moody, crampy, tired, up, down, up, down. My relationship was suffering; we weren’t talking much or really spending any time together, supporting each other. We were together but not present for each other. We were fighting more than ever, I would of rather snuggled with my Snoogle pillow then him and he slept on the couch almost every night towards the end of our pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, there were days where all I wanted to do was be with him, talk to him, let him know I love him, but I didn’t. I didn’t think I had too. I assumed that he knew how I was feeling, that he knew I was a huge, and I mean huge, ball of mixed emotion. Can’t every boyfriend read minds?

The last month of my pregnancy we were getting better, we were both getting so excited to meet our little girl that all we could talk about was what it will be like when was here, what she would be like, who she would look like. Then the time came. On October 7, 2011 at 9:38 p.m. Audrina had arrived! She was beautiful, just perfect. We both were filled with so much love and emotion, I really can’t explain the feeling. She was here and it was perfect. My little family.

This last year I’m not going to say was perfect, our relationship definitely had its up’s and down. In the 5 years we have been together I think we have been through what a couple would go through in a life time, but we are still here. We are still together. And now more than ever we are present for each other. I don’t want to say it was Audrina that helped our relationship, because it was a variety of different things that have brought us closer, but she definitely helped us realize that our family is the most important thing in our lives and being happy together for her and for us was just as important.

I wanted to write this because although pregnancy is an incredible gift,  it can be one of the most challenging events a couple will go through. So my advice to anyone who is going through what I went through is don’t give up, try to see the light at the end of the tunnel and when you do run or waddle towards it. Talk to your spouse more, cuddle with him instead of the amazing Snoogle pillow, remember that he is probably just as scared sh*tless as you, and ladies don’t ever assume that he is a mind reader because I hate to break it to you, NONE of them are.

For valuable tips and resources from pregnancy and beyond visit www.thebabyandchild.com

 

 

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