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Posts Tagged ‘breastfeeding’

We just got back from an awesome vacation in the United States of America. It was great, BUSY and fun! It was also our first time travelling anywhere with Buddy Bear. Let me tell you, I was stressed! But, we survived and I even learned some helpful things for when we travel next. Or maybe even when you travel next?

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of vacationing with a baby

  • Don’t put a white baby in a white shirt
    • Our little Buddy Bear is a special brand of white. We liken his skin tone to clear. As we were visiting family on our vacation, a family picture was necessary. We decided to dress him in a cute little white button-up shirt. We thought he looked rather dapper and darling. Until we saw the pictures and realized that a white baby in a white shirt does not look dapper, but um, washed out and white. VERY, VERY white. Lesson learned
  • Do use an unstuffed cloth pocket diaper as a reusable swim diaper.
    • So thrifty, so very thrifty! And if you already have pocket diapers you’re like 10 steps ahead!
  • Don’t use a cloth swim diaper the day before you fly internationally
    • Nobody wants to travel with a nasty poopy diaper in their carry on. At least I don’t! Which meant a rushed load of laundry on the morning we flew out. Which we almost left in the dryer.
  • Do bring a traveling buddy with you.
    • I cannot imagine taking a baby through an international airport, trying to make a tight connection without Mr. Man’s assistance. Actually, I lied. I CAN imagine it, and it makes me want to cry.
  • Do breastfeed if at all possible
    • Plane taking off? Breastfeeding can help! Baby need help sleeping in a new environment? Breastfeeding can help! Trying to minimize the sheer amount of baggage you’ll be hauling around? Breastfeeding can help! Need I go into more detail?
  • Do bring lots of wet wipes they’re useful for more than diaper changes
    • I’m sure you can fill in the blanks for this one.
  • Do use a cloth unstructured baby carrier
    • Hello? One little (ok, HUGE) piece of fabric can be a renegade blanket, nursing cover, extra modesty provider, as well as allowing you to carry baby hands free. Done and done!
  • Don’t try to institute new sleep habits on vacation
    • All you seasoned parents are laughing at me, I know because I can hear you all the way over here! In my innocence/naiveté I planned to teach Buddy Bear to sleep in his own bed, WHILE on vacation, WHILE in a completely new environment, WHILE losing any semblance of routine/normalcy. Yeah, that was a stupid move. We ended up sleeping on the floor the whole week because Buddy Bear did not take to my harebrained scheme. AT ALL. The worst part was we were squished next to an EMPTY queen size bed the whole time, because Buddy Bear can’t sleep on an air mattress. It still stings.
  • Don’t haul all the toys in the world
    • I fretted for weeks whether Buddy Bear would have enough things to play with while on vacation. I didn’t have to worry because he had so many cousins, aunties and Gramma’s and Grampa’s vying for his attention that he was never bored. His favourite toy when he wasplaying by himself? Banging on the coffee table.
  • Do give your baby grace & time when meeting new people
    • It would be great if Buddy Bear had leapt out of my arms to embrace his grandparents when they met us at the airport. BUT. If he had been that eager to greet, essentially strangers, I think I would have died! I don’t want him walking away with the first person that calls him by name! BUT. Within a couple days, my Buddy Bear would gladly go to his Gramma and Grampa for cuddles (when mama was around, but still). Which means that I can still sleep at night.
  • Don’t expect baby’s eating habits to be the same as at home
    • It’s vacation! No one is eating like they do at home. (Hello, all-you-can-eat-shrimp-buffett)! So if Baby is eating even a smidgen of food, I’m gonna count it as a success!
  • Have fun!
    • Its vacation, its not forever! So Baby wears clothes with food stains and eats Cheerios for 3 meals in a row. No biggie. You can worry when you get home. Now, just relax and have fun. That’s why you took a vacation, right?

 

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Before Mr. Man and I became parents we used to look down our conventional noses at certain types of parents, saying smugly to ourselves “What hippie parents!” and “We will never do that when we’re parents”.

Humble Pie meet Andg.

Andg meet Humble Pie.

I think you two will be great friends!

You see, Mr. Man and I aren’t your typical crunchies. We recycle only because we have a recycling box right outside our back gate. We drive two cars, and we drive them A LOT. We don’t buy used (only because we’re too lazy to drive across town to the second-hand store). We don’t eat organic. In fact, the only ‘organic food’ we have are our tomato plants and we are killing those as fast as we can (we have black thumbs apparently).

But when it comes to parenting, well we have veered quite heavily into hippie territory. And not because we’ve experienced a philosophical revelation and now understand the importance of hippie living. No, it’s because being parents has helped us realize how LAZY we are!

You don’t believe me that lazy mamas and papas can accidentally become dirty, dirty hippies?

Breastfeeding: In itself not a hippie thing (though stereotypically hippies love it) or a lazy thing, but above all I do it because I’m lazy. No bottles to wash, no formula to cart from the store to the car to the house, or bottles to make in the middle of the night. Once you get over the initial breastfeeding hurdles, its always available, the right temperature and exactly what my baby needs. The perfect choice for a lazy mama like me.

