Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why do we put so much pressure on each other?

Moms out there, band together, and let's all stop putting so much darn pressure on each other! Last week, I was at one of my many different Baby/Mom activities and some of the other Moms there gave me a hard time for not doing co-sleeping. They spent time actually trying to guilt me into believing that Love Bug was better of in our bed and that I was traumatizing her for putting her by herself in dark room.

Well, at the time I cowered and just talked around it, but now I'm P.O.ed. The Love Bug sleeps so much better (10 - 12 hours in fact) in her own room at night. When she slept in a bassinet beside our bed for the first 4 months, she tossed and turned and woke up when we made too much noise. Now, we check on her through the night, have a monitor, and she is still blissfully sleeping on her own. At times (like last night), she is worn out and I just put her down. She usually just talks to herself and falls asleep without even crying. Maybe I'm crazy, but that doesn't sound like a traumatized baby to me. She is happy, smiling all the time.

I don't know much, but I do know that we really treat each other badly sometimes. I support all Moms and try not to judge. I have decided to stay home, but I know a lot of my friends are better mothers when they're at work because they have the fulfillment of a career also. I breastfeed, but I feel for mothers who have to supplement and have problems, and I support mothers who use formula if breastfeeding is not for them. I would, no doubt, encourage a friend who wasn't sure about breastfeeding, but I hope she wouldn't see it as pressure. The moment she expressed a desire to just move to formula, I would never bring it up again. It's hard enough to be a parent without the guilt that others put on you. And I would certainly never judge another parent for their choice in how to have their child sleep, as long as it's safe.

So, let's do it. Help each other... support each other.... we have enough to worry about without pointing out to each other what we could do better. So there!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Happiness is...

... tiny socks kicked off while playing

... bottles lined-up, drying on the counter

... cooing and babbling heard over the monitor first thing in the morning; the most beautiful "wake-up call" you've ever heard

... finding a pacifier in your purse during a night out with the girls

... using the baby lotion on your own hands, so you can smell like your baby

... a big, toothless grin; a smile that lights up the room and makes you feel like a rock star!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter... and other family updates

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter... we are great here, in the land of ABC!

Our porch with all the planted window boxes (if you look really closely!)

One window box, just as an example...

It was great to be able to plant flowers this week in time for Easter. Now, we'll clean the porch off and we can start eating out there. And it's perfect timing with the Bug starting solids in a few weeks. We'll just cart the high chair outside so we all can eat and enjoy the fresh air. She is already 16.5 pounds... so she is right on target to be double her birth weight by the time she is 6 months old at the beginning of May. All on breast milk... no supplements, etc. which makes me pretty proud of us. It hasn't always been easy (especially since I have my usual "one last mid-April cold, and can't take medicine... uh!), but we did it. I know so many people who have had to supplement with formula. The plan is to slowly reduce the number of nursing sessions each day, as we add solids. We'll see when Love Bug weans, but right now I hope she'll start to do it on her own around a year old. If she can start asking for milk in complete sentences... we might move to forced weaning... let's hope it doesn't get there!
Sleep training is still... non-existent really, in a good way. She has never cried more than a few minutes when we put her down. And most days, she just coos and talks to herself before drifting off... it's wonderful and such a blessing to a wimpy Mom like me.
But like I said before, for all the Bug's sweet disposition, I know I'll be paid back double with the next baby... but that's okay. She/He will be darling and worth it all. That's the biggest lesson you learn with children, they are worth everything you do for them, and then some.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Baby Gear... here we go!

Okay, so I can't think of many "Don't Needs"... in fact, none. B tried to help me, but we got nothin'. So, instead, I'm listing all the items we've found useful from bigger/major gear down to smaller gear. I'll use this rating scale for how important each thing can be for you:
Vital- the only way you will survive the first 6 - 8 weeks!
Important- we use it everyday!
Useful- 'nuf said...
Necessary Evil- maybe expensive, silly (or both)

Stroller/Car seat combo
These are called "Travel Systems" and they really do make your life easier. I know, I know... they look huge and bulky- but they don't have to be at all. We have one from, the DX, which is one of the lightest on the market, and is, by far, the smallest. It won't carry tons of stuff... but "it's a stroller, not a car". Repeat that phrase whenever you feel yourself heading towards one of those huge, ridiculous strollers. In fact, we get so many compliments on how small it folds, and how light it is. It actually tri-folds and comes with a carrying strap, so we can carry it on our back when we encounter unexpected obstacles and need to carry the Bug in our arms.
Important- we use it everyday!

