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

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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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

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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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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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sleep Tips from a Second Time Mom + Two Month Update

Sleep Tips from a Second Time Mom + Two Month Update


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

Well guys my big guy turned two months old on Christmas Eve. Like where has time gone? It feels like only yesterday that I brought this sweet baby home and was a hormonal mess about missing out on Sophia yet it also feels like that was so long ago. Funny how that happens.

Since we have baby Anthony on a pretty good sleep schedule now I figured I would share some tips of what has been helping us. Although he doesn't sleep through the night, he is a really good sleeper and I think it all has to do with routine and the Ollie World swaddle.
We started our bedtime routine almost immediately of bringing baby Anthony home but as he was still adjusting to life outside the womb, he was calling all the shots. Now he is pretty consistent at knowing bedtime is 8:00-8:30pm. Here is a sample of our nightly routine:

7:00pm - talk to grandparents 
7:30pm - bath time with Sophia
7:45pm - story-time with mommy*
8:00pm - Sophia joins story-time*
8:15-8:30pm - bedtime 

*depending on how tired he is, we may skip story-time and daddy does story-time with Sophia.
Before laying baby Anthony to sleep in his DockATot, we always wrap him in his Ollie World Swaddle. We personally choose to keep his arms out of the swaddle as we noticed he did not like it and would fight the swaddle. Once we started swaddling without his hands being tucked in, he fell asleep so much easier and that alone is one of the benefits of the Ollie swaddle, the ability to swaddle your little babe with arms in or arms out. We also love the fact that the Ollie swaddle has a custom fit to be individualized to meet the needs and size of each little one and having a big guy we definitely needed that individualized sizing option, haha. Not to mention this crazy weather Texas has been having such as snow and ice days and then we are back to 60-70 degrees like nothing, I'm so glad that this swaddle is made from custom moisture-wicking material to reduce the risk of overheating. Another benefit of the Ollie swaddle is the easy access diaper changes accessible through opening at the bottom. So you can see why this swaddle is the only one we use for bedtime. There are so many benefits to it and our guy feels so snug and comfy in it without the worry of it being too tight around his hips or shoulders.

Two Month Update

To say this guy is a big one is an understatement, in my opinion. Maybe it's because Sophia was so petite for her age and now this guy is so ahead, size-wise, for his age. He started wearing 6 months clothing around 6 weeks old and still fits into them pretty good however he is now in size 4 diapers (Sophia is in size 5 at 22 months for size reference). At his two month appointment, our pediatrician said he was measuring as a 4 month old for his height and head circumference but as a 6 month old for his weight. I think it is so crazy how genetics from our parents is the contributing factor. From what I am told, my dad was tall and Anthony's brother, dad and uncle are slightly tall as well (Anthony's mom is very short which is where Sophia gets her height from).
Now that I am mostly over my hormonal mom guilt hump, I really am enjoying getting to know this guy. He is so relaxed and calm unless he needs something, haha. Oh boy, he is not afraid to let you know when he needs any little thing but that makes it easier on us because if he is crying, we know it is for a reason.  

Two Month Stats
Weight: 16 pounds 10.1 ounces
Height: 24.75 inches
Head Circumference: 16.25 inches

Firsts
rolled over from tummy to back
giggle

Loves
mommy
daddy
being held
"Rock-a-bye Baby"
playing on his back on his activity mat

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat

What I Want to Remember
the way he smiles when we make eye contact with him
his natural mohawk hairstyle
how he knocks things out of our hands when we are holding him

What does your bedtime routine look like for your kiddos? Do you put them down at the same time if you have multiple children of different ages? Do you have any sleep tips?



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