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Showing posts with label Baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baby. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in One (AIO)

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in One (AIO)


Last month, I started a new mini series on the blog Cloth Diapering 101 sharing the All in Two diaper system. After taking a poll on Instastory, I went with the majority vote and am back to share all about All in One diapers. We currently only own one All in One in our entire stash and I do love the convenience and trimness of it.
An All in One diaper comes in, you guessed it, one piece and is most similar to a disposable diaper so you do not have to stuff or fold anything. We have a bumGenius All in One diaper  that we received from a friend and from what I can tell it is the bumGenius Elemental 2.0 as ours has two organic cotton inserts that are sewn together at the top and the bottom but separated in the middle and has no interior lining besides PUL (bumGenius Elemental 3.0 has one organic cotton insert and organic cotton lining sewn into the interior shell).

In theory, the inserts could be folded over to adjust absorbency where it is needed most but baby Anthony is a very curvy chunk butt baby so instead I tuck a hemp insert under the sewn in inserts for a custom absorbency whenever I feel it might be needed.

AIO Pros

  • Very easy to use, similar to a disposable as there is no stuffing or folding.
  • Great option for someone who may not be comfortable with the ins and outs of cloth diapering or for daycare providers.
  • Depending on the brand, it can be trimmer compared to other diapering systems which also makes it a great traveling out and about running errands diaper. 
  • Depending on the style, you may be able to customize absorbency (read above to see how we customize our bumGenius Elemental 2.0).

AIO Cons

  • Depending on style, some take longer to dry (I normally air dry our diaper shells and use the dryer for inserts, flats and prefolds however I will put the AIO in the dryer). 
  • Not the best overnight option especially for a heavy wetter (baby Anthony has a sumo nighttime diaper so I won't even try to test how an AIO would hold up).
  • Some styles are hard to customize absorbency (again, we only have one AIO and the style we have allows me to customize absorbency).
  • This can be an expensive diapering system (but you can honestly make anything as cheap or as expensive as you want in the cloth diapering world).
Do you cloth diaper your children? Have you tried an All in One system? Which cloth diapering system is your favorite?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Baby-Led Weaning + 6 Month Update

Baby-Led Weaning + 6 Month Update


This post has been a very long time coming for both topics, haha. I have been promising a Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) update since we started the method with Sophia two years ago and baby Anthony is about to be eight months. EIGHT. I figure I need to start this with a disclaimer as all parenting decisions seem to be controversial. This is our personal experience doing BLW with our children and we love it and plan to do it with all our children however this is in no way of judgment for parents who decide to go the puree route or use a combination of both. Take my experience and knowledge along with your own personal research to find what method is best for YOU and YOUR family, this method just happens to be best for OURS.

Every time we mention how we skipped over purees with Sophia and now baby Anthony, people seem to be in awe and have so many questions but two of the most frequently asked questions are what is BLW and won't they choke? I'll address the second question first and then go into more detail about BLW with the first question next.

Won't they choke?
As long as you follow certain measures, your baby isn't anymore likely to choke then when being spoon fed purees therefore always ensure your child is sitting upright in a highchair and never put food in your child's mouth for them when following the BLW method and avoid foods that are an obvious choking hazard.
What is Baby Led Weaning?
For the first year of their life, babies get ALL their nutrition from either breastmilk or formula therefore food before one is just for fun (remember this cute saying no matter what route you take). There is no pressure to make sure the baby eats food in a certain order and a certain amount of times per a day. BLW is allowing your baby to explore food on their terms and decide how to manipulate it.

When following BLW, our children are offered whatever we are eating therefore there is no additional prep which was a major incentive for me. The only difference is the food is properly cut up for them to handle safely (typically this is the width and length of your pinky finger). Having it cut into finger foods allows our children to be able to have a "handle" to hold on to and still plenty of the food item sticking out to gnaw on. In the beginning, it isn't likely they will actually eat anything as they are just learning how to hold it and bring it to their mouth (hand-eye coordination) and working on the chewing motion (helps develop facial muscles that will be needed as they learn to talk). Eventually the baby learns the ability to swallow and then they even begin to realize, food helps them feel full. However breastmilk or formula is still where babies get all their nutrition from for the first year of their life so always be sure your baby has had a full milk feeding before each "mealtime" with the family. 

