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Posts tagged ‘baby’

I know I haven’t been blogging much, but hey, I’ve been busy. I’ll tell you about that later.

But when Gislaine tied a dolly scarf onto Ralfie’s head, I just couldn’t resist taking a picture and sharing it with you. Of course, I had to let Manny in on the picture taking.

Wouldn’t Ralfie have made a cute little girl? *smile*

Have you ever heard of infant potty training (also known as elimination communication)? I heard of it when my daughter was almost 12 months old, which was a bit late to start. She was a bit unusual, though, and basically initiated potty training on her own and was in panties by 19 months old. Basically, though, the idea of IPT is that you learn your baby’s signals and take them potty from a very young age. It is commonly practiced in places like India and many primitive cultures where diapers just aren’t used. There are various levels of IPT, also–everything from trying to catch every pee and poo, even getting tiny underpants that are the equivalent of size 2 diapers, to a very relaxed “I’ll get what I can and forget the rest” attitude. One cannot really consider their child truly potty trained until somewhere around 18 months to 2 years, but it can simplify the process considerably for those who keep it up.

With my first son, I tried to be more diligent, and we did pretty well for a while, but then his eczema just got too out of control, and I gave up trying. He finally learned to do #1 in the potty less than 3 months ago, and we’re still working on #2…

With little Rafael, I decided it was worth it to try. After all, every poo I catch is one less poopy diaper to clean out, and it’s pretty easy to catch pee, too. The truth is, babies really don’t want to go in their diapers–hence the likelihood that they will pee as soon as their diaper comes off, especially when really little. That tends to go away after a few months as they learn to go in the diaper and get used to it.

Anyhow, I guess you could say I’m on the more relaxed end the continuum. However, I have noticed that if I take my baby right after a feeding (instead of relaxing for 10 minutes and cuddling), he will almost always pee, and often will poo too. Sometimes I take him before a feeding, or any time I notice him grunting. Even if it’s just gas, the way I hold him seems to help.

So how do I hold him? I hold his thighs with my hands, his back to my tummy. Often my thumbs stick up and he will grab them with his hands. I hold him over the sink in the bathroom (it’s a lot easier on my back than bending over the toilet, and at this stage he’s too little to sit on the potty). In this position, I can bring his knees closer to his chest if I desire, especially alternately, and this can help get things going, too. I watch his face to see if he is relaxed or if he is concentrating; there is a look that I have learned already in less than 2 weeks that usually tells me whether he has more to do or whether he is all done.

Even Daddy is picking up on the signals. He noticed this morning that Ralfie was grunting, and thought, I wonder if he has to go poo. Sure enough, a couple minutes later, he filled up his diaper.

Sometimes I don’t always avoid keeping the diaper clean. This afternoon he pooped a little bit before I got him to the bathroom. However, he did a whole bunch in the sink–the kind that leaks around the legs and soils baby clothes. In fact, as long as I am diligent to take him after every meal, I almost never have to worry about washing out baby clothes, because diapers never leak! Of course, cloth diapers leak less than disposables, but still, they can leak. It also stretches out how long the cloth diapers last, because fewer of them are getting soiled and even wet. He’s been known to stay dry through a nap and go when he woke up.

So how long will I keep this up? As long as practical. Right now it’s a trade-off: a few minutes a day holding him over the sink verses washing and folding the diapers that would have been soiled if I hadn’t. Cleaning his bottom is a breeze–I just grab a bit of toilet paper and wipe, instead of using a bunch of wipies to clean everything from the middle of his back to his knees. So maybe it doesn’t save time, but it doesn’t really take extra time, either, and does save money (fewer diapers to wash, so fewer loads of laundry).

And hopefully he will be fully potty trained before the age of 2. That would be the biggest blessing!

As a side benefit, it seems that his big brother is taking a clue from the baby. He started telling us when he had gone in his pants, instead of waiting for us to notice the smell. Hopefully he will start telling us before he goes, but for now it’s a step in the right direction!