We have both, but if you're on a budget, you can get by with just one. There is a catch though... you won't know which one until your baby is born and living with you awhile. The Love Bug is definitely a Bouncy Seat girl, but also likes a swing from time to time. But I have many friends who swear by either one or the other. And from what my friends say, in a general "everything changes with your second baby" theme, if it's your second baby, they'll like whatever your first baby didn't and vice versa.
Vital- the only way you will survive the first 6 - 8 weeks!

Baby Carrier
Trust me, you don't always want to deal with a stroller. In Paris, the land of a million stairs, this is an easy way to get from A to B.
Useful- 'nuf said...

Baby Gyms
Love Bug loves to be in her gym. She'll usually kick or bat the toys and watch the lights and listen to the music until she falls asleep. We also have a wonderful "Tummy time" type gym called the Spin & Explore Garden Gym from La.maze. Babies don't generally love "Tummy time" so it's nice to have a toy that encourages it.
Important- we use it everyday!

Nursing Pillow...
I didn't actually use it much for nursing, but I do use it a lot. The Love Bug loves to sit inside it, and it helps her stay sitting upright without me having to run over and put her upright again every time she falls over.

Useful- 'nuf said...

Bottle Warmer/Wipes Warmer...
We got a bottle warmer that not only warms bottles, but baby food jars as well (from Av.ent). B likes it since he uses it most of the time, to warm up the bottles of pumped milk. It works quickly and is safer than the microwave. The wipe warmer was great for the first few weeks home especially. The Love Bug hates being cold and this helps with chilly diaper changes.
Necessary Evil- maybe expensive, silly (or both)

I'll add more things to another post as I think of them or as I get them. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Loving the New Sleep Pattern/Baby Gear Preview

It is so nice to have the Love Bug just go to bed without the fanfare. We're now on night 6 of putting her to bed when it's bedtime, whether she's asleep or not. B & I have experienced a range of no crying/asleep in seconds, up to crying for about 10 minutes. But even the 10 minutes wasn't consistent... the longest consistent crying we've had is about 5 minutes. The few minutes we've had to let her cry are hard, but I just remind myself that we are so blessed and lucky that it is only a few minutes. Many parents who attempt this are at it for 20 minutes or more. Good thing it's not me; I'm such a wimp that Love Bug would never be sleep trained. In fact, I'm such a wimp, that if Love Bug was not such a easy-going little thing, I would probably have her rocked to sleep, in bed with us, until she was 16.

We had some friends over last night who are 3 months pregnant. Well, she is technically pregnant, but I know some people get insulted when the couple isn't jointly referred to as pregnant. To those people, talk to me about you both being "pregnant" after your body's 9-month science experiment, the joy of giving birth/c-section, and swollen, leaky breastfeeding breasts. Trust me, in our house, "I" was pregnant and my sweet husband B & I were jointly "expecting". Anyway, the parents-to-be watched in awe as Love Bug cooed and smiled all night, giggled during her bath, played in her baby gym while we ate dinner, and then went to bed with just a few minutes of light crying before falling asleep. I hope for them, and for many of my friends, to be so blessed with such an easy-going baby.

I also got to coach her up on what baby gear I love and what I found silly. It made me realize that I have a few pregnant friends who read this as well, so I'm going to probably post a few new pictures this week and then hopefully, by the end of the week, have my "Baby Gear Must-Have and Don't-Need List" up for you all to read too. When buying, I would ask a lot of new Moms and Dads for advice, and read the comments/check the ratings on the merchant websites. Also, keep your advisor in mind. When it comes to strollers, listen to me if you live in a very urban environment. When it comes to furniture and gear, listen to me if you live in a city apartment and don't have tons of room. If you live in a big house, with a big yard, and drive all over, then find a Mom/Dad with your lifestyle and see what works best for them!