One of the biggest reasons we loved doing BLW was because momma got to eat while the food was still warm (although there is some sitting on the edge of your seat in the beginning of the BLW as parents are learning the difference between gagging and choking which gagging is okay, it is teaching your child how to chew food into smaller pieces to allow for easier swallowing and again as long as your child is sitting upright in a highchair and they alone are in control of the food going into their mouth, choking isn't anymore likely to happen then when they are being fed purees).

There are numerous benefits and I won't get into every one but I will highlight the ones that were important for us:

  • everyone is able to enjoy family mealtimes together, sitting together at the table for dinner is an important part of our family that we started when we first got married so being able to all sit together and eat at the same time with babies at the table is just beautiful.
  • no mealtime battles, our babies eat or refuse whatever is offered to them. We still offer the same food they may have refused at one mealtime at another mealtime in the future as refusing is not always an indicator that they don't like something. We typically find our children just aren't in the mood for it at that time therefore we do not force them to eat it once refused at that sitting as this develops a trust for food.
  • a positive attitude toward food, as mentioned above we allow our children to accept or reject food and because they are in control, food phobias and food refusals are less likely (Sophia will at least take a bite of something majority of the time we ask her to before refusing and that is all we ask for her is to at least try something before saying no).
  • appetite control, since babies are in control of the food that enters their mouth they develop the ability to stop eating when they are satisfied and are less likely to overeat.

Overall, I highly recommend BLW to all families and suggest you read the Baby-Led Weaning book before starting your journey to ensure this method is right for you and your family.


Six Month Update

Shortly after turning five months, our big guy finally decided to test the waters and army crawl. He even started to roll over and scooch out of his DockATot in the middle of naptime, so we started naptime in his pack n play so we didn't have to worry about him falling off the bed. Disclaimer: it is recommended to NOT put the DockATot in an enclosed environment such as a crib, bassinet, pack n play, etc. He also kept rolling onto his belly during naps and that made this momma panic so I was hovering like crazy the first week or so but luckily the DockATot is created out of breathable material (read more about our DockATot experiences here, here and here). Baby Anthony also discovered his toes and sat in a grocery cart for the first time (but we decided to wait a little longer before trying again because homeboy was just gangster leaning the whole time). And if he didn't learn enough this month, he also started to lunge forward by lifting up and trying to get on his knees and would throw himself. He even decided to treat himself to a curly fry that was left in a bag on the floor so I guess he was too impatient to wait three more days to get this BLW thing going right on his six month mark (Sophia's first solid was also a fry if I remember correctly). Baby Anthony is growing way to fast and constantly has me on my toes but I wouldn't change it.

Six Month Stats
Weight: 21 pounds
Height: 27.5 inches long
Head Circumference: 44.5 inches diameter

Firsts
army crawl
cloth diaper
found his toes
nap in pack n play

Loves
army crawling
following sister

Hates
being on his back
being left out

What I Want to Remember
his huge grin from ear to ear
the way he throws himself forward when he is overly excited to get to something
his sweet giggles

Have you done (or considering) Baby-Led Weaning for any of your children? Or do you prefer starting with purees?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, May 7, 2018

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in Twos (AI2)

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in Twos (AI2)


This post was created in partnership with Lil Helper but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

