Posted in Newborn, Parenting

Confused

Dear Amélie,

I know that you have spent the better part of your existence inside the womb and that the outside can be confusing, so allow me to give you a few pointers on how things work out here.

  • When I swaddle you, it’s not for you to attempt Houdini-like escapes only to get pissed off when you’re unsuccessful (which, admittedly, doesn’t happen very often).  In fact, it’s to help contain your Moro reflex so that you (and I) can sleep.
  • Speaking of sleep, being rocked isn’t supposed to be an overstimulating activity that keeps you awake and a brightly lit living room with a toddler screaming (from joy or anger) and running around isn’t supposed to be conductive to sleep (though I’m certainly not going to complain that you manage to fall asleep in that environment).
  • Nursing time isn’t supposed to be guzzle-down-my-milk-ASAP-and-then-proceed-to-spit-up-and-have-the-hiccups-for-15-minutes.
  • When I put you up against my shoulder, it isn’t an invitation to work out you neck muscles.  It’s to burp you so that we might skip the spitting up part of your nursing routine.
  • Alternatively, the whole point of putting you on your tummy after diaper changes is 
  • By the way, you are allowed to poop in a wet diaper.  Seriously, you really don’t have to wait until the moment where I have just finished swaddling you after changing your diaper to poop.
  • I don’t mind that you prefer to sleep on your side or tummy and am happy to indulge your preferences during your daytime naps because I can keep an eye on you, but during the night, I would really, really like it if you could stay on your back.

There, I hope that clears up a few things for you.

Love you to bits,

Mama

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Parenting

Moving Away From Disposables: Washable Baby Wipes!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that we started our cloth diapering journey when Charles was about a month old.  A little over four months later, we’re still happily using cloth and have a good enough stash to make it all the way to potty training day with our son.

Now, a while back, I started thinking “well this is silly, I’m using washable diapers but still paying for disposable wipes” and so, just as we were starting to run out of the wipes, I started researching homemade wipe recipes.  I figured that if there were washable diapers, there most certainly was a possibility for washable wipes as well.

After some research and experimentation, here is what I came up with.

Homemade washable baby wipes

What you need (recipe for a 4cup container):

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tps of vegetable oil (I use olive oil, but you could use what ever you have on hand)
  • a couple of drops of castile soap (I used to use Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby soap, but now use the tea tree oil soap because of the oil’s natural anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties – plus it adds a great smell!)
  • some washcloths (you could use cut up burping cloths or any soft type of fabric)
  • a plastic container (I use a 4 cup Ziploc container)

Instructions (you’ve probably figured these out already, but I’m going to go ahead and post them anyways)

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1. Gather your ingredients (duh)
Fill your container up with 2 cups of water.  Add the vegetable oil and the castile soap.
2.  Fill your container up with 2 cups of water. Add the vegetable oil and the castile soap.
Give the mixture a good shake (don't forget to put the lid on first :P ).
3.  Give the mixture a good shake (don’t forget to put the lid on first 😛 ).
Stuff your washcloths in the container and voilà!  You have some handy homemade pre-soaked (inexpensive) baby wipes!
4.  Stuff your washcloths in the container and voilà! You have some handy homemade pre-soaked (inexpensive) baby wipes!
You can also keep some of the mixture in a squirt bottle, just give it a shake before using and squirt onto a dry washcloth.  We use the squirt bottle for wet diaper changes and the pre-soaked wipes for dirty diapers.
You can also keep some of the mixture in a squirt bottle, just give it a shake before using and squirt onto a dry washcloth. We use the squirt bottle for wet diaper changes and the pre-soaked wipes for dirty diapers.

We LOVE these!  They just go in the wet bag with my son’s diapers and are washed with them.  We actually had to use some disposable wipes the other day (because I hadn’t made a fresh batch of wipes ) and were reminded of how much we loathed them!

What kind of wipes do you use?  Do you have a great DIY wipe recipe?

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Parenting

Where’s the Pause Button?

One year ago today, I learned that I was pregnant and was trying to find a clever way to announce it to my boyfriend after nearly 18 months of trying to conceive.  Of course, my method was so clever that I had to repeat my announcement three times before he finally understood.

