NOT THE CAR!

‘Oh my baby falls asleep the second I start driving.’

‘The humm of the car puts my newborn right to sleep.’

These are things you would never hear my husband or I say.

Why you ask, because our son HATES the car.

It isn’t a phase (everyone has told us this) it is sheer torture for everyone in the car when we have to go somewhere. He screams, cries, starts to get sick, and sincerely hates it, with every inch of his little 17 pound body.

We noticed it when we took our first road trip (we never really drove with him before that) to the other side of Germany, 700 km away. It was a daring move to take a 6 week old on such a long car trip but we split it into 2 parts and spent the night half way. Thank goodness we did, because it was torture.

I was crying, my husband was trying to stay calm and drive, my mom (who was visiting for Easter) was trying to help and O was the most uncomfortable little guy in the world. It was not a nice drive.

Needless to say, we’ve flown back to my husbands hometown ever since.

But I digress.. 20 minutes is his absolute max, he cannot go any longer in the car without starting to get seriously upset. I swear most other moms (including our moms) don’t believe us until they witness it. And let me tell you, you will never forget it after being in the car with him past the 20 minute max.

So, over the last 8 months we have been trying to find ways to help him in the car, because if it is hard on us, I can only imagine how horrible the little guy must be feeling.

We’ve spoken to doctors who only tell us that we can’t medicate him. (Thank you, we know that and wouldn’t want that anyways.) They’ve told us we have to tough it out, asked if we have installed the carseat properly (ugh, yes.. ) and told us that when we can move him to a forward facing car seat it should get better.

Well friends, that means it won’t be for another 16 months.

If you are reading this because you’re going through the same thing, first, I feel for you, and second I know you are probably getting desperate! So here are some ways that we have tried to help him, I hope they help your little one too!

First, I sat in the backseat when he was exclusively breastfeed and would breastfeed him while we were driving, I know I know, you cannot take him out, so I did this miraculous thing and leaned over the carseat and would feed him. Yes, at times it felt like I needed to remove a rib, but if it meant he was comfortable I was fine with it. (a mothers true love is like no other)

Once he stopped being exclusively breastfed, I made sure to always bring a bottle of water with me for him to sip on. It helps having something going into his tummy, and well, food is just too messy for the car when its a puree haha.

We also have moved his carseat to the center of the back bench. Not only is this the safest place in the car, but it gives him a chance to be slightly higher and be able to look out the windows, kind of.

We have also positioned mirrors in the back seat for him to be able to see things moving outside. It really helps, when he is able to look at them. Sometimes he isn’t interested.

Bring toys, a lot of toys, preferrably something they can chew on. ,This helps them stay happy and not cry because they have something in their mouths.

Lastly, if we have to drive somewhere longer than the 20 minute allowance, we make sure someone is sitting in the back with him to keep him happy, give him new toys, point outside, sing, laugh, blow raspberries and feed him if necessary.

All in all, we avoid driving like the plague. We fly as much as we can and we don’t do social acitivites which are futher than 30 minutes max. I know it isn’t ideal but it stresses me out having him so upset and we just don’t find it necessary.

Does your child like the car?

Have any tips for other parents suffering with car syndrome? Please comment with your tips, share the knowledge!

Hope you’re having a great day! xx

Where to sleep?

Okay, full disclosure, we co-sleep and I love it!

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I know, I know, it’s horrible, the worst thing I could do for my child. He’ll get dependent on it. I’ll have to have him in our bed forever. -I’ve heard it all!

But in the end it works for us, so I don’t need to hear it -thanks!

First of all, when I was pregnant, I was 100% against co-sleeping. I thought it would feel weird, I would feel uncomfortable and it just wouldn’t work (I thought I would roll over my child in the middle of the night). But in reality, it is glorious! I cannot imagine any other way working for OUR FAMILY (yes folks, it is our family we make the shots, not you, or Sally, or John so comments are not necessary).

If you’ve read this article you know why O was comfortable with sleeping with us from the beginning, so it just kind of happened this way. Babies have an incredible way of just disturbing your expectations and creating a beautiful pattern which works for you. Anyways, back to co-sleeping.

My fear of rolling over my child was ridiculous, I doubted the mother instinct until I became a mother and let me tell you, it is insane!

He could move a finger, in my dead sleep and I’d wake up. For real. It’s a mom thing. Anytime he moves, takes a deep breath, starts getting hungry, starts waking up, I wake up instantly. Aside from that I never move in my sleep anymore. It’s the craziest instinct, I’m not sure how it happened but I sleep in one position, like a barrier to protect my baby (again, crazy mom instinct). So, if this is your fear as well, trust me when I say, our bodies do not fail us. And yes, I am well rested at night despite this.

Secondly, there are so many advantages to co-sleeping. Especially if your an exclusively breastfeeding mama.

Don’t even get me started on “SIDS”, but studies have shown that co-sleeping encourages the babies to breathe in a more regular pattern. Meaning it lowers the risk of them to stop breathing. This happens as they feel their mothers breathing body with every breath and get in sync with their breathing encourage long them to continuously breathe -seems logical anyways.