We have been cloth diapering for a full month now and I have learned so much so I decided to start a new mini series on my blog, Cloth Diapering 101 (see my New Moms Survival series here and my Nursing Bras series here). Every few weeks or so, I will go into detail about the different types of cloth diapering systems that there are available because cloth diapers have come a long way from flats, safety pins and covers (although that is still an option!).
As I have mentioned on my Instastories (if you are not following me on Instagram yet, you should as I always update there first) we were fortunate to get a cloth diaper loan from the Rebecca Foundation while we build up our own personal stash of cloth diapers. I was researching different brands and came across Lil Helper and the first thing that stood out to me was their Trial Diaper Deal and the more I looked around their website I found their Baby Do Good program. For every three diapers they sell, Lil Helper donates a NEW cloth diaper to a family in need. Being on the receiving end of having diapers donated to me during this unemployed (and now underemployed) season has been an incredible blessing for our family so naturally this sealed the deal for me. 
In case you are curious like I was, I asked how does Lil Helper determine eligibility for families in need and was told they work with disaster relief organizations as well as local programs to donate their diapers to families. The organizations then vet the families for eligibility. A friend even told me that Lil Helper donated a ton of diapers for victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston and surrounding area which touched my heart even more that this company has helped many people in my city and beyond (they also provided cloth diapers to Hurricane Katrina victims). Another program that touched my heart and had me in tears was their God Forbid Guarantee. If something unexpected happens during your pregnancy or birth, Lil Helper will refund your entire purchase. I have never personally experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss but people that are near and dear to me have and knowing the love and understanding that a company puts into their policies is beyond amazing. There really are no words to describe how much care Lil Helper has for their customers.
Now that you know about this amazing company,  I will finally get into the details about the type of cloth diapering system they sell. Lil Helper offers All in Two diapering system options. An All in Two diaper comes in two pieces, the cover and the insert(s). Lil Helper's All in Two systems snap in but other brands could either snap in, lay in or have disposable inserts. The covers can be reused throughout the day while the inserts you change out as they are soiled on (if poop overflows off the inserts and onto the cover then you will need to change the cover as well). Lil Helper offers two inserts with every cover, a large insert and a small insert. You can buy additional inserts as Lil Helper sells Charcoal inserts (these are the ones we have), Bamboo inserts and Overnight inserts.
Lil Helper also offers a range of accessories such as bibs, wet bags, burp cloths, liners, changing mats and cloth wipes. We were able to test out their cloth wipes and I got to say they are extremely soft! We use them as wash cloths but I can imagine how great they would be on your baby's bum. I have researched a bit about cloth wipes and it seems terry cloth is used a lot of the time but terry cloth can be a bit rough in my opinion so I would highly recommend these cloth wipes from Lil Helper to be used as either cloth wipes, bath wash cloths or even baby doll cloth diapers. 

AI2 Pros

  • If the inserts are snapped in ahead of time, they are as easy to use as All in Ones (AIOs).
  • Covers come in many cute prints and colors (we have Lil Helper's Aurora and Lil Helper's Retro Bikes).
  • Often pretty quick to dry.
  • Since the covers can be reused, they can be a cheaper system (but you can honestly make anything as cheap or as expensive as you want in the cloth diapering world).

AI2 Cons

  • Snap-in systems make it difficult to customize absorbency (especially if you have a heavy wetter however we have only had one leak using Lil Helper Diapers and it was a user error as I lost track of time and didn't change baby Anthony soon enough).
  • The inserts may not be good at containing infant poop (although toddler poop it is and we actually designated our Lil Helper diaper as Sophia's poop diaper since she poops at the same time everyday, easiest cleanup for her type of poop).
Edited to add:  Concerning infant poop, I didn't mean the possibility of having poop explosions outside of the diaper, I meant that the inserts wouldn't be enough to contain infant poop on the inserts alone like it can sometimes do with toddler poop meaning you will still need to change the insert as well as the cover if poop gets on both and you honestly have to do that with every diaper system anyways. Also note baby Anthony is pass the constant poop stage so this is merely my speculation however I have been informed that there has been no complaints of Lil Helper diapers not being able to keep infant poop inside the diaper unless there is a fit issue which they will gladly work one on one with you to solve a fit issue (and they did assist me with a fit issue and it worked!).

Do you cloth diaper your children? Have you tried an All in Two system? Which cloth diapering system is your favorite?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Unemployed Life + Five Month Update

Unemployed Life + Five Month Update


This will probably be one of the most vulnerable posts I write. I have debated sharing this part of our life in my public social media life because I do not want pity at all (pride much?) however the longer we are in this season, the harder it is and if I can help just one other person or family who may be on this same journey then it would be worth sharing. I briefly mentioned Anthony was back working but the contract ended much sooner then anticipated so we are back at square one except this time we don't have the security of unemployment since it ended a few days before he was offered the contract position. When we asked for an extension for unemployment, he was declined because Texas Workforce Commission is out of budget from extending unemployment to the numerous Hurricane Harvey victims who are also out of work. So it has been 9 months of the unemployed life and the longer we do not have a steady substantial income, the more assistance we need (obviously).

Over these last few months, I have been doing research as well as friends and family sharing different assistance programs that are out there and offered not only by our government but also local and/or national organizations so I wanted to compile a list of all the programs I know about and a little bit about what they offer. Some will be local to me (Houston area) while others are national and you will just need to find the location in your area.

Food Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) - The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Eat On Feets - a network where families can share their breastmilk in a safe and ethical manner.

