It’s All About Perspective

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Lewis & I were talking yesterday about how fast everything is going with Isis. We were actually talking about changing diapers specifically and somehow it turned into a conversation about how fast things were going and about our perspectives. For example, with the diapers, Lewis and I had both read about some studies that were done that showed that children bonded and felt more connected to the people who changed their diapers because it’s such an intimate and also very necessary part of their day. You can tell in the way they look at the person changing their diapers. There is another study that we read that showed that specifically dads who got involved with the details, like changing diapers, from birth impacted the child’s academic achievement throughout life. It just set a tone for involvement and attention throughout the child’s life. How does this relate to anything, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
Lewis said he had been thinking about all these milestones he was excited for Isis to reach, like rolling over and sitting up and reaching for things, putting things in her mouth, etc. He said he gets excited about the next milestone each time. (Right now we are excited about when she starts holding her arms up for you to pick her up or for a hug – when does that happen?) But he said that he’ll actually be sad when she’s potty trained and he doesn’t have to change her diaper anymore. I said that was a strange thing to be sad about, but he said you can just tell when you’re changing her diaper that she knows that what you’re doing is important and that it makes her feel better to have a clean, dry diaper. Isis in particular LOVES having her diaper changed and is always really smiley and giggly while you are doing it.
But this led into a conversation about changing diapers and poop and how lots of people (dads?) are just grossed out by their kid’s poop and won’t change a diaper. Lewis thinks it is really awful if a dad does that. Nobody likes dealing with someone else’s feces, but when it’s your baby – who can’t control it – to say you won’t change it is like saying you’ll marry your wife, but if she throws up or something, she’s on her own. We decided it’s all about perspective. For us, every poopy (or pee) diaper has meant that she is eating well and digesting and that her body is working properly. We have actually let out a frequent “yay!” at the sight of poop in her diaper, because it means she’s healthy!! And when that poop changes and gets stinky or more solid or whatever due to changes in her diet, we won’t “yay!” over the stinkiness, but we will definitely “yay!” over the fact that she can eat solid foods and can digest them and is growing up!!
When I was in labor, each contraction wasn’t just horrible pain in my opinion, it was my body moving Isis one step closer to my arms. It was her moving one more millimeter closer to me, closer to her daddy, closer to our life together. I really had to go there in my head because if I allowed myself to focus on the pain, I wouldn’t have gotten through it. It was all about perspective.
When Isis wakes up now in the middle of the night, it’s very rare. Last night she woke up at 4am for the first time in over 2 weeks. And sure, I could’ve gotten frustrated because she doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night really anymore, but instead I chose to enjoy one more middle of the night feeding. She doesn’t need them anymore usually unless she’s having a growth spurt or something is weird with her schedule, so those special moments I used to have with her where it felt like just me and her awake while the world was asleep are gone for the most part. So it was nice to just have that time with her. It’s all about perspective.
As she grows up, I hope to always keep things in perspective. Not that I won’t miss some things that she will grow out of – like her naps in my arms. She WON’T sleep if I hold her now.
Remember when I had a hard time with holding her for her naps everyday? Such a short period. But I want to always remember that every milestone she reaches, every inch she grows, every step closer to being a “big girl” means that we’ve done something right. It means that we’ve parented, we’ve loved, we’ve sacrificed, we’ve taught and as a result, she’s grown, she’s developed, she’s learned, she’s understood and she’s been loved. How wonderful to be privileged to watch these transitions in her life! How blessed to be a part of it! Poopy diapers & all!

Let’s Hear it for the Parents Who FEED Their Babies!!