Have you ever heard of Infant Potty Training? Ever tried it? What was your experience? Would you consider trying it again, or for the first time if you never have tried it? I’d love to hear your feedback!

So life has been interesting lately and I thought I’d share a little.

Our schedule has been working pretty well. We still have a lot of tweaking to do, especially where the kids are concerned. And especially with their bedtime. Not the bedtime routine; that is going very well. Just the bedtime. Late nights (brought on by parental neglect) and late sundowns have combined to make the kids very untired in the evening. But I so need that quiet time before my bedtime to interact with my husband and do other things like browse Facebook or read or just do something I want to do. Last night was the best night so far; Gislaine didn’t come out half a dozen times to tell me how not tired she was!

She did come out to tell us her brother was keeping her awake. You see, lately we’ve been playing musical beds in this house. I sleep in a recliner. My daughter was sleeping in our bed. Manny was sleeping in her bed. And Daddy was sleeping in Manny’s bed–to keep away from the baby noises. Both he and I have had sleep issues, and he’s trying to catch up and didn’t want his sleep interrupted when the baby was fussy.

Well, last night Gislaine decided she wanted to sleep in the tent she had made in her room with a blanket and some chairs. I said, why not? Her brother wanted to sleep in her bed as usual. So they were in the same room. They used to sleep in the same room, over a year ago, back when we only had two rooms upstairs. I don’t know what he was doing; I was nursing so Daddy took care of it.

Well, this morning, I went in to wake them up and found them both in the same bed! Bless their hearts! I wish I could have taken a picture (drat the thief who stole our camera!).

Ralfie did much better on the 2.5 hour schedule than on the 3 hour one. He also slept about 5 hours straight last night! What a blessing for me! However, he is already off schedule this morning. Not sure if I should try to get him back on or just live with being off all day. The schedule as it is written is so perfect; I got so much done yesterday. I guess I’ll just play it by ear.

Speaking of getting things done, I am seeing the beauty of having one. I have blocks of time when the baby is sleeping that I can dedicate to working on something (cleaning, organizing, meals), and I found myself working more efficiently. I know having more energy helps!

But here is one real benefit. I’ve been wanting to give Manny a haircut for the last month or more, but I just couldn’t figure out when to do it. I wanted to do it before a bath, but baths weren’t scheduled, and usually ended up being at the last minute or else I just didn’t have time before the bath to do the haircut. So I looked at my schedule yesterday and said, I could take the half hour before their scheduled bath time out of their play time to cut his hair. We can listen to an audio story or something during that time also. And then he goes straight from the haircut to the tub. It is also during the baby’s scheduled sleep time, too.

In a nutshell, it worked perfectly. I did have to switch things up a tad, because he had pooped his pants (why won’t he tell me when he needs to go, or at least right after he’s gone before it gets all dried and smeared?), so I had his sister bathe first so that I wouldn’t need to fill the tub twice. It worked out perfectly.

Of course, I know it won’t always be that perfect. But just having it be that way sometimes instead of chaos all the time is so nice!

But now it’s 7 minutes till breakfast, and I know my husband won’t have it on the table in time. And if breakfast is late, the whole day gets off (or I lose cleaning time and can’t get done what needs to be done).

I also need to figure out when I will do the exercises the physical therapist gave me. I waited until the kids went to bed, then the baby got off schedule and nursed for an hour, and I was so sleepy when he finally finished (about 9:15) that I almost didn’t do them. I did miss some reps… So I want to do them this afternoon. Before supper. I’ll look into that.

Oh, 4 minutes to breakfast! Gotta run!

Little Rafael has slipped into enough of a routine that I felt I could make a schedule for the family. I’ve attempted many schedules in the past, and never stuck with it long, but I feel like I have to try again. I crave the order and regularity that a schedule provides. If I can get my husband on board with it, I just might be able to make this one work. It will provide a rhythm for the day, as well as structure for the children. I guess you could say I have too many children to just “wing it” anymore. I’ve also been inspired by the blog Large Families on Purpose. Erika, the writer, has 9 children, the two youngest being twins, and she has details on her blog about how she schedules her time as well as the time of all 9 children.

