Breastfeeding Continued

Nursing Aversion and Self-Weaning

15194530_700964844452_1314285736540861484_oFor me nursing was an amazing experience. If you read my previous posts about nursing, you know how truly special it is for me. Since I started nursing Maddox more than three ears ago, I have had only a few months between Maddox and Marlow when I was not nursing.  Even so, I have experienced something that many others have as well, and I wanted to tell you about it so that you know it doesn’t have to spoil it for you.

While Maddox was still nursing full time, I experienced nursing aversion. This term describes a period or phase when nursing can seem really annoying. For me, it was an overwhelming feeling of not wanting to be touched at all. By anyone! When it was time to nurse I felt instantly annoyed (for absolutely no reason) and had this feeling like my skin was crawling. It was a terrible feeling! For me, it only lasted for a few weeks off and on. It wasn’t ever time I nursed. It was maybe every 3rd or 4th nursing session. It was extremely frustrating for me.

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Britax B-Ready Stroller

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When I was pregnant with my first, Maddox, we started asking everyone we knew with kids what brand they recommended for car seats. After dozens of recommendations and tons of research we decided to go with Britax. We originally bought their travel system which came with the B-Safe infant seat and B-Agile stroller. This set was absolutely perfect for us at the time. We continued to use this set when Marlow was born but quickly realized we need a double stroller as well.

I knew I did not want one of those side-by-side double strollers because I felt like they were too big to actually take to the places we often went. And I knew I wanted one that could convert between two seats and one seat, depending on what i needed.

The Britax B-Ready was perfect! Had I known what I know now I probably would have just started with the B-ready stroller. However, at the time we only had one kid so I wasn’t even looking at double stroller options. Why do I love the Britax B-Ready? Here’s my top reasons:

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Baby Shoes

When Maddox was a baby I had no idea how important baby shoes were, more specicifically, good fitting flexible shoes that support them learning to walk. We went out and bought Josh’s favorite shoes, baby versions of adult athletic shoes. We had no idea that the fact that the soles were so clunky and nonflexible was a bad thing. But first kids are the tester babies, right?! Kidding. Anyway, with Marlow I knew from the start I wanted to find shoes that would encourage her learning to walk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendations  to help you find shoes that are helpful and not harmful as your baby learns to walk. The AAP gives three specific tips to follow when shopping for your baby’s first pair of shoes:

  1. Shoes should be lightweight and flexible to support natural foot movement.
  2. Shoes should be made of leather or mesh to allow your baby’s feet to breathe comfortably.
  3. Shoes should have rubber soles for traction to prevent slipping or sliding.

So I did some research and I found a few brands that I liked, but Livie and Luca really stood out. Not only do their shoes fit all the guidelines above, the quality of the shoes is amazing, and I found so many that were super cute.

Livie and Luca’s baby shoes were the prefect “first” shoe! They are incredibly soft and flexible! Since Marlow had never worn shoes up until that time,  I wasn’t sure if she was going to find these uncomfortable or not. The second I put them on her feet, she took off around the living room as though she wasn’t even wearing them. Marlow has very wide, chunky feet and so far these fit perfectly! They have a really wide base with lots of toe room and they are so easy to put on! They are also really light weight (totally unlike the first pair we put on Maddox)!  And most importantly, they are SUPER cute!

Go check out their adorable shoes and use the code: KIRAMARIE to get 15% off your order!

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Baby Led Weaning

IMG_6807 When Maddox was young and it was time to introduce him to solid food, we started him on purées. I made all of his food and we introduced one new food at a time. Maddox loved baby food. I couldn’t shovel it in fast enough for him. However, Marlow was a different story. I started the same way and made her purees. She would take maybe a bite or two and that was it. I quickly realized I was wasting a ton of food. Then Marlow went on an antibiotic that was really hard on her stomach and hard to get her to take so I had to hide it in her food. That’s when her eating habits really changed. She went from eating a bite or two to complete refusal to eat anything I tried to give her. She would eat things that she could feed herself but didn’t trust me at all anymore. She was sure I was hiding medicine and about to force feed her ?. That’s when I decided to try baby led weaning.

“Baby-led weaning allows babies to control their solid food consumption by ‘self-feeding’ from the very beginning of their experiences with food. The term weaning should not be taken to imply giving up formula or breastmilk, but simply the introduction of foods other than formula or breastmilk.”

