Category Archives: Parenting advice

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders

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Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders are one of my go to shower gifts. I just love this product and find it odd that I had never heard about it prior to having Isabelle. When I was in the States for a few months, we were starting to introduce food to little Isabelle. We started with puree apple sauce, pears, sweet potatoes, Cheerios etc… Then discovered these.

These Fresh Food Feeders are great. You can put all kinds of food it and the baby can’t choke on it. They have to suck the food out. Here are some great examples of food that I personally used in a mesh feeder:

  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Banana’s (Warning! This one is very messy)
  • Mum Mum’s
  • Cheerios
  • Puffs
  • Ice cubes of formula (or breast milk)

Here are some other great ideas for food to use in a mesh food feeder:

  • Chunks of melon
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen grapes

What also makes this product super awesome, is if you’re shopping, attach the a toy or pacifier clip to the handle, clip it to the baby’s bib and keep shopping. No worries about food falling on the floor.

Where can you buy this Fresh Food Feeder? You can buy them right on Amazon.ca for under $12.

 

Why my maternity leave rocks with a toddler and infant

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I’m the first to admit, I was scared of the idea of being at home with a toddler and infant. I was stressed out about breastfeeding Katie, while trying to keep Isabelle busy. I was worried Isabelle was going to lose her French and that Katie wouldn’t have most of my attention.

I was wrong.

 

We do have our share of bad days, but here are a few reasons why my second maternity leave rocks with a toddler and infant:

  1. We take advantage of playgroups. With Isabelle, I didn’t do any playgroups at all. We did do mommy and baby yoga and did a lot of shopping, but with Katie hating the car seat, we aren’t going very far. I’m also very fortunate that a lot of my very good girlfriends are stay-at-home moms and on maternity leave. I’ve also made a lot of new mom-friends at these playgroups too.
  2. Isabelle keeps things interesting. We do crafts, play house, sing, read books. Katie is great, but she can’t sing “something in my shoe“, so we sing it to her.
  3. I get to see Isabelle grow up. She’s learning at lightening speed. I’m at the point now that she needs to slow down on the growing up. She’s such a kind soul. I don’t want that to change ever.
  4. Isabelle is as excited as I am when Katie learns a new skill. Watching her roll from side to side or making her laugh just makes our day.
  5. My mom has been at my place, (almost) every day with the girls. I still haven’t mastered the art of the nap for the girls, but that’s okay. I love having my mom come over and help me with them. I’ll never have this kind of time with her again when I go back to work. I’m very appreciative that she’s taken the time to come help me.

I’m sure there are a lot more reasons why I’m really enjoying this maternity leave, but I’ll save those for another blog post.

How to create the perfect tantrum

As a parent, you work hard all day, trying to please your mini-me, but you goof sometimes and you get one unhappy little child.

I don’t know about you, but from my experience here are some sure-fire ways you can turn your little angel into a little monster:

  1. Not responding to “mom” within the first 10 seconds of them trying to get your attention.
  2. Not leaving for playground the moment you mention it.
  3. Noticing that the snowman you created together melted.
  4. Put a small piece of cheese on their plate.
  5. The “blue cup” is still dirty and in the dishwasher.
  6. Forgetting your child’s lovely at grandma’s.
  7. Wash their hair.
  8. It’s raining outside.
  9. Not letting them hold the Cheerio box at the grocery store.
  10. Not singing their favourite song the right way or the right tune.

Do you have anything to add to my list?

10 things that made my breastfeeding journey easier

For those that have followed, I’ve had a lot of difficulty giving my 4.5 month old a bottle. At 6 weeks, I started to introduce a bottle with no luck. Recently, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have a baby that just won’t take a bottle.

Now, I’m just happy to have a #fedbaby.

I have such a love hate relationship with breastfeeding. During this difficult time for me, I have found a few tools along the way that have made my breastfeeding journey a little easier for me. Here is a list of a few of my favourite things:

Jolly Jumper Nursing Pillow

There is a variety of nursing pillows that you can purchase these days, but this one is my favourite. The shape and thickness of it, makes breastfeeding easy on my back. I did try to get one of the free nursing pillows, but it just wasn’t as comfortable in my opinion.

Nursing pyjamas

You would think that any old shirt would do, but yes, I found that nursing pyjamas make a difference. Motherhood maternity and Thyme often have sales on nursing clothing. Keep an eye out for sales while pregnant. You’ll thank yourself later for picking something up.

Medela sleep bra

So comfortable. That is all.