My goal is to make sure I have time for sleep (I’ve actually scheduled in two 1/2-hour naps into my day), as well as trying to make the best use of my time. For instance, I scheduled morning and evening worships during the baby’s feeding times.

Of course, I know the schedule will change soon; Ralfie won’t be on a 3-hour feeding schedule forever. But he will be for a few weeks, I expect. Once his schedule changes, I’ll adjust the schedule accordingly.

In fact, I know that what I’ve come up with is only a guideline, and it is also going to have to be flexible. But it is an attempt!

For me, my biggest problem with a schedule has been the evenings. If I don’t start the evening routine on time (such as getting supper ready on time, telling the kids to pick up their toys by a certain time, etc), then everything gets messed up. The kids are in bed late. There is a bunch of stuff left to do after they get into bed. And then I get to bed late myself, making getting up on time pretty much impossible. I’m hoping the afternoon nap will provide me with enough energy to be ready to start the evening routine on time and keep it going.

Do you have a schedule? Have you tried one and failed? Do you plan on trying again? Tell me about it.

One of the first lessons a baby learns is trust. He has to trust that when he is hungry, he will he fed; when his diaper gets dirty, it will be changed, etc.

He learns that when something is scary, his mommy or daddy will keep him safe. If he can trust them, he will be able to learn this lesson more quickly.

For instance, my husband had noticed that our baby Ralfie startled at sudden, loud noises. He told me to be careful not to make such noises so as not to scare the baby. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Yesterday I was out shopping with my baby. I had to use the restroom, and when I got there, the seat was up. So I put it down. But it slipped and landed down with a bang. I immediately looked down at my baby and said, “It’s okay, don’t worry. Mama’s here.” Then I watched his face. For a moment it started to crumple up, but as he looked into my eyes, he chose instead to trust me, and feeling safe in my arms, he relaxed quickly and never even whimpered.

Thus little Rafael is learning the lesson of trust. He will have more chances to learn it in many and various contexts. My job is to be faithful in my duties as a mother, that he may learn more quickly to trust his parents and not be afraid.

As I think of God being like a parent, I can imagine Him looking down on me when something happens that I don’t understand and saying, “It’s okay; just trust Me.” Will I choose to trust Him? Will you?

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately. I’ve used the excuse if not having a convenient computer to edit and upload pictures with, or that I didn’t always have a picture, or the time to hunt for one, and then our camera was stolen… But I decided that it was better to write a post sans photos than to not write. And some of my Facebook posts have been like short or medium blog posts…

But Facebook is only accessible to those who are my friends or who have liked my Life of a Happy Mom page. Not everyone has Facebook. And although the timeline will make it easier to go back and remember, it still isn’t the same as a blog. And a lot of what I have posted lately would have made such good content. So here goes the first post in a while.

Yes, Rafael Joshua Reynoso was born July 9 at 4:30 in the afternoon. He weighed 6 lb 15 oz–13 ounces less than my first two. He was also 9 days early. We weren’t expecting him to come so early!

I’ll write out his birth story (and probably his siblings’s stories too) later, but for now, I just have to brag about how convenient he was.

For starters, labor didn’t wake me up at an unreasonable hour of the day. I woke up at 5:30 or so in the morning after around 6 hours of sleep (less than ideal, but enough). And since he was born mid-afternoon, I was able to get to sleep at a decent time (unlike with my son, who was born less than half an hour before midnight). He came on my husband’s day off. And labor progressed slowly enough in the morning that I was able to eat a good breakfast, fix a bunch of pancakes for my son, make a batch of baby wipes, and even pick lettuce from the garden for lunch! All before the contractions got too strong to do other things during them. By the time I called the midwife to come, she had already finished all the home visits and such that she had scheduled for the day! And she was able to leave before dinner time. Really, the only inconvenient thing was that he didn’t come a week later, when my daughter would have been here!

