If you nurse, it will probably happen to you: You’re out and about and you THOUGHT your baby was fine, but…uh oh, he or she is doing that telltale “Eh, eh, eh” cry. Baby is hungry, you don’t have a bottle, and there are a thousand people around you! But how will they react to you stepping aside for a moment to feed your impatient child? If you’re like me, every horror story you’ve ever heard on the internet will come roaring back to you and you will grit your teeth until you have a headache and declare that staying at home until your child is weaned is the best course of action.
Nursing in public isn’t too bad once you get used to it. At a restaurant you can curl up all cozy in a booth, at a park you can sit on a bench, using jackets to cover yourself and baby if you want. In many states, nursing in public is even protected by law.
Traveling, however, can be an entirely different beast. Every few months another story makes its rounds on the news about a mother getting kicked off of a train or airplane by stern employees who insist that nursing on a plane isn’t allowed, and then if you make the horrific mistake of reading the comments on those news stories you’ll see dozens of people saying ignorant things like, “Well she should have just pumped a bottle before she got on the 10 hour flight, why did she need to nurse on the plane?” It’s enough to make anyone want to second-guess nursing while traveling, but you will probably travel at some point while you nurse a child, and your body will not stop making milk just because you hopped on a bus with sixty other people.
Skin to skin contact with your new little family member is a beautiful way to start out your relationship with him or her. It not only helps to build a better bond with your child, but comes with a whole bundle of other benefits that help your child both emotionally and physically.
What Is Kangaroo Care?
The most basic explanation for kangaroo care is skin to skin contact with your little one. In the first couple hours after delivery it’s important to lay your new little one on your bare skin, letting them feel your warmth and hear or feel your heartbeat. It’s said this this helps form the family bond that both you and you child need. Best of all it isn’t something that only works with mommy. Daddies can bond with their newborns by using skin to skin contact as well. According to my spouse, it helped him feel more connected to our first child. He also felt more included in the care process rather than left out because he wasn’t mommy.
It could be you are about to have a hospital stay or go out of town. It could be that your nanny has never had the honor of working with cloth diapers and you need to prepare her to do it herself before your maternity leave is up. Whatever the reason it’s important to prepare those who will be caring for your little ones as their own to do so as you would.
One of the first things I did was help my caretaker understand how my snap diapers snapped together. I did this by having her fold and snap them after I had put them through the wash. I let her figure out how to fold them to make them smaller and place an insert in each before putting them away in the changing table. This gave her a chance to figure out how they assembled long before she needed to put them on my child. I showed her where the soiled diapers would be stored, and in case she needed to wash them, what detergent I used for them along with dryer and washer settings I prefer to wash them on.
My daughter loves being in the kitchen. Whenever my husband or I walk in there—even if it’s just to grab a glass of water—she charges in, climbs up on her learning tower platform and eagerly looks at the counter, waiting for the tasty things that often happen there. I love encouraging her love of cooking, measuring ingredients and eating them as well, but sometimes I just don’t want to cook. Or, it’s 9am and she just finished breakfast five minutes ago. This paint project is created and cooked in the kitchen, and is edible, though not recommended, just in case your little one sneaks a taste. And, honestly, they ALWAYS sneak a taste, don’t they?
Shortly before her second birthday, my daughter became intensely interested in using the potty. She followed us into the bathroom to watch us go. She started pulling at her diapers after she peed. She sat on her little plastic potty and read books. One day after watching my husband use the bathroom, she ran around naked pretending to pee standing up with various “Wissssssssssssh!” sound effects. It was really the perfect time to start potty training her.
Her brother didn’t agree. I went into labor with him on my daughter’s birthday and all thoughts of potty training went out the window for all of us. I suppose it was for the best, since she probably would have regressed with a new baby in the house anyway, but I was slightly irritated at having lost the “window of opportunity” to train her. A couple of months later, when the water bill showed up and we were somehow shocked at learning that cloth diapering two full time uses much more water than only cloth diapering one full time, I bribed my daughter onto the potty with a couple of M&Ms (no judgment!) and suddenly, boom, she wanted to use the potty! Now that I had forced open a new window of opportunity, I found myself with another issue—what kind of training pants to use?