Much has changed in one short year.  Besides moving out of our apartment and into our home I also went through my first pregnancy (with all of its ups and downs – though, admittedly, there were more ups than downs) and gave birth to my (almost always) wonderful son, that is when he’s not going through a wonder week and then turns into Crankymonster.

Only two short days ago, my son officially turned four months old!  Even as I write these words, I am wondering where the time has passed because I sure don’t feel like I’ve had him for four months!  It’s amazing, really, how warped time can feel.

A few stats in honor of his four months of life:

  • Current weight: About 16.4 lbs (7.46kg) – an 8.5 lb (3.88kg) gain from birth!  The little chunkster has already doubled his birth weight!
  • Current length: 65.5 cm (25.8 in.) – a 14.7 cm (5.8 in) gain from birth.  Roughly 1/3 of this gain happened in the last two months!  Yup, growth spurts do exist it seems!
  • Current number of photographs I have of him on my computer: 607 (and that’s without counting those that I deleted!)  Woah!  That’s an average of about 5 photos per day.

And boy has he changed!  On all levels!  He can now smile, sit with minimal support, suck on his thumb, grab his feet, laugh, coo (making more complex sounds), exasperate his parents, lift his head and chest off the ground while on his tummy, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some of his skills.

As for the physical changes, well, see for yourself…

 

2 days old.
2 days old.
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1 month old.
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2 months old.
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3 months old.
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4 months old.

Is is just me, or are his cheeks getting progressively bigger as the months go by?

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Toddler

Let’s not Forget the Daddies!

As I was scrolling through the babycenter posts this morning, I came across a thread that was written by one of the few fathers that are around on the community.

Gamerdadc writes:

I’m a first time dad. [My wife] and I worked for over 8 years for our little [daughter] and we couldn’t be happier. However, as a parent that does a ton of googling and research on our parenting decisions, I’m so frustrated that everything is marketed and angled to moms.

It’s almost like we’re still in the 50s and the kids are the mom’s problem, cause [insert sarcastic tone] gosh darnit us menfolk have to work! [\tone]

I’d be a stay at home dad if I could. As it is, I’m thrilled that [my wife] can fill the [stay at home] parental role, but it kills me to leave them every day. Not that I need recognition or anything, I’m not looking for validation, I’d just like more parental blogs and advertisements to realize that it’s not just moms running to Babies “R” Us every few days to get a different tether because [their son or daughter] seemed a bit frustrated with [their] normal one last night. It’s not just moms that cuddle the baby to sleep.

Grr ok rant over.

I honestly had never given this much thought, but he is totally right!  Fathers are playing a more active roll in the lives of their children than was the case half a century ago.  It isn’t true, despite what you might think by reading through parenting forums, that all husbands/boyfiends are worthless with kids and don’t do anything other than work and play some video games once they’re home.  Some, may just not be given a chance to help out.

Earlier today, I decided to do a quick wordpress search.  I used “parenting” as a search term.  Out of the first 25 blog posts that concerned parenting, 20 were written by mothers, 4 by fathers and 1 by a couple.  Then, I went and surfed on the web a bit.  The vast majority of pictures portraying babies, are of the child and his or her mother or of the two parents (um…ok, so dads don’t spend time alone with their little ones?).  I also found three contests geared exclusively towards mothers.  One of them was: win diapers for a year!  (Oh wait, what?  Why is it that only mothers can enter this contest?  Don’t daddies change diapers too?).  Some contests were geared towards a parent or guardian, but none towards solely dads.

Then, as I was googling Baby Einstein to motivate my son into doing tummy time (more on that in another post), I came across an article that I found to capture the spirit of what Gamerdadc was mentioning in his post.  It’s called Parenting Advice: What Moms Should Learn From Dads.

Here are couple of excerpts that struck a cord:

My mother used to tell my father that he was a very good mother.  […]  In those days, “good mother” was the highest domestic achievement; to have called him a good father, given how low the bar was set, wouldn’t have done him justice.

The typical father spends about seven hours per week in “primary child care,” which doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize it’s more than twice as much as in 1965.

We talk about fathers like puppies tripping over their big paws, a portrait long mirrored in a culture in which Father Knows Least, from Fred Flintstone to Homer Simpson.