Just a note for those who know our family: Little Rafael isn’t technically a junior, because my husband doesn’t have a middle name. Also, we end up calling him Rafaelito and Ralfy for short.

Rally is as petite as can he. I didn’t catch what his length is, but he is definitely smaller boned than his big brother, who is quite a chunk now! He has hair, which neither of his siblings had at birth, and it is showing signs of looking like my hair (that is, more straight than curly). He has my mom’s feet–super-narrow heel and skinny toes. He also has hyper-flexible ankles: he can touch his shin with his toes! The skin is still too tight to stretch his toes out pointed, but I expect it will stretch over time. He likes to pull his knees up to cuddle, and that makes him look very tiny indeed! He also has hair on his ears and shoulders, but the midwife said that was just because he was a little early (39 weeks gestation instead of 40), and it will fall out soon.

He is now 9 days old and filling out his tiny little frame! He wants to nurse a lot, but he also has good periods of wake time during the day.

His siblings love him! I let Gislaine carry him sometimes for short distances, usually from my bedroom to the kid-sized rocking chair in the living room, where she will sit and hold him for a while while I work on stuff. Or we will lay him on a foam pad on the table or a counter in the kitchen where he can hear and see us and we can work and talk to him. He will lay there and kick his feet and wave his arms around and generally be sociable for an hour or so about 3 times a day.

He also coos a little bit here and there. This is a bit unusual; babies usually don’t make any sounds except for crying until they are about a month old. But from like day 3 he has occasionally made a little happy sound like “oooh” or “aaaah”, and it is so cute!

I’m resting as well as can be expected. My husband has taken paternity leave, so he has taken over most of my responsibilities, though as I have the energy, I am doing some things. Like ironing, sorting the laundry, baking something, etc. I am feeling my energy coming back, and I’m enjoying not having to do so much so that I can really take time to bond with my baby.

Who is now deep asleep, and I’m hungry. Daddy said the food is ready, so I’m going to put him down in the swing a coworker gave us and go eat! Maybe I’ll even help with the dishes after lunch… Either that, or fold sheets that got washed yesterday. Or take a walk. I want to get back into walking now that I’m not pregnant and my hip is healing. And then a nap! I need a nap!

So I’m in labor. It started at 5:30 this morning with slightly painful contractions, but nothing to take my breath away. It progressed very slowly, but nothing I did would change it–relaxing in my recliner, making my son breakfast, taking a warm bath, starting the laundry… They just kept coming. As of the last half hour or more, they are at least 5 minutes apart. I will be live blogging on my Life of a Happy Mom page on Facebook (just search for it–I can’t get the link right now) as well as my personal page. Midwife is on her way.

Lately I have been on a bit of a health kick. A couple of my friends on Facebook have inspired me. :) Also, I figure I can’t eat too healthy with a baby growing inside of me, so why not? And since juicing is one of the easiest ways to get good nutrition, and since we have a juicer, I’m juicing.

After the morning sickness went away, I suddenly couldn’t eat as much as I had been. If I ate anything solid in the evenings–even a smoothie–I would crawl into bed with a heavy feeling in my stomach and sometimes even a sensation a little like heartburn.

I quickly realized that my body just couldn’t handle food in the evening. At least, not as late as I was eating–and since we were not eating breakfast early, there was no way to get a third meal early enough.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. I maintain my weight much better on two meals than on three. However, I am pregnant, and I don’t want to deprive the baby of calories or nutrition. Granted, the baby is only about 5 inches long right now and doesn’t need a whole lot of calories right now, but I want to make sure I am giving it all the best nutrition possible.

I recently bought a jar of wheat grass from Whole Foods, and sometimes I would mix that in with a glass of juice, but I don’t want to buy juice all the time, since those juices aren’t really all that good for you. Not that 100% juice is bad, but I like variety, too.