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Becoming a Stay at Home Mom

FullSizeRenderI never thought (or if I’m honest, even desired) to be a stay at home mom.

Growing up I always thought of myself as a an independent, take-charge, feminist, ready to stand up to any man and take on any challenge! I wanted to break glass ceilings and shatter stereotypes. All the women in my family worked full-time outside the home, and as far as I knew, they always had. (I didn’t realize at the time they had almost all stayed home when their kids were little.) So I just assumed that I would have a full-time job as well. Even when I got pregnant with my son, Maddox, I fully planned to return to teaching after a short maternity leave.

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One Big Happy Wonderland!

My family has always loved Christmas! A time to give, love and celebrate family. One of my favorite Christmas memories, although it drove me crazy at the time, was from Christmas morning when my mom would make the entire family wait on the stairs while she took a family photo before we could go down and start opening presents. As a kid, I swore it took her 3 1/2 hours to take the picture! It was like she was torturing us! Haha! But the waiting and anticipation somehow made the present opening even more exciting!
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A few years ago my mom started a new tradition of matching family pajamas! At the time, once again, I thought she was crazy. Then, when I had my own kids, I totally understood and I’ve carried on the tradition with my own family. Every year we pick a new set of fun holiday pajamas. Even though Josh whines every year, I KNOW he secretly loves his pajamas! This year I let Maddox help me pick our matching pajamas and he chose these adorable holiday bear pjs from Gymboree! For 10 days, from December 1 – December 10, across stores nationwide, Gymboree is helping customers add wonder to the season by gifting them with a holiday memory in the making. When customers visit the store, they’ll give them a scratcher at checkout. The scratcher might inspire family game night with a Mattel Prize Pack of Uno, Apples to Apples and Pictionary plus $50 to for Gymmies to outfit the evening! Or perhaps, a gift basket of Mrs. Fields Cookies – sweet treats for Santa! Or, a mid-holiday shopping trip treat with a Free Auntie Anne’s Classic Pretzel. Two lucky customers will be treated to their next holiday vacation, with a Club Med all-inclusive family vacation. Every scratcher will reveal a special surprise, One Big Happy Wonderland!
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What are some of your favorite or most memorable family traditions? Every year we add new ones. Be sure to visit a Gymboree store near you (between 12/1/16 – 12/10/16) to outfit your favorite holiday moments and pick up a scratcher for a chance to add more wonder to the season!
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Nursing in Public

If you are nursing your baby, what do you do when you are out and about?  Do you try to find somewhere private? Do you use a cover? Or do you just nurse and not worry about it?  I do a mix of all three.

With Maddox, more often than not, I went somewhere private to nurse him. I completely support a woman’s right to nurse her baby anywhere! However, as a first time mom, I wasn’t as comfortable nursing in public all the time. There were many times I nursed Maddox in the bathroom. And I have to admit I hated it. I felt so isolated, left out, and dirty (public bathrooms are so gross)! Trying to nurse a new baby while not touching anything is incredibly hard! When Marlow was born I was tired of going to the bathroom to nurse. While I have done it on rare occasions, I decided I was tired of leaving dinner, missing conversations and searching for nursing room while shopping.

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Post Baby Body

Marlow is almost 4 months old! I can’t believe how fast it has gone by! I’ve had a few new moms ask about weight loss after baby and I wanted to do a quick post. To be honest I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost. When I came home from the hospital I jumped on the scale and discovered the batteries had died. So I decided I wouldn’t replace them and I would just go by how my clothes fit.

The main reason I don’t stress about weight loss is because I’m nursing. I know the weight will eventually come off and I don’t want to restrict any food and risk my supply going down. So instead I buy a comfy pair of jeans, a few nursing tank tops (usually black, white and nude), and tops to layer over my tank top. Side note- I find wearing a nursing tank top with a shirt over it is the easiest way to nurse when we are out and about. I can discreetly and easily nurse whenever I need. I like nursing tanks that are soft but supportive (so I don’t need to wear a bra). After Maddox, it took me almost a year to fit back into my pre baby clothes. Full disclosure- If I don’t leave the house I stay in yoga pants and a nursing tank top ALL DAY! ? When I’m feeling fancy I throw on a little make-up… Nope… That was a lie… I throw on big sunglasses so no one can tell.