I write this as one who always knew that my husband would be the better parent of the two of us, able to slide, with joy and mischief, into our children’s world rather than drag them prematurely into ours.

It is a really interesting read and I highly suggest you read it.  Reading it, reminded me to which point my partner, was an awesome dad.  He is much calmer around our son when he is cranky, does the whole bedtime routine, usually knows what to do when I’m at wits end, plays with him on his days off so that I can sleep in, changes diapers AND kicks me out of the house for three hours once a week so that I can have some time to myself and he can spend some time alone with the baby.  I realized that even though he may not do everything exactly as I do them, he still does everything great!  I mean, we keep talking about motherly instincts and how sometimes, fathers are clueless.  But I think we should start to see that fatherly instincts exist and that we have to accept that our partners will do things differently.

We have come a long way from the 50s, but there is still a ways to go.  I’m lucky enough to live in a province that allows me to be on paid maternity leave for up to a year.  Fathers can get from 3 to 5 weeks off (depending on the length of the mom’s leave) of paid parental leave.  Plus, if the mother cannot or chooses not to take a whole year off, the dad can stay at home to finish the parental leave!  But despite all this, fathers are still frowned upon when taking the weeks they are entitled to because just 30 years  ago, when the bosses became fathers, they didn’t even have a day off when their wives gave birth.

Definitely food for thought.

Speaking of which, what are your thoughts on the subject?

Posted in Infant, Newborn

Sooooo cool! I’m definitely doing this for my little guy! Going to look great in his scrapbook too!

Diz Scoop

 

DID YOU KNOW?!?  You can send Disney a birth announcement of your new baby and you will receive a Happy Birthday Response back from them.  You can send it to California or Florida.  Below are the addresses:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Walt Disney World
1675 N Buena Vista Dr
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
– or –
Mickey and Minnie Mouse
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, California 91521

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Posted in Infant, Newborn, Product Reviews

Baby Product Review #3: The Kissy Booboo Teddy Bear

You’ve heard of magic bags right?  You know, those things that you can stick into the microwave to warm up and then use on aches and pains.  Well the kissy booboo teddy bear is just that, but for babies.

The company was first started in 2005, but the work that went into it began in 1997, when the president of the company gave birth to her child.  Her story is an inspirational one.  Her daughter was born with neurological problems and digestive system problems which required her to undergo surgery.  She was in pain and her mother was determined to help her daughter find relief from it.  Looking into natural pain-relief, she found a cereal mix that she stuffed inside of a teddy bear shaped sac.  The kissy booboo teddy bear was born.

I’ve used this product on my son a few times, especially when he is grunting and crying through tummy pain caused by gas.  It has really helped him as it provides both heat and slight pressure that seems to relieve his discomfort.

At under 20$, it is fairly inexpensive and can be used both as a cool pack and a warm pack.  The sac has a cute teddy bear shape that is small enough to fit over a baby’s tummy and the bear comes with its own swaddle blanket (so cute!).

Oh!  For those of you who, like me, don’t own a microwave oven the good news is that you don’t need to buy one just to use this product!  Though it takes a bit longer, you can warm it up in the oven too.  Just start your oven at 350 F, once it is at the correct temperature, turn off your oven and put the teddy bear (don’t forget to cut off the tags) in the oven for 3-4 minutes.  It will be just the right temperature and will stay warm for a while.

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There is my son showing off his teddy bear. Don’t mind the scratch on his forehead, those darned baby nails just keep growing and growing…

Posted in Infant, Newborn

Toys are Overrated

Or at least, that’s what my son would tell you were he able to talk.  It’s crazy how many toys newborns get from their love-stricken grandparents.  But, the fact is, they don’t really care for them.  My son is a prime example.  Though he still loves his piano gym, he has now taken to inventing new games.

1. Lickety lick: This one started off innocently enough.  One day he discovered that he could put his hands in his mouth and was thrilled.  But as the days went by, he realized that he didn’t have to limit himself to his hands.  Oh no!  Now he licks everything he can get his hands and mouth on.  This includes articles of clothing such as our shirts, his sleeves and his swaddle blanket.  It also includes our arms, his stuffed animals and his Boppy pillow.  Of course, nothing is funner after sucking on one’s hands than rubbing said hands all over one’s face.  He must like the wet-faced look.

