Friday, August 27, 2010

Keeping a baby on a strict schedule?

My sister and her baby.Image via Wikipedia

Solve Your Child's Sleep ProblemsI always thought I would go with the flow when I had liv. She would sleep when she is tired, we would eat when she is hungry and just live. On demand parenting this is sometimes called and it can work great, for some children. But children crave rhythm an consistence in their life. This is something Liv needed and all my AP books did not offer. She was cranky, fussy and over tired.
I am not a CIO fan, but for a while I was so desperate I read several popular CIO books. 2 I would highly recommend are Dr. Ferber's book, the father of CIO and Dr. Weissbluths book. They have great ideas and tips on how babies should be sleeping and how to be consistant. Doing the tips in there helped me greatly and I never resorted to CIO methods. I also used The No Cry Sleep Solution to implement a sleep plan. But with out the first 2 books mentioned I don't think the NCSS would of worked.
Babies need a schedule, or a rhythm of their day. The wake, eat, sleep. This is very babywise, but really helped. Babies like to know what to expect. Rhythm in your day can help this.
Rhythm is much looser then a schedule. With rhythm there isn't a specific time. I have seem on some Babywise blogs questions on how to get their LO to sleep to a specific time. This shouldn't be important. But what happens after they wake should be. So they know what to expect. It makes them feel safe. If Liv wakes up at 6 or 7 or anywhere inbetween I don't worry. When she was younger 3 hours later she needed a nap. I didn't look at the clock for its 9am every day naptime. No, she wasnt sleepy till 3 hrs later, why force her to stay up or force her to sleep early. There was a rhythm to out day inbetween. She knew that nap time was coming and for the most part goes down easy.
Now that we have switched to one nap our rhythm is off and she is giving me a little problem with going down. But I'm not worried, I know once she gets used to the new rhythm of our day everything will be fine.
In someways rhythm is a go with the flow. It just helps go with the natural flow of the day, in a consitant and predictable manner, but with flexablity when needed.
This is very "waldorf" style parenting, which goes a lot with attachment parenting, but is not usually mentioned in any ap books. If you are having problems with the sometimes chaos that can devolp with parenting a rhythm to your day can help greatly.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Perfect Toddler Snack

Liv can be a picky eater. On days she is picky I make her this Smoothie
Organic plain full fat yogurt
Frozen and fresh fruit
frozen carrots or peas
flaxseed meal
Blend together till very smooth. Add more water to make it more smooth. If not using sweeter fruits you can add some honey or agave nector to make it taste better.
Serve fresh in a toddler cup with a straw, put any left overs in the fridge.
This can be used as a snack, for breakfast or to help a sick toddler get in some good nutrients.
I use a magic bullet to blend mine. It is so easy and convient to use. And the cups come with lids so they can be easily refridgerated.
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transition to one nap

Photo sessions can be tiringImage by island artist via Flickr

Liv very suddenly transitioned to one nap. She was giving me a very hard time about going down for her naps and at night for days. She would fuss and fight and act wide awake. She needed to be rocked for almost an hour. Well on Saturday was her first birthday party and I did not have time to take hours to get her to sleep so I waited. I put her down for her first nap at noon, she slept only an hour and a half and needed to go to bed by 6:30. She passed right out.
Now she is taking a nap at noonish, about 5 hours after she wakes up. The nap is now longer now that she is realizing she is getting one nap. Some days it has been 3 hours.
Today we were in the car at the time of her old morning nap and she passed out. I awoke her at our destination, 10 min later. She did find and still took a decent nap at 12:15. So I guess she still isnt totally used to one nap, but it hasnt even been a week.
Liv took so long to get down to 2 naps I'm suprised that she dropped to one so quick.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Extended Breastfeeding

of course you can nurse your babyImage by katiek2 via Flickr

So in 2 days Liv will be 1 and since we are still breastfeeding and going strong very shortly we will be extended breastfeeding.
I hate using this term on any child under 2.
The World Health Organization recommends that breastfeeding continue till atleast 2 years.
Many other cultures see nursing till 2 years as the norm and its not extended, thats just what nursing is.
I really hate the stigma put on mothers who breastfeed past one year. There are so many health benefits for the mother and the baby that I wish this was the norm. I hope one day peopl will realize and it will be come more popular to breastfeed a toddler.

Extended breastfeeding really is a term that should be used for older toddlers, age 3 and up. This is when I feel that nursing has become extended beyond the norm in many cultures. Say that though it doesnt mean that its wrong to still breast feed past 3.
For mother and children who keep breastfeeding over the 2 year mark they have an even great stigma and are often looked at as weird, sometimes even disturbed. Woman nursing this long often do not discuss their extending nursing. But for a woman nursing a young toddler who might be still nursing very often it is hard to hide the fact that you are still nursing.
When I nurse Liv people often ask when I am going to wean and mention the women on youtube nursing their 7 year olds, like anyone who breastfeeds past 1 year will never wean.