Disposable nursing pads

The last couple of days, I’m giving washable nursing pads a try, but I don’t find they give me the same confidence that I won’t soak through the pad as the disposable ones. I’m not a cloth diaper type person, probably not a washable nursing pad type person either. I love me my disposables.

Nightlight

When I’m getting up for multiple feeds in the night, I’m half asleep. I appreciate having a little bit of light to help me nurse. I really like the flickering candle night light. It’s just bright enough for me to see, but not enough to get the baby stimulated.

Water bottle

Speaking of night feeds, I’m always so thirsty at night. I always have a bottle of water beside the bed.

iPhone

I use my iPhone all the time while nursing, it’s probably the only time I have to check emails, think of future blog posts, post about Buskins … but I have to admit, as I am typing this blog post on the computer and nursing Katie right now. Look at me multitasking.

Lactation consultant

When Katie wouldn’t take the bottle, I hired a lactation consultant. She was very aware of my goals and tried to help me problem solve. Although, Katie is still not taking a bottle, I still feel like I learned a lot and would recommend hiring a consultant if you feel you need one.

Nursing cover

I really love my nursing cover that I got for free. You can get your own free Udder Cover too clicking here.

Good baby

As difficult as this has been for me, Katie has been a real treat to breast feed. She latches on well, she’s always in a good mood, only cries if something is wrong, smiles and laughs under the cover. She’s an easy baby to breastfeed. I am thankful for that.

That’s it for me. What are some of the things you found the most useful while breastfeeding?

Soon-to-be-mom checklist

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Are you a soon-to-be-mom and feeling a little unprepared? You’re not alone. Here are some great tips to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival:

Breastfeeding

  • Breast pads (disposable and/or reusable ones)
  • Nipple cream
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Vitamin D for baby

Food

  • Make lots of frozen foods (including breakfast and snacks)
  • Make lots of food that’s easy to prepare and eat with one hand
  • If someone offers to make you food, accept it!

Friends/Family

  • Make a list of friends and family that offered to help and actually call them when you need a hand, don’t be shy

Hospital

  • Bring lots of pads for after you give birth
  • Bring vaseline for the baby’s first couple of diaper changes
  • Bring your own LARGE towel
  • Bring only zippered pjs for the baby

Set up

  • If your house is multi-level, you may want to make yourself a baby changing station on each level of your house (diapers, cream, wipes, etc…)
  • Get another bouncy chair (newborn +) or small jumperoo to put the baby in when you have a shower
  • Buy scent free detergent to wash baby clothing

 

Things to do

  • Make a list of all local mommy & me playgroups
  • Check out my list of things to do on maternity leave
  • Visit the Early Years Centre website and see what classes and workshops they offer (free)

Becoming a Mombie

Katie is almost 4.5 months now and it’s been 9 months + 4.5 months that I haven’t slept well. I’m starting to consider sleep training Katie.

She’s such a good baby, but the co-sleeping and night wakings are starting to be a bit much. Some days, I feel like I’ve become a mombie (an exhausted mother that feeds on coffee and survives on wine).

With Isabelle, we used the SleepEasy Solution at 6 months. It’s a controlled crying-it-out (CIO) method. I’m not sure if Katie needs something so drastic, so I’m open to suggestions on how to avoid CIO. Here’s an example on how our nights go:

  • Anywhere between 6:00pm – 8:00pm – Katie is down for the night in carrier with husband, then they transition to co-sleeping (she’s a tummy sleeper).
  • Anywhere between 11:00pm – 3:00am – We switch off and I sleep with Katie.
  • Between 8:00pm – 3:00am – Katie may need to feed between 1- 3 times.
  • Once we switch off and I sleep with her, we’re up almost every 1.5 hours.
  • Then we are up for the day between 4:30am – 5:30am. Sometimes we sleep in until 6am (rarely).

From my sleep training book, looking at this schedule, Katie is not getting a full night’s sleep.

Does she sleep in her crib?

Yes. She will sleep in her crib during her day when she’s in a deep sleep. I do the floppy arm test.

What happens when you put her down awake?

She’s awake. Smiling. Sometimes fusses, but mostly smiling and most importantly, not sleeping.

In a couple of weeks, we have a sleep trainer coming to our playgroup. I’m looking forward to hearing her suggestions. Before I meet with her, I’d love to hear what you’ve done. CIO wasn’t easy. I’d rather not go that route, but I know in the long run it really helps. Isabelle is a great sleeper now.