2.  Hello mommy: This one, he started a few days ago.  He doesn’t do it every time, but boy does he find himself amusing when he does.  It always starts off as a normal nursing session.  He’ll drink to satisfy his immediate hunger and then (generally after about five minutes) the game starts.  It goes something like this: suck suck suck, latch off, turn head, smile at mommy, latch on, suck suck suck, latch off, turn head, smile at mommy, latch on…

3.  The great Houdini:  This last game was invented this morning.  Essentially I would swaddle him.  Then I would hear him grunt and coo.  After a while I would hear him fuss.  As he fussed more and more insistently, I went back into his room.  He would greet me with a smile and one or both arms out of his swaddle.  He would only stop fussing when I swaddled him back up so that he could escape again. We played this game for about 90 minutes.  Now, I know it seems very cute and all and I probably would have found it cute had he not decided that this game should be played at 3 am!

I guess it’s all fair game though as he pretty much hates the game I make him play time and time again (tummy time).  However, today, I actually got a smile!

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Posted in Infant, Newborn

Going Out for a Stroll With my Baby Boy.

Finally!  It has stopped being 25 below over here.  Yesterday, it was a comfy -4 with no wind.  I decided it was a GREAT time to go outside and take a walk with my son.  Or rather, I’d be doing the walking, he’d just enjoy being carried by his mommy.  It had snowed in the morning so I knew that it would be hell to push the stroller through the streets (not to mention that I would have to go downstairs, get the stroller out of the garage and lug it up the stairs because our garage door opener doesn’t work) so I decided to use the baby carrier.

My boyfriend and I invested in the Mamas & Papas Morph baby carrier whilst I was still pregnant.  Now, I know that the hardened babywearers would cringe at the thought of putting a baby in this, but I bought it before even knowing about babywearing.  Their argument is that this type of carrier, which they call a “crotch dangler” because in essence the baby’s weight is supported by his crotch, can cause hip problems.  However, since no studies have linked “crotch danglers” to hip problems, since he’s not in it 24/7  (he’s not even in it every day) and since I like it for it’s practical nature, well, I’m keeping it and using it.  So there.

Anyways…I started by getting dressed to go outside and then attached the harness over my coat to my upper body.  It took mere seconds to put on as I had previously adjusted the straps.  I then proceeded to stuff (yes, I said “stuff”) my son in the cute snowsuit that a friend lent me before strapping him into the carrying pod.  Then I put on his cute tuque that had just come in from an order I had placed with Zulily and we were good to go!  Well, almost.  In my haste, I had forgotten to put on my boots which, with a baby strapped in on my upper body, was an act that even the most seasoned contortionist would be proud of.

I had already planned on going only for a short walk because I just wanted to try out the carrier.  I wanted to see how it felt and wanted to see how my son would react in it.  Well, within five minutes my son was snoozing away (which, quite frankly, amazed me as I was sure he would freak out seeing as he was facing inwards – towards my chest).  After fifteen minutes, my lower back was starting to hurt – reminding me of how I felt at the tail end of my pregnancy – and so, I decided to head back home.  (Note to self: readjust the harness to see if a few minor adjustments can help).

When I got home, I got the sleeping baby-filled pod out of the harness and set the 15 pound package on the kitchen table.  I then proceeded to open the pod (baby’s still sleeping), unzip the snowsuit (baby’s still sleeping), take off my son’s tuque (baby’s still sleeping), get my son out of the snowsuit (baby’s still sleeping) and bring him to his room so that he can finish his nap in his crib.  Of course, as soon as he hit the mattress he woke up and would not be coaxed back to sleep.  Oh well…

Overall, I was pretty happy.  My little excursion outside re-energized me and taught me a few things:

  1. I love baby carriers and would really love to try out other forms of babywearing.
  2. My son is waaaaay to big for his snowsuit; I will have to go out and buy another one (for the record, he fit just fine in it the last time I put it on him two weeks ago).
  3. I am badly out of shape.
This is what my son looked like when we got back from our walk.  I did all the work and he's the one sleeping.  Sheesh!  ;)
This is what my son looked like when we got back from our walk. I did all the work and he’s the one sleeping. Sheesh! 😉