If you want to breastfeed past a year, and I highly recommend that you do, there are resource out there. La Leche League Internation is a great place to find woman doing the same thing you are.
There are many mom out there who are still breastfeeding, even though they may not all be open about still doing it.
Some moms are tantum breastfeeding, still breastfeeding their older child while nursing a newborn. So don't let pregnancy scare you into weaning if you do not think you are ready to wean.

Most important, always remember that you are doing what is best for you and your baby. You know you baby best, and you will know when weaning is right, which for most little ones is not even close to the year mark, but more close to 3.
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Week 51 Sleep regression

A child sleeping.Image via Wikipedia

For about 2 weeks now we have had a horrible sleep regression. I am exhausted. Liv has been waking up multiple times to nurse or just to be rocked and help a bit. Some night we have been co-sleeping, but she wakes up so early when she is in our bed. I am really hoping this passes soon.
I have read that babies this age do this, either because of developmental milestones(walking which she hasn't reached it yet) and seperation anxiety. 2 weeks is a long time for a sleep regression with Liv, usually they last tops a week.
Lets hope she sleeps for me tonight.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Benefits of Breastfeeding for You

Austin Breastfeeding Challenge 2007Image by Chim Chim via Flickr

Most people have heard of some of the ways that BF is best for baby, but what about you as a mom?
BF has many benefits for your health and well being.

BFing moms are less likely to have PPD.

BFing momma's tend to have higher HDL cholesterol. Thats the good one that you want higher.

Woman who have BFed have lower risks of cancers, including breast cancer, ovarian and uterine cancers

BF is relaxing and releases hormones for momma to relax, not just baby.
Many women don't get to this point since in America weaning of the breast is usually early. The first weeks and even months can feel like a marathon but what happens after is truly that breastfeeding bond that is often talked about.

Recently a friend of mine posted on her facebook a pic of her and her toddler sleeping on her chest. Skin to skin contact. Many mothers on fb commented how cute and how they miss those days. These are all moms with children under 2 years old! I just kept my mouth shut since I get that skin to skin often. Almost once a day. And just that nursing closeness is wonderful to. I feel bad sometimes for what they are missing out on.

Breastfeeding is a bond for life and that is the best benefit of all. Feeding you baby in a loving, relaxed manner, keeping him close to you and your heart, and bonding and reconnecting daily.
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Breastfeeding week

International BF week is about to end, and I have been a slacker with doing my BF posts. I will try to finish it up next week since this week I was on vaca part of it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Your baby

Breastfeeding a newborn babyImage via Wikipedia

In honor of Breastfeeding week I am focusing on BF this whole week.
Here is a simple list of benefits of breastfeeing for your LO.

Breastmilk is perfectly made for your baby, its has the right balance of nutrients and will even vary its make up for your child for optimal benefits.

Breastfeeding protects against many illness, ear infections, diabetes, pneunomia, and kidney infections.

Breastfeeding reduces your child's risk of developing allergies, asthma and eczema.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.

Breastfeed babies have less teeth carries.

Breastfeed babies have a higher IQ.

BF babies have less chance of iron deficiency.

BF babies are less likely to be obese as adults.

They are receiving the mother's antibodies, so they are building them up with out having to be exposed and risk getting ill.

Their antibodies response to vaccines is higher.

There are more benefits, like the emotional bond but I just wanted to do a quick over view so you can see how important BF is for your baby.
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Official Start of Breastfeeding week

Breastfeeding symbolImage via Wikipedia

This is the official start of breastfeeding week. Instead of going into all the benefits of BF and tips and more I am just going to tell you my favorite things about BF.

No bottles, no bottles in the middle of the night, no bottles to wash, no bottles or formula to buy. Which leaves me with extra time to relax or to play with Liv.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful bond. There is a special bond when you nurse your baby. Just several days ago when I was nursing Liv she reached up and stroked my face. It was amazing. Its just so great when you have a new baby that everyone wants to hold and only you can feed her. Its a wonderful time to relax with your LO.

Its green. No plastic bottles, no nipples, no cans or bottles of formula (which are usually lined with plastic with BPA in it) No running hot water to steralize bottles. BF is very green, while formula feeding wastes a lot of natural resources.

I can just leave the house, no packing bottles, no running to warm bottles. I can just leave with some diapers and wipes and not have to worry about what Liv will eat. Now that she's eating solids I pack some snacks, but I still don't have to worry about milk or formula.

Its comforts my baby. Nursing helps Liv relax, so she can sleep, it helps her when she is sick to feel better, it helps her when she is upset to calm down.

I enjoy knowing that I am doing what is best for my baby and me. There are so many health benefits to BF for the baby and for you.

Tomor I will go over health benefits of breastfeeding for your baby.
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