Human Milk 4 Human Babies - global milk-sharing network

Diaper Assistance

The Rebecca Foundation - cloth diaper loan program AND reusable feminine hygiene item assistance.
Share the Love Program - low-income families who receive assistance from programs like WIC and TANF may be able to receive a set of cloth diapers — for free.

The Diaper Foundation - Houston area assistance for disposable diapers

Cash Assistance

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - from what I can gather on the application process is you are given cash assistance either on a monthly basis or a one time lump sum payment. I will keep you all updated if I learn more based on approval otherwise feel free to comment if you know more about the TANF program.

I am sure there are numerous other programs so if you know of any that I did not mention, please feel free to share in the comments below so if anyone else needs more assistance it can easily be found all in one place. Even though this is a really tough season, it has been amazing seeing the ways the Lord has provided for our NEEDS and the people he has used in our lives. We have seen how far he has carried us thus far and know he will continue to provide for us.

Five Month Update

It's so crazy how fast time goes when you are the parent but when we were kids time couldn't go fast enough. My big guy is definitely our happy baby, always full of smiles and giggles to anyone around. He loves talking non-stop and sometimes I wonder if he will start talking before Sophia (although her vocabulary has increased tremendously the last few weeks). He is finally an amazing napper but that's because he decided he wanted more one on one time with mommy at nights so you win some and you lose some (sleep).

Five Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts
big boy convertible carseat (still rear-facing)
Easter

Loves
mommy
daddy
smiling

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat
anything being taken away from him

What I Want to Remember
his laughter
the long pieces of hair on his right side of his head while on the left side rubbed short
his screeching voice when he baby talks

Again please comment below of any other assistance programs you may know of that I did not mention so this can be a place to help others who are in a similar situation as this. I do also plan to share more posts in the future for those of you who have never been in the situation and want to know how you can help families in need so stay tuned (UPDATE: see 6 Ways to Help a Family in Need here). Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family and as always I created a pinnable image below.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Shopping with Two under Two + Four Month Update

Shopping with Two under Two + Four Month Update


This post was created in partnership with Binxy Baby but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

For about four months, I had two babies under two and now that my oldest turned two not much has really changed, haha. It's still the same craziness over here but I did figure out some tips and tricks to make shopping with two kiddos under the age of two easier.

Go shopping after naptime

The most important tip is to go after naptime. Seriously. If you attempt to run an errand before naptime, one of two things will happen or possibly both. They will get extremely fussy during your errand making it the most frustrating experience ever or they will fall asleep in the car and think that 5 minute catnap was enough for them and refuse to nap once you get home making the rest of the day even more frustrating and everyone on the verge of tears so just trust me. Errands after a nap. I mean unless you like waking up early and can quickly get everyone fed and out the door but that's not me. I like my mornings slow and not rushed when I can help it.

Park near the cart corral

Once you arrive to your store of choice, find a parking spot near the cart corral that way you can grab a cart immediately and don't have to worry about carrying/dragging two (or more) kids and a diaper bag across the parking lot to get inside of the store. This not only makes it easier for you to unload everyone straight into a cart but also safer as I'm sure most toddlers think they are big boys and girls and don't always want to hold mommy's hand and will pull away while mom is carrying baby hulk at the wrong time. No? Just me? Also this makes it easier to unload all the things inside the car as well as the kids and return the cart to it's proper place because I don't know about you but it annoys the heck out of me when people leave the carts in the middle of parking lots especially when a parking lot is uneven and there is a runaway cart that hits your car. Just be courteous of other people guys.

Use a Binxy Baby

Ah. The Binxy Baby. I always get so many compliments and questions every time we are out and about with baby Anthony just chilling in his shopping cart hammock. The Binxy Baby fits most standard grocery store carts and it can also hold a car seat so if your babe fell asleep in their car seat you don't have to worry about disturbing them, just strap the car seat onto the Binxy Baby. The Binxy Baby is able to support up to 50 pounds in weight and has been safety tested so depending on the size of your baby, the Binxy can be used for babies approximately up to 6-8 months depending on when your little one starts to sit up on their own.