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On other blogs I read or on Twitter or just in general searches on BabyCenter message boards or other online forums, I’m constantly seeing arguments related to different decisions or styles of parenting. I find it so frustrating. Even I have received criticism on my different decisions. When do we just let it all go and encourage moms & dads to take care of their kids & make decisions based on what is best for their families?
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding? I’m in favor of FEEDING your babies.
There are many proven benefits to breastfeeding, but there are many reasons why breastfeeding may not work for someone.
Stay at home vs. Working moms? I’m in favor of WORKING HARD to provide the best possible life for your children – at home or in a workplace.
Both stay-at-home moms & moms who work outside the home are working moms. It is tough staying home with your kids & it is tough keeping a job during the day & coming home to a house with kids. In both situations, they are doing the best they can to provide for their children and should be encouraged in either situation.
Disposable vs. Cloth Diapers (vs. Elimination Communication)? I’m in favor of doing what works for YOUR FAMILY
Disposable diapers are convenient, easy to use & widely accepted by babysitters! They are also expensive & one of the most frequently seen items in landfills. Cloth diapers are cheaper, environmentally friendly & super cute (in my opinion). They are also messier, stinkier & have to be washed. Pros & cons to both. Really worth an argument? Who can say (other than you) which pros are better or which cons are worse in terms of your child and your family?
Natural birth vs. Medicated birth? I’m in favor of MOM’S COMFORT
No matter which way you break it down, labor & delivery are hard! For some women, like me, the experience and the benefits on the side of natural labor make labor without medication a much more favorable option. For other women, the benefits of an epidural far outweigh any part of an unmedicated birth. In that situation, with hormones & pain & the overwhelming knowledge that you are about to bring a person into the world – it’s important that women feel comfortable, confident and empowered, no matter what specific method that means they use. To argue with them about it means that you are saying that you know better what is best for them & their body. I vehemently disagree with doing this to a pregnant woman. Let her decide what is best for her.
Scheduling vs. Demand Feeding? Again, FEEDING & monitoring GROWTH should trump all
Some women find scheduling to be too controlled, too hard on their milk supply and too difficult for them to do. Other women find scheduling to give them a peace of mind, a predictable pattern for their day and, in my case, the method that keeps their milk supply up and their baby blues down. Some women find demand feeding to be comforting to both them and baby and the best method for them when it comes to breastfeeding. In the end, I believe all women (and men) are focusing on feeding their babies and making sure they grow at a healthy rate. There’s no argument if this is occurring. Why would someone need to create one?
Crib vs. Family Bed? Everyone getting enough SLEEP is the important part.
Some babies sleep better in their own bed, in their own space, in their own room. Other babies sleep better with mom right next to them to cuddle or comfort as needed. Some moms sleep better (and in my case have less instances of baby blues) when baby is in their own room, in their own bed, in their own space. Other moms sleep better knowing baby is right next to them, in the same room, in the same bed. As long as everyone is being safe about their decisions, the only important thing is creating an environment where babies can sleep.
So, really, why the arguments? I believe moms should encourage each other, help each other, defend each other. I believe that a mom has just as much of a right and responsibility to choose a method different than mine if she believes that is what is best for her baby and her family. Who am I to say that my methods are “the best” for them?

Baby Stuff I Can’t Live Without!

I was talking to a woman tonight who is 7 months pregnant and she was asking about what baby stuff I recommend! So I’ve made a list. But I’ve only picked things that I think the particular brand was what made it special for us. My honorable mentions at the bottom are things that I’ve used a lot and definitely think I needed, but any brand could have worked just as well.

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Chicco Cortina Stroller & Carseat
I absolutely love this travel system! It’s really easy to use – once you get used to carting around carriers & strollers in general. I think there’s a learning curve to that no matter what brand you buy! I looked like a total clutz the first few times I was getting out my stroller in a parking lot. But the stroller in this system is really smooth and the carrier is really easy to strap in to a car with or without the carseat base. Although I LOVE the carseat base, too! We chose the Cubes pattern and I love that it can be used with a boy or a girl. It’s really neutral.

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Born Free Bottles
I only have to give Isis bottles if I’m not with her for some reason – like Daddy/daughter day every other Saturday – or some other event I need to go to. So she hasn’t had to take a whole lot of bottles, but we did find pretty quickly that she liked Born Free & nothing else. Granted, we only bought Born Free and Avent bottles, but we tried another brand at Diana’s house, too. We had heard good things about Avent from the lactation consultants at the hospital. So this is really Isis’ preference. My only advice is to try out a couple of bottles & figure out which one your baby likes before you buy a whole bunch of one brand.

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Medela Pump n Style
I really like this pump because it is a double pump and it’s pretty fast and not too loud. You can adjust the intensity and the speed of the pump. I haven’t used any other pumps, so I can’t really compare, but I can say that I recommend this one!!

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Fisher Price Cradle n Swing
I have posted several times about my swing. (Search: Swing) I like this one because it swings in 3 different directions, it lays back like a cradle and it has a mirror in the center of the mobile above her head. She loves mirrors! So this one is perfect!! My friend Laurel told me about this one and she said she has yet to find a baby that doesn’t like this swing. Isis definitely didn’t like her other swing (Graco Lovin’ Hug Plug-in Swing) – which was so sad because my lovely friends from the College of Education bought it for her!!

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GroBaby diapers
You know I had to put this in there! I tried a couple of different kinds of diapers right at first, including FuzziBunz pocket diapers and some fitted diapers. None worked as well as the Gro Baby! They adjust around the waist and have elastic around the legs, so they fit Isis from the time she was 7 lbs! We have had a couple of blow-out diapers that leaked, but no more than I would have expected from disposable diapers! Check out this post for more info.

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JJ Cole Diaper Bag
I have gotten lots of compliments on this diaper bag from other moms! I definitely really like it because it has plenty of room, lots of pockets and comes with a changing pad. I also really like the pattern! I’ve seen some other JJ Cole bags that I really like, too, so it seems to be a good brand all around!

Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym

These are all personal preferences! I’d love to hear what brands or items you’ve found helpful!!