Watching My Baby Sleep

As I lay here watching my baby sleep during our new sleep training efforts, I have to chuckle to myself. I love these sweet moments with my son.
Pantley’s Gentle Removal Plan

One of the several techniques I am implementing with my 4 month old son is called “Pantley’s Gentle Removal Plan” from Elizabeth Pantley’s book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

Essentially this plan incorporates gently breaking the baby’s latch so that he or she can get accustomed to falling asleep without this association.

Pantley recommends starting with bedtime. I did this successfully the first night and then excitedly went to use it for nap time the following day.

My son makes me laugh because even at this young age, I believe his personality shines through. At night we primarily use a bassinet that side-cars next to my husband’s and my bed. During the day, my son’s naps are co-slept with me. I’m not sure why there needs to be such a stark contrast for him at this time, but I’m letting it fly so that he gets very good naps which are said to beget better nighttime sleeping.

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The New Mama Workout

If you’re like me, you’re already wearing your sweatpants around the house and have your hair pulled into a messy bun anyway. So what’s a Mama to do when she’s all dressed up for the gym with no time to go?

New and seasoned mothers alike know how difficult it is to work exercise into your day to day activity.

Having a baby significantly changes our bodies and we need time to recover. But once your healthcare provider gives you the all clear, here are 10 exercises you can do with your baby.

(By the way, Dads, you can do these too!)

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Before Parenthood

Before the birth of my son, I considered myself a fairly organized person. One might say my house is “lived in” but usually one wouldn’t say my house is “a mess” (I hope). Now that my son is here, any weakness I had previously has been brought to light.

One of these weaknesses is my propensity to forget to switch clothes from the washer to the dryer. My mother can attest that this has been a shortcoming of mine since childhood. Doing laundry with good intentions gone bad…or soured actually. Oops!

One of my husband’s weaknesses is how much he hates to do dishes…but we won’t go there.”

Wait a second, I thought this was supposed to be about a bedtime routine, not your shortcomings regarding housework!

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If you missed it, read the beginning of this story, called “Finding Out I’m Pregnant.”
How I Told My Husband He’s Going to Be a Father

After the shock wore off and I ceased gaping at the wonderful pee stick that announced the good news that I was, in fact, for the first time, pregnant, I set down the pregnancy test and skipped into the bedroom. I crawled in bed next to my husband, on HIS side, and said softly, “Honey, I’m pregnant.”

He stirred as my words sunk in. “Really?” he asked.

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I was recently sent an article regarding a woman whose baby was struggling to nurse and basically starving because the baby could not physically remove milk from the breast. After much trial, the mother chose to formula feed. The article’s point? Fed is Best.

I would like to reiterate this point: Fed is Best. (And no I don’t mean the Federal government. I mean that a fed and full child is best. Yes, my mommy brain went there and was confused by the article until my smart brain kicked in.)

This article hit home for me because my son also struggled to nurse and for the first 4 weeks, before we put him on high-calorie formula, he was in fact, a failure to thrive baby.

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The happiest day of my life.

The happiest day of my life after my wedding day and before the day my son was born, was the day I found out I was pregnant.

I have mentioned before that my husband and I had wanted to have a baby for quite some time. From the first time we agreed to try to conceive to the moment of that positive pregnancy test was nearly three years.

I had spent a week at work feeling tired and strangely out of breath. I remember telling my boss as I was cleaning one day that I felt weird and jokingly told her, “Ha! Maybe I’m pregnant!” She said, “You better take a test.” I laughed it off at the time, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I had never quite felt the way I did.

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6 Tips and Tricks for Efficient Pumping

Your baby finally fell asleep! You want to pump and you only have 15 minutes because, let’s face it, you need a nap too. How can you get the best “bang for your buck” so to speak when it comes to pumping?

Keep reading for 6 tips on how to pump most efficiently.

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Don’t sweat it!

Remember, our bodies are designed to be amazing! God thought of everything and our bodies respond to the needs of our babies.

The concept of “emptying the breast” can be a bit misleading, but have no fear, our breasts were designed for the purpose of feeding our children. And this is still true even after pumping.

The breast is never truly emptied. Think instead of the milk being extracted from the breast as a supply and demand issue. It’s true that milk production is constant. When the breast is less full, the production speed picks up, and as the breast gets fuller, production slows.

Imagine a factory is making and selling a widget. While the widget is in demand, the factory is working quickly to satisfy its customers. If the demand for the widget decreases, so does the speed of production, and the excess stored.

Your baby will also begin to eat closer together as it gets later in the day. There’s a reason for this too. The fat content of your milk is higher which aids your baby in being able to sleep a longer stretch.

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Our son wasn’t born sick…

Our son wasn’t born sick, but the path from thriving baby to struggling baby happened very quickly.

He was born with both a lip and a tongue tie but of course, we didn’t know that. I have to say, of all the tests care providers run when a child is born, I wish they had checked the mouth for these conditions as well.

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Why Can’t I Get Pregnant?

Like so many others, my husband and I felt the sting of trying and seemingly failing to conceive a child.

About three years into our marriage, we decided we were ready to start a family. Naturally, we believed pure willpower and the act of not preventing was enough to accomplish this. So that very month, when it didn’t happen, we were terribly disappointed.

I took it much harder than my husband did. Let me rephrase. I took it personally. After months of my period rearing its ugly head while bearing the news that I was not pregnant. I was certain I was barren. I admit that, somehow, rational or not, I felt like less of a woman for not “accomplishing the task” of pregnancy.

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