Pack a snack for the toddler

Lastly, no matter how much you perfectly timed your shopping trip, the toddler will get restless and want to run all over the store but you came with reinforcements: snacks. I personally always keep an extra snack or two inside my diaper bag but before errands I make sure I have more then one on hand and I will hand them to Sophia when I see that antsiness happening. I also give it to her BEFORE she goes haywire because I don't want her thinking she is getting the snack because she threw a fit or else she is going to think it's okay to have a tantrum every time she wants a snack so make sure you are strategic on when you give it to your toddler and what behavior you may be enforcing. You also don't want to give them the snack as soon as you are in the store because you will be cut on time and no longer have the distraction they needed for the last leg of your shopping trip so be sure you are reading your toddlers cues so you can step in with the snack reinforcement at the right time.

Four Month Update


After much experimenting, it finally dawned on us to use the Ollie swaddle and DockATot for naps just as we do for bedtime and man has naptime been a night and day difference. Baby Anthony is finally starting to come around and take daily naps and that makes this momma happy and feeling functional again haha. Bedtime was going so well for the first two months and around three months it has been a yo-yo. We would have amazing nights for a few nights and then not so good ones but then back to amazing so I assumed it was a growth spurt but now it's seeming to be more of a norm of having multiple wake up calls at night so I'm trying to figure out the trigger and I'm thinking it's daddy going back to work. I do have some tricks up my sleeve to get baby Anthony back on track for night time sleep thanks to the Baby Whisperer book.

Although baby Anthony first rolled from his back to his tummy around two months, he really perfected it this month and now won't stay off his tummy! He even loves rolling back to his back as well and he also can rotate in a full circle while doing tummy time. It seems like he is ready to just start crawling but I'm not sure I am ready for that.

Four Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts
Roll from tummy to back

Loves
mommy
daddy
being held
smiling

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat

What I Want to Remember
His happy smiles & huge grins
his contagious laughter

Do you go shopping with your children or do you wait until daddy is home? Or have you given into curbside assistance and/or home delivery? 



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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, March 12, 2018

Why I Love Baby-wearing + Three Month Update

Why I Love Baby-wearing + Three Month Update


This post was created in partnership with LILLEbaby but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Have we been spoiled with daddy's presence these last seven months (for those of you unaware, Anthony was laid off back in July and while it definitely was stressful financially, it has been a blessing as well). Daddy started working again a few weeks ago though so that leaves this momma outnumbered two to one so A LOT of baby-wearing has been happening even more around here because simply put baby-wearing makes mom life easier especially on the days I have two extra kids (I babysit a two year old and my 4 month old niece as a side hustle).

When I first had Sophia, she wanted to be held constantly and also had colic so you can imagine how difficult those first few months were. I did try baby-wearing so I could do simple house chores but honestly the carrier I had was cheaply made and did not support her hips properly so I stopped baby-wearing and tried again when she was about 8 months old and fell in love with it at that point and knew from then on I needed a high quality carrier.

Side Note: I know baby Anthony looks miserable in the photos below but he really does enjoy being worn, haha. These photos were all taken during the difficult time-frame of refusing naps.


I currently own two LILLEbaby carriers - the Complete Organic and the Ring Sling -  and we are in love. The Ring Sling we tend to use around our house or at family and friends' house for shorter carry (just a personal preference). For us, it's more of a quick way to get baby Anthony in a carrier that isn't bulky. The material is linen making it extremely lightweight and perfect for warmer weather but it takes a lot of usage to break it in. We struggled with it the first few weeks due to how stiff it was but throwing it in the washer and dryer has helped make it a little easier to work with it.

Side Note: I also used the Ring Sling as a maternity support belt to help with some back pain I was experiencing towards the end of my pregnancy.
The Complete is hands down my favorite and gets the most use. I wear this one if we are out running errands or if we are taking the kids out for an extended period of time like a day at the zoo or children's museum. The best part is, I can go back and forth between wearing Sophia and baby Anthony when I use the Complete.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we don't really allow our children to CIO and this is mostly when baby-wearing comes in handy for us because there are days, lots of days, where baby Anthony refuses to nap and refuses to be put down all together. Nine times out of ten, he will gladly stay snug to my chest in the carrier. If he is over exhausted we preference the Complete as I can clip up the head support and even button the shade to block out light to help him get a good nap in or even nurse in public. Baby-wearing makes discreetly breastfeeding hands free in public a breeze. As I mentioned in our New York post, baby wearing made it so easy to travel and sight-see since I was able to nurse Sophia while she was still in her carrier.

So really this just goes back to my main point that baby-wearing just makes mom life easier especially if you have multiple children.