Cloth Diapering: Admit it, when you think about hippie parents you think cloth diapers. And its true, cloth diapers can be better for the environment if you care about that kind of thing.  But lazy parenting? Oh yes, cloth diapering is great for lazy parents! I always run out of diapers. Like 2 or 3 times a week. So I throw a load of diapers in the laundry and after 2 or so hours of naked bum time I have a whole set of diapers ready to go again. If I had to pack a squirmy, most likely smelly, or even worst case scenario half-naked, little boy into the car and drive to the store to pick up diapers everytime I ran out of diapers, believe me, I’d be one drive short of the nuthouse! So cloth diapers have become way easier for me, allowing me to be just a tad bit lazier…

Co-Sleeping: As Mr. Man said to me earlier, “We do it, because it works!” Pre-baby we (he) were predisposed against co-sleeping. But after a series of sleepless nights of night nursing and wondering if we would Iever sleep again, I snuck the little man into our bed and slept the rest of the night with Buddy Bear tucked beside me, nursing to his heart’s content. What a relief! I didn’t have to get up every 45 minutes (yes 45 minutes, I’m not exaggerating) and actually slept for the first time in what felt like my entire life! And we’ve been sleeping together ever since, because I am too lazy to go back to the on the hour, wake-up calls.

Elimination Communication: Classic hippie territory. And us. Because I am so lazy that I don’t want to change diapers anymore, so I’m attempting to reduce the amount of diapers I have to change through a little elimination communication.

Baby-Led-Weaning: Huh? What’s that mean? It essentially means no purees (homemade or storebought), no ice cube trays of ‘baby food’. Its just giving your baby good food, yes ‘adult food’ and letting your baby explore how to eat at their own pace. Which means mama (me) puts a cooled portion of whatever we’re eating for dinner on Buddy Bear’s tray and we all eat together, and I get to eat my supper when its hot. Easy, non-conventional and yes, lazy. Also, check out this site if you are interested, I really like the way these ladies have explained the concept.

 

Moby Wrap available @ http://www.mobywrap.com/

Baby-wearing: This one is easy. Hippies wear babies because its good for them, and better for bonding, and yadda, yadda. I wear my Buddy Bear when I’m out and about because I can keep my carrier in the diaper bag and when I need my hands free I just whip out my carrier instead of fussing around with a heavy stroller. (If I have it, I have a knack for leaving it in the garage when I need it) So easy!

So there you have it. One or two habits by themselves are pretty harmless, I would even say normal. But throw my brand of laziness into the game and all of a sudden I’m a perfect storm of cloth-diapering/co-sleeping/baby-wearing/breastfeeding/baby-led-weaning/elimination-communicating hippie parenting!

*munch* yum… I love humble pie!

What have you said you would or would never do that you have now found yourself changing your tune? What made you change your mind?

 

P.S. We don’t think people who practice any or all of these techniques are actually dirty or necessarily hippies. I just think its a funny phrase. Though if you are either dirty or a hippie, that’s cool too. – love andg

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Mother’s Day is this weekend, my first one as a real Mommy! This time a year ago I was freshly pregnant and full of anticipation and great ideas about being a mommy. How little did I know? If only I had access to this letter a year ago…

Dear Pre-Mommy Andg,

You’re gonna be a mommy! Yes, you’re technically a mother right now to that little ball of fuzz hidden deep in your abdomen, but a mommy, that part is grown into not made. Having a 7 month old baby now, there are a lot of things that you/I have learned that you need to know.

1.       Having a baby means forfeiting your right and ability to eat an uninterrupted meal. In fact, you probably won’t be able to eat with both hands for quite a while.

2.       I know you’re all pro-breastfeeding right now, and that’s good, but. But, but, but, it is hard! So, so hard! But good. Push through the challenges, ask for help, and ask again if the first (or fifteenth) help didn’t work!

3.       Yeah, remember when you could sleep through the night? Well cherish that memory, because its not happening anymore. Only 17 and a half more years until he moves out and you can hopefully start sleeping again…

4.       The little guy is going to be just like you in so many ways, it;s so amazing. And also creepy.

5.       One of the ways he’s like you? N-E-E-D-Y. Like, “Mommy hold me all the daylong and give me your undivided attention!” Kind of needy. You are so lucky.

6.       Buddy Bear’s smiles can light up a room and make you into a puddle of mush.

7.       Having a baby is an instant conversation starter. In fact, you’ll start to wonder how you ever met new people when you didn’t have a baby!

8.       Buddy Bear will watch the door all day waiting for Mr. Man to come home and will smile and laugh at Mr. Man’s antics, but YOU are the one that can make Buddy Bear’s bad day OK again.

9.       Everyone will a piece of advice for you on what you need to add or change about parenting and everything, ever.

10.   But, you know for never doing this before, you’re doing alright. Remember that.

You can do this!

Love,

Mommy Andg

 

What do you wish you could tell your pre-mommy self?

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