So I basically bought a few set staples:
– Dark blue jeans
– Black jeans
– Black yoga pants (these high waist ones from Target are awesome)
– Nursing tank tops (From Bravado)
– A lose fitting, soft t-shirt
– A long cardigan (to hide fun new post baby belly and long enough to cover my thighs because they got HUGE.
Here’s an example of what I normally wear day to day.

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Attachment Parenting

I’ve had many people ask me about my parenting style, mainly my attachment parenting. I’ve tried to write a post about it many times and each time I’ve stopped and started over. There are so many different parenting styles, and we each have to do what works best for us, for each baby, and for our family. Keep in mind that I am currently able to be a stay-at-home mom, and your circumstance may be very different. I’m hoping to convey my feelings without sounding prejudiced against those who parent differently.

What works best for my family falls in line with attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is defined as: a parenting philosophy that proposes methods which aim to promote the attachment of mother and infant not only by maximal maternal empathy and responsiveness but also by continuous bodily closeness and touch.

To me this means skin-to-skin contact as much as possible (especially in the early days), baby wearing, breastfeeding, responding to all my babies cries, co-sleeping, and gentle parenting. Some of these are self explanatory but I wanted to talk about how I respond to their cries. I’ve always thought of crying as the only way babies can communicate their needs and wants. I believe whole heartedly that babies cry for a reason. I’ve never thought of their crying as manipulative or deceptive. It’s their only way to tell you what they need, whether it be hunger, dirty diaper, pain or just needing comfort. I also felt that by ignoring their cries, I would be telling them their voice doesn’t matter. That their one way of telling me what they need doesn’t work.

For this reason, we’ve never considered using the Cry it Out method or sleep training. It’s important to add that neither of my babies have had any medical concerns such as colic that would cause excessive crying.

So when Maddox or Marlow cry, Josh and I comfort them. Sometimes that means picking them up, talking to them, singing, moving to a new environment, distracting with toys, but mainly just keeping them close so we can respond quickly. For example, here’s what we would do when Maddox or Marlow would wake up crying. When they were tiny babies, we always picked them up immediately and softly talked to them to comfort them (i.e. “It’s ok. Shh. I’m here”). As they got older (maybe 4-6months), we didn’t pick them immediately. We cuddle next to them, pat their backs, and talk to them using the same language we did before to reassure them and comfort them. Our goal was for them to open their eyes and realize we were right there and they were ok.

We want to provide constant, consistent nurturing and comforting, and the way we do that changes as they mature. With Maddox, we have gone from immediate comfort when he was an infant, to verbal comfort as a pre-toddler, to encouraging him to “use his words” to express his distress, as he became verbal. Now I see an independent almost-three-year-old who seldom needs the sort of comfort I now offer Marlow, but who still gets our full attention when he does need it. And one of the most amazing things, since Marlow was born, I’ve also noticed Maddox offering comfort to Marlow in the same way that we did to him!

My thought behind always comforting them is that they know we are always there and they are safe, comforted, and reassured. This is what has worked best for my children and my family so far. I would love to hear what has worked for you. We do not all parent the same, but we all want the same thing — happy, healthy, well adjusted children.

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Quick Tip: Diaper Rash

The antibiotics Marlow has been on for her UTI has caused really bad diaper rashes! I picked up a few quick tips that really helped that I wanted to share.

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  1. Rinse wipes before using them. You don’t have to rinse every wipe but I did this about half the time. Even though I use pampers sensitive wipes they still have some disinfecting chemicals that can further irritate diaper rash.
  2. Use a hair dryer to completely dry everything! Turn the hairdryer on low and cool settings.
  3. Triple Paste diaper cream! It’s the BEST. Use tons of it!
  4. Diaper free time. Letting their bottom really air dry can be huge help! It’s not easy to do but I bought doggy pee pads at the store and I would lay them down on the floor and her play mat for her to sit/lay on to play. Much easier to clean up a mess that way!
  5. Frequent Diaper Changes: I literally change Marlow’s diaper as soon as she goes (sometimes before she’s actually done..whoops)!

*Side note with antibiotics: Ask your pediatrician if you can give your child probiotic! I give Marlow half a pack of Florastor of Kids twice a day. It comes in a powder form so I mix it with 2oz of water and give it with a medicine dropper. Probiotics are good for so many reasons but they are especially important when taking antibiotics.

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