Three Month Update

This guy turned three months old January 24th but I have been so behind on his updates as it has been quite the adjustment of having two extra kids in our house and Anthony going back to work however we are finally getting into a good routine so I hope to have baby Anthony's updates as close to his monthly "birth" dates as possible because man is our big guy constantly growing and I am having a hard time keeping track of his milestones! Around three months he was wearing 6-12 months clothes (now as a four month old, size 6 months no longer fits) and he likes sitting in our lap like a big boy. He is so huge that it's hard to cuddle him like a newborn but he prefers looking out at everything anyways so it works.

Three Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts


Loves
mommy
daddy
being held

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat
naps

What I Want to Remember
how his clothes are constantly shrinking or he is just growing way too fast, ahaha
when he hears our voice he quickly jerks his head to find us

Do you baby-wear your infant and/or toddler? What is your favorite type of carrier to baby-wear? Did you have a hard time finding the time to document your second (or third, etc) child's milestones?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Why We Won't Let our Children Cry It Out

Why We Won't Let our Children Cry It Out


I figured since I shared some sleep tips that help make bedtime easier with a newborn I would go into detail of why we won't do cry it out (CIO) with our children.

Note: this is in no way of judgement for families who use the CIO method. Do what works best for your family and your sanity. We are all just trying to stay afloat with this parenting gig.
We did briefly try CIO with Sophia and it was brutal for us and didn't feel natural. Sophia also suffered from colic the first few months of her life so her crying often times were for reasons she didn't even know herself. It was a tough season and I spoke on it a little in this post. Sophia also was not a good sleeper, she woke up multiple times to nurse during the night until she was about 14 months old. Nap-times were also difficult and required this lengthy routine to get her down but looking back I wouldn't trade giving her all those extra cuddles and nursing. She needed me even if it was hard and exhausting (and it was) but I chose to be there for her in whatever way she needed and it did not affect her ability to self-soothe or sleep on her own as so many people "warned" me would happen as she got older. 

At 15 months old, we transitioned Sophia to her own room and it was so smooth and seamless. She maybe cried all of 3 minutes before going to sleep. By 16 months, we were able to put her in her crib while she was still awake for nap and bed time and she would lay there and talk to herself or play for a little bit before falling asleep (this still happens to this day at 22 months). Sophia always wakes up in the happiest of moods and just starts playing and talking in her crib while she patiently waits for us to get her. I share all this to show you can successfully transition your older child to their own room without using the CIO method. I truly believe that by answering to Sophia's call as much as I was physically able to and nursing her on demand is what made her feel confident and secure to be in her own room because she knows mommy will be there when she needs it.
Besides CIO not feeling natural to us, I also read a Facebook post about orphan newborns, you can read it here. I cried in heartbreak when I read it and from then on I knew I could never do CIO especially as someone who lost their parents as a child. I know what it is like not having my biological mom and dad not be there as they both died before I was even out of elementary school (I had a great mom that raised me so don't get me wrong here but it still isn't quite the same). 

Now this doesn't mean my children never cry. They do cry, a lot in fact, haha. But I would never intentionally make them have to soothe themselves, if they need me I will be there. Sometimes I am not able to get to them right away because balancing two kids and a house is tough but I talk to them and let them know mommy is here and will get them in a moment or I sing to them even if I can barely her myself think because of how loud their cries may be but they will always know mommy is here to comfort them whenever they need and as best as I physically can in that moment. So if CIO doesn't feel natural to you or you just do not want to go that route, don't feel pressured to. You are not spoiling your child, you are giving them the confidence they need that you will be there for them.
Did you feel pressured to CIO because of the old wives tales of spoiling your child? Or did CIO work for your family? What method did(do) you use to help your child(ren) have better sleeping habits?




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Stormie Ramirez
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Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Moms Survival Bins | Diapering Station

New Moms Survival Bins | Diapering Station


This post was created in partnership with PinkBlush Maternity but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

As I mentioned in my breastfeeding kit post, I don't have a portable diapering kit because we actually utilize changing tables. We have a Labrador retriever who sheds like crazy and brings in a ton of dirt into the house. I don't know what his obsession is but he always has to find mud and lay in it. He is so over dramatic to cool himself off when it isn't even that hot outside and he is only let outside for maybe 5 minutes just to potty. He is truly spoiled. Anyways, because of how much dirt and dog hair that is always on the floor, we just always made it a habit to change Sophia on the changing table attached to the pack n play or the changing pad on her dresser.