 

Mimijumi Bottles Adventure Ends & Need Night Breast Feeding Advice

Katie and I’s Mimijumi bottle adventure has now ended. I am waving my white flag and have given into the fact that my baby just won’t take a bottle. We are the 3% of babies that will not take a Mimijumi bottle. I’m sad, but now at peace with the fact that I will have to continue to be breast feed her for at least the next 6 months.

So breast-feeding mama’s, how do you do it? Really? I need your help.

With Isabelle, I stop breastfeeding her at 4 months. Personal decision. She did take a bottle on and off prior to that, so it was an easy transition for us. However, we did have to sleep train Isabelle at 6 months, because it took us at least 45 minutes of rocking, singing, walking, soothing, swaddling… and then she would get up 45 minutes late. I went mad. I couldn’t live like that anymore. We did the SleepEasy Solution (a version of crying it out) method and haven’t looked back.

Katie is now 4 months old. I don’t think she’ll need a CIO, BUT I need to stop these night feeds. Katie is co-sleeping with one of us every night. My husband takes the first shift and I take the second. When she sleeps with my husband, I can get 4 hour stretch of sleep at a time, but with me, we’re up every 1.5 – 2.5 hours to feed. I don’t think she needs to feed, it is more of a sleep association. How do I stop this?

Please help!

 

Mimijumi Adventures – Day 6

Our Mimijumi adventures continue. Today is day 6 of trying to give her the Mimijumi bottle and we have not had any success yet. Again, she tolerates it in her mouth, but not much happens.

However, I do have something to share. She took formula by spoon! This is incredible news! She loves it too.

I noticed over the last couple of weeks, that when we eat, she wants to move her mouth to eat too. It’s still a little early for her, but we were thinking about starting her on a little bit of rice cereal soon.

Tonight, I was home by myself with Katie and I didn’t have time to have pre-boiled lukewarm water to give rice cereal a try, so I tried formula. It worked! She was so excited to sip it. Not sure if it helped that I was eating soup too, but whatever, it worked.

After doing a quick Google search, it looks like I’m not alone with the spoon fed (almost) 4 month old. Another great method that they said to try is using a dropper. I really didn’t want to go that route, but a spoon I can handle.

Just needed to share my little bit of success. Still trying to get her to take a bottle, but spoon-feeding her formula is a step in the right direction. Yeah us!

3 Things

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Three things I never thought that I would be able to do with having two kids at home with me during the day:

  • Have a shower
  • Pump breast milk
  • Have a handle on my day

I’m happy to report that I am to be able to do all three now.

Our Mimijumi Adventures – Day 1 & 2

In the past, I’ve mentioned that our little Katie won’t take any bottles. We’ve tried:

  • 12 different bottle nipples
  • Advent nipple shields
  • 5 or 6 different types of soothers
  • Hired a lactation consultant to help with bottle feedings
  • Had her tongue tie snipped

… and nothing is working for us.

Yesterday, my Mimijumi bottles arrived. With a $60 USD price tag, I’m really hoping this works.

At mimijumi, we believe in better feeding for all babies. mimijumi baby bottles look and feel like a real breast, giving babies the most natural feeding experience possible and avoiding the nipple confusion that often results from bottle feeding.

Day 1

IMG_6055 (Video of Katie with bottle on Day 1)

Yesterday was our first day with the bottle. What we did:

  • Used room temperature Similac pre-made formula
  • My mom gave it to her while I went for a walk

Result:

Not successful. On the bright side, she did entertain the nipple in her mouth and didn’t scream during the entire process. She had lots of formula on her, but didn’t actually shallow any. I tried to give her the bottle and got the same result. No tears, but no drinking.

Day 2

Today was day 2 and it didn’t go as well as yesterday. What we did:

  • Gave freshly pumped breastmilk
  • My mom gave it to her while I was at the house, not necessarily in the same room.
  • I tried to give it to her by:
    • standing up and walking around
    • facing away from me
    • singing and talking to her
    • placing her on my breastfeeding pillow and doing the old switcheroo

Result:

Not successful. No bright side today. She cried a lot more than yesterday when we tried and didn’t entertain the bottle in her mouth at all.

Over the next 24 hours, I’d like to try to use the nipple as a teether. I might try to warm it up by placing it under warm water or putting in the fridge so it’s a bit cooler. Not sure if this will help her get used to the nipple or make my situation worse.

One of the reasons I purchased this product is because of their return policy.

If your baby continues to refuse the bottle, please return the product with its original packing

I’m going to give it 2 weeks. If it doesn’t work, *sigh*, I’ll return them. I really, really want this to work.

Any more advice?