If you thought choosing cloth diapers from the millions of types available was hard, I’m sorry to tell you there are just as many types of training pants out there!
Breastfeeding is one of the experiences that dads don’t have, but they are still a part of the breastfeeding team. Breastfeeding can be difficult, and though it’s natural, sometimes it feels like a mom just can’t do it right. She is going to need her partner more than ever to help her get through the difficulties and discomfort that comes with breastfeeding a new baby.
Feeding Times Are Crazy
Aside from the soreness of breastfeeding and childbirth, new moms sleep less. New dads do as well, but moms need to be up every two hours to feed the new family addition. That doesn’t include the time she will spend awake worrying about every little hiccup your new little one will make.
Dads, we know that you work and come home tired, and that the new baby is going to wake you up as well. It doesn’t take much to help your new mom around the house. Try doing one chore per evening that she would normally do. Make sure she gets the rest she needs as well as plenty of fluids.
I thought I had avoided it long enough and surely it had to be the next step in my natural living adventures. It seemed simple enough in and of itself. Wash your hair with baking soda and water and rinse with diluted apple cider vingear for fantastic, healthy, chemical free hair. I had read the blogs and forum threads. I knew about the greasy transitional phase and I was prepared to wait it out for results. I was ‘well prepared’ and ready to give it a go… or so I thought.
So I raided the pantry, grabbed the household ‘baking soda’ and diluted it with water and filled a petri bottle. I was super excited to try it in my next bath. And I did, seemed easy enough, it diluted fully. I noticed at first it was not at all grainy. Hmm, I thought well that is odd. And it foamed up a whole lot like shampoo. Perhaps it was the build up of shampoo in my hair? And then came the burn especially on my spot of scalp psoriasis, which burns in contact with many things and I thought hmm well I hope it too gets better with time as I had read plenty of times.
After my bath I took to Google. Had I done something wrong? I Googled foaming baking soda shampoo, nothing just loads of comments about how it doesn’t lather. I Googled burning and did see some people with sensitive scalps don’t do well with baking soda on the sensitive skin, and then I made a post on DS asking if I’m right using sodium carbonate.
Cruising through Pinterest and ignoring the pile of dishes in the sink, I came across a neat idea—water walls! Parents stapled and glued funnels, tubes, and old soda bottles to boards and fences in the backyard, so kids could pour water in one end and watch it flow, trickle, and sprinkle down to the ground. It was a great idea and my toddler loves playing with water—but there was one problem. Backyards tend not to exist when you live on the top floor of a city apartment, so I tried to think creatively. Man, if ONLY we had an indoor wall that could get wet, and a way to easily drain the water so it wasn’t all over the floor…
Oh. Right. The bathtub.
On this Mother’s Day, before you enjoy your homemade burnt bacon and then get up to open your gifts of macaroni necklaces and plaster hand prints, which you truly will cherish as long as they last, please remember the good you do. We know that you are hard on yourself much of the time while you try to get your little ones to eat a full, healthy diet. You sit and wonder if you are being too strict as your five year old has a melt down in time out.
We are here to remind your that you are great just by filling the role of mother fully and to the best of your ability. There are things that you can do that no one else can for your child.
I really hate bra shopping.
Actually, I hate clothes shopping in general. A size large in one brand fits like a medium in another brand and I won’t even talk about what gigantic size I am in junior’s department clothing. Mostly, it’s a huge pain and bra shopping is even worse. Some bras have underwire, some are cut high, some low, some stretch and some don’t, sometimes you want a mix of casual and fancy bras for different occasions and sometimes even if you get measured for your correct size, some brands will just fit weird on you.
And then you get pregnant.
Your hormones don’t care whether you’ve decided to breastfeed or formula feed. Your pregnant body simply starts producing hormones which tell your stomach to start aching, your nose to suddenly hate the smell of orange juice and pork, and your breasts to start preparing for nursing a baby. It doesn’t matter that it will be about three-quarters of a year before you actually have a baby in your arms to nurse, your body just hops on that preparation ASAP. Thus, even if you have decided to formula feed your child, you will likely need to shop around for new bras at some point during your pregnancy.
Nursing bras come in a huge variety of styles and colors, just to make your life THAT much harder.