Since I stopped babysitting in September, we reset up the pack n play in our bedroom (it was in the playroom the last few months), and have now restocked it for  baby Anthony. These are the items we always have nearby both changing stations:
Also we never bought any type of diaper pail with Sophia because I honestly didn't want to spend the money by having to constantly buy specific trash bags for the pail or going through the hassle of DIYing the bags to use. It was just easier and cheaper for us at that point to take poopy diapers straight to the dumpster in the garage and pee diapers in the regular trash can since we change that trash almost nightly anyways. I did finally bite the bullet and purchased the Ubbi diaper pail with the monetary gifts we received for baby Anthony as this pail has the ability to use regular kitchen trash bags which that alone sold me on it. Plus, changing two to three kids' (I started babysitting again this month) diapers is a lot of work and momma wanted at least one pail for all the poop. We still take Sophia's (and the toddler I babysit) poop diapers straight to the dumpster because that smell is on a whole other level compared to breastmilk poop, haha.
With the cold weather we have been having the last few weeks I have been living in joggers like these from PinkBlush.  And let's be honest, having cute and comfy clothes like these joggers make mommying a tad easier. Well not really but at least you look cute and are comfortable doing it! 

Do you use a changing pad/table or do you change your baby wherever you happen to be? What are your thoughts on diaper pails? What is your daily momiform look like?

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to share and pin!!

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

4 Uses for the DockATot

4 Uses for the DockATot


This post was created in partnership with DockATot but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

By this point, I am sure the whole world knows about my love for DockATot. It truly is an amazing product that has made the biggest impact in our parenting lives. We first received the DockATot Grand when Sophia was 9 months old (read that review here) and the Grand also helped make our hospital labor and delivery easier since we wanted Sophia as involved as possible during the whole process of welcoming baby Anthony into the world (read that experience here). 

Now I cannot stop singing the praises of the DockATot Deluxe. We never planned to be a co-sleeping family, Sophia forced it upon us and once we found out we were expecting baby Anthony, I couldn't imagine him not sleeping with us but I knew the only way I would feel safest is if we had the DockATot Deluxe. But what makes the Deluxe so amazing is the versatility and the different ways you can use it so I am sharing four ways we make use of our DockATot Deluxe.

Quick Disclosure: We do not leave baby Anthony unattended in the DockATot while on an elevated surface (such as the bed or couch), I was only away long enough to quickly snap these photos.

Co-sleeping

The most obvious way is as a co-sleeper. I love that we are able to have baby Anthony in our bed and I can easily place my hand on his chest to ensure he is breathing (when Sophia was born I barely slept because I was constantly leaning over the bassinet to check her breathing status before she forced us to co-sleep). The bumpers/sides of the DockATot help prevent Anthony or me from rolling on top of baby Anthony and they also help baby Anthony feel snug and secure like he is still in the womb. So basically we are all sleeping easier because of the DockATot.

Lounging

Another way we like to use the DockATot Deluxe is when we are around the house. Sophia loves playing with her toys all over the house and I love that I can easily carry the Deluxe to whichever room she wants to play in to have a place for baby Anthony to lounge in while we watch big sister play.

Tummy Time

During our play times with Sophia, we also use the DockATot for tummy time for baby Anthony so he can strengthen those neck muscles. We just put his arms and chest on the side of the bumpers and put toys in front of his line of vision. The bumpers help keep his chest up to prevent his head from hitting the ground or possibly smothering himself from not being able to lift his head.

Travel

Besides co-sleeping, this is my favorite use for the DockATot. My in-laws live about an hour away in the country and they do not drive to the city very often so we make almost weekly trips out there to visit them and stay for about 6 or more hours. Basically an entire day. Because the Deluxe is so compact (you could buy a heavy duty case here, we have one for Sophia's Grand and love it!), it travels very easily which makes nap-times at grandma and grandpa's successful 99% of the time. Baby Anthony gets to have the comfort and scent of his own bed wherever we go so he is guaranteed to always have a good sleep unless of course he is going through a growth spurt or teething but that's another story, haha.

 Do you have a DockATot? What are your favorite ways to use it?

Please feel free to share with your friends and family who would love the DockATot!



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Stormie Ramirez
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