Then I thought of juicing. I bought a 5 lb bag of organic carrots at Whole Foods and juiced them. This I could mix with the wheat grass, and it was very satisfying. I also started mixing in Melaleuca’s fiber with this juice (adding extra water), and I found this very tasty and good for my digestion, too.

Sometimes I juice other things with the carrots. Last night I juiced carrots, kale, and apples, all organic. And I took pictures. My kids were helping me.

Organic Carrots, Red Kale, and Apples

I had made kale chips with half a bunch of red kale, so I used the rest for this batch of juice, I had almost 5 pounds of carrots, because I had used 3 or 4 in recipes during the week. And the 3 apples that had been on sale the last time I went to Whole Foods.

So I washed them and started juicing. As soon as he saw the juicer, Manny wanted to come watch. He likes to nibble  the carrot fiber as it comes out of the juicer.

He was trying to help, but the carrots were too hard for him to push down. He put some of them in, though.

After juicing most of the carrots and all the kale, I started on the apples. Since apples are much softer than carrots, he was able to do it all by himself.

When it was all done, I let Manny and Gislaine have a little bit of the apple juice (it had 2 or 3 carrots in it, since juicing a carrot with the slender end up last leaves less unjuiced food than a chunk of apple), and then I mixed the juices together. I added the extra water and fiber to mine, left one for my husband, and froze the rest. Here is the result (before adding fiber to mine):

So now when I feel a little bit of hunger in the evening, I mix up a liquid drink. Since my husband drank one, there are a total of 4 servings per week for me. I mixed fiber with one, and drank it down. I stored the extra ones in the freezer. I get one out the night before I want to drink it. On days that I don’t drink one of these juices, I will add a bit of whatever reconstituted frozen juice I have in the fridge (right now I think it’s apple raspberry) to my fiber drink and throw in some wheat grass. With the kale in this, I don’t think I really need the wheat grass with my organic juice.

So that’s what I do for supper most nights. It digests very quickly, so there is nothing to make my stomach upset when I crawl into bed, and tastes delicious. Granted, there are some evenings when lunch was light and I’m hungry early; then I’ll eat a little something. And I’m sure in the last trimester I will be very hungry and will need more calories than I do now. But for now, I’m content that I am giving my baby the best nutrition I can while still listening to my body.

This post is participating in the Modest Monday link-up on The Modest Mom blog.

I found the following post intriguing, because I co-slept with both of my children for a few months before moving them to a crib–usually by the time they were able to roll over or before. I hope you find this post helpful.

Choosing to have your baby in bed with you is an often controversial topic, and polarizes opinion enormously due to the dangers that are often spurted out in the news. But the benefits of co-sleeping also speak for themselves. So what really are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your baby, and how is it done safely?

The Pros

  • A calmer baby – bedsharing is renowned for making your baby feel more at ease and content, having their mother right by their side. They are likely to sleep better and for longer periods, as they feel safer and more secure.
  • Bonding – if you have been away from your baby all day, you can instantly regain that connection and closeness by having your baby in bed with you. Make sure your baby is between you and the wall, and is placed to sleep on their back for the safest way of co-sleeping.
  • No cot shopping yet – for the first few months, there might not be any need for a cot or Moses basket, saving on space and money. You may want to invest in a new double mattress that is much firmer.
  • Breastfeeding made easy – having your baby right by your side means there’s no need to get up for a feed, and there’s less disruption during sleep for you and baby.
  • Body clock – your sleep cycle is more likely to stay in sync with your baby’s if you sleep together, meaning you both get better and longer sleep.

The Cons

  • Cot death – the biggest and most important negative of co-sleeping. Unfortunately, this is a possible danger due to strangulation and suffocation that could happen in your bed. To reduce the risk of cot death, it’s extremely important to ensure that you and your partner have not been drinking, smoking or are unusually tired.
  • Less sleep for you – at first, it may be an unfamiliar and strange concept of having your wriggling baby in bed with you, so it may mean less sleep for you.
  • Getting too used to it – co-sleeping may make the transition from bed to cot much harder and drawn-out for your baby, as they are too familiar with the safety of sleeping next to their parents. It might also make it harder on yourself when your baby is left with a sitter or relative.

How to co-sleep safely

  • Invest in a firm mattress, and tight sheets that lay flat on the bed. Make sure your duvet or comforter is lightweight. Remove any unnecessary cushions, throws, blankets and stuffed animals and keep all bedding to a minimum.
  • Place the baby to sleep on their back, for the safest sleeping position.
  • Keep your baby on top of the duvet to avoid overheating, and always check your baby’s temperature is warm and not hot.
  • Place your baby to sleep in between you and the wall, and place rugs and soft furnishings down if you have a hard-wood floor for extra safety.
  • Keep the bed right up against the wall, and ensure there are no gaps around the bed. Wedge pillows or tightly-rolled blankets into any visible gaps.

 

Zoe is an avid blogger and experienced freelance writer, and loves to share her knowledge through content on the internet. Zoe is currently writing on behalf of bed superstore Archers Sleep Centre.

Since I am currently pregnant with our third child, I found this article to be very insightful–and comforting!

Did you ever wonder if you become a bit dumber once you have children? Many women are concerned about losing their “intelligence” after having a baby as a result of being surrounded by milk bottles and diapers all the time. You must have heard stories about women putting nipple cream on their toothbrush and just being forgetful about many things. Childbearing does take a toll on your body and some feel on the mind as well. However, this is far from true. In fact, there is now evidence that suggests that giving birth does nothing but boost your brainpower so that you end up getting smarter post pregnancy.

What does this actually mean?

The “smartness” experienced by women post-pregnancy can be broken up into five categories, with each category supported by animal and, in some cases, human studies. The first category, which is perception, deals with the five senses and studies have shown that pregnant women have more advanced sense of smell and sight. What this means is that they are able to notice more things and are capable of sensing any unfavorable smells, both of which help them in protecting their baby.

Studies have also shown pregnant women to experience a boost in three other categories, resilience, motivation, and efficiency. Pregnant women are more fearless, get better at multitasking, and can also handle stress better. In fact, the hormone oxytocin, which is important for labor and breastfeeding, also boosts your ability to learn and memorize many new things.

The fifth category, emotional intelligence, is where mothers benefit the most. They gain the ability to see the world from someone else’s eyes. To be a good mother and understand your child better you automatically learn to broaden your mind and your perspective.

When you become a mother, you also learn to strategize and prioritize. You may have noticed new mothers exchanging information while their babies played. What they are actually doing is collecting each other’s experiences to make things easier for their own baby. This may include anything from teething troubles, bedwetting, the best school, the best daycare, and so on.

Things to do yourself to boost your brainpower

Even though there are many changes that automatically take place in your body to make you smarter during your pregnancy, there are some things you need to be careful about and consciously do to improve your brain power post pregnancy. Don’t be lazy to breastfeed your baby as the oxytocin hormone released during breastfeeding helps to calm you and bond better your baby. You are bound to be sleep-deprived, but make a time table or a schedule and ask your husband to help you out and share some of the sleepless nights with you. Getting adequate sleep will help in keeping your brain sharp and alert.

Just because you are pregnant does not mean you sit in one place and munch away. Engage yourself in some form of experience, but only after consulting your doctor. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits; studies have shown that these help in preventing decline in brain function. Don’t forget to socialize. Make friends with other new mothers. Join a mother-toddler group and share your experiences with each other. Not only will this help in better brain functioning but also helps in warding off postpartum depression.

Have a positive outlook

Lastly, new mothers or mothers-to-be must realize and appreciate the level to which your brain gets challenged by learning so many new things. Even if you feel exhausted, just concentrating on the amount of learning you are experiencing in such a short span of time, is enough to energize and keep you on your toes.

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About the author: Ellen Spencer is a blogger and writer. She is a health freak and very environmentally aware. These days she is busy in writing an article on Psoriatic arthritis. Beside this she loves reading. She is also a big fan of Baby Strollers.