It creates a healthy bond. I love cuddling and feeling someone close, so why wouldn’t a new baby who knows no one or nothing in this world other than their mom and dad? They’ve heard their mothers heartbeat in the womb for 9 months, so having their mother close enough to hear her heartbeat is reassuring and comforting to them.

For breastfeeding moms, it is so easy! You don’t have to wake up, stand up, take baby out of the crib, stay up to breastfeed, put them down then go back to bed (I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep). You simply feed them, laying down, they fall asleep and then you drift off shortly after as well. It is so easy and relaxing!

All advantages aside, of course co-sleeping can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. We have a king size bed, and I would never attempt co-sleeping in anything smaller, I’d wouldn’t leave us with enough room. Take away any pillows, blankets or things that could suffocate your child. Put up a guard or rail on the edge of your bed to prevent anything from happening. And lastly don’t ever co-sleep under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even over the counter medicine as it can make you sleepier than your normal state). We take all these precautions and when we sleep in hotels or anywhere but home, we even go the extra mile (I have taken foams off of beds, not used pillows or blankets) you name it.

To some it may seem ridiculous, unnecessary and perhaps odd, but we have THE happiest baby, we all get 8+ hours of sleep every night and he has the comfort of knowing that his mom and dad are never far away from him.

And ps, to the woman who told me that my son will always want to sleep with me, you know because your son was the same way after you co-slept. I ask you, does he still come to bed to sleep with you at age 32?

 

Bathe everyday

I have found in the short 6 months I have been a mom (crazy how fast it goes by) that this is a very controversial topic. Whether or not to bathe your child every day.

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Lets get down to it.

A lot of mothers have heard that you should not bathe babies every day because it washes away the protective coating on their skin. This is only true within the first 6 weeks of life. As I’m sure you’ve already realized, babies are born with a thick layer of white on their skin which has protected their skin in the womb. Some mothers keep this on until it either gets soaked into the baby’s skin or rubs off naturally, while others bathe them right away (generally the hospital does this). Which ever you prefer is your deal, however, after 6 weeks this is usually gone and the baby’s skin is then normal (while still very delicate).

So after my son’s umbilical cord stub fell off and his skin was to its normal state, we started bathing him every night as part of our evening routine to get him ready for bed. Not only does it help him realize it is now bed time (more on our nightly routine here) there are numerous other advantages to the nightly bath.

There are so many reasons why I bathe my son ever night.

First, it prevents cradle cap. Cradle cap is not pleasant, I cannot imagine that it feels nice for a baby to have, and it looks gross. When O was about 6 weeks I noticed he was starting to get it because he had such long hair. His hair, as any person, was getting greasy throughout the day and causing cradle cap, we introduced some calendula shampoo and within two days any sign of it had vanished and we haven’t seen it again.

It’s pleasant for their bottoms. Of course, we wipe them down at each diaper change, but could you imagine not showering, we don’t sit in our by product as a baby does yet we still want to shower daily (regularly) to get our parts clean, wouldn’t you want that for your baby?

Diaper rash-it gives them time each day without a diaper on, which means less chance of diaper rash. Any time they don’t have a diaper on helps prevent diaper rash so having a bath every night ensures that there is at least a bit of time each day without a diaper.

Skin check, this year in particular there have been so many cases of ticks come up. Bathing every night gives me a chance to really inspect his skin and see if there are any scratches, rashes (he has really sensitive skin) or perhaps any bites from insects or bugs, more or less any changes on his little body.

Germs -need I say more? There is an old wives tale that exposing your child to germs early on helps their immune system, this is not completely true. They have determined that while a small amount of germs, which your baby gets in contact with themselves (meaning they are able to touch things themselves to get the germs, and for a 6 month old, that isn’t much) is okay. However, the million other germs they’re exposed to from people touching them is not okay. This is not a natural way of them being exposed to germs and can be extremely harmful for babies. Therefore, a nightly bath ensures that these germs are washed away, regardless of where the person, animal, door, etc. has touched them.

It’s enjoyable. I have not met a baby who didn’t enjoy the bath. While it can take time out of our schedules and sometimes we may not have the energy for it, but they enjoy it, and what’s nicer than the thought of finishing off your child’s day with a smile on their face.

Of course, bathing can dry out their skin, so I am always sure to lotion him up with coconut oil after each bath. I also take this time to massage him because I’m sure their little muscles get sore from all that playing throughout the day. Extra bonus, coconut oil is anti-fungal, read more about how I used coconut oil during pregnancy here.

So what’s your take? To bathe or not to bathe?

Thanks for reading! xo

 

Sleeping baby

I have to say, ever since O was born he’s been a pretty good sleeper but I do think that the environment and routine we have implemented is really helpful.

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To be honest, before I had him, we had envisioned him sleeping peacefully beside our bed in his crib until 6 months, then move him into his own room -I have to laugh at the thought of it. I know some people where this works for their family and that is great! Every family works differently, however, for us, this just wasn’t how it worked best.

First off, O had amniotic fluid still in his lungs after birth (a normal situation) which caused him to kind of choke, cough a lot. Of course, this is scary, and being first time parents, we were terrified. So, my husband and I took turns sleeping while the other held him while he slept to make sure everything was okay (this may be extreme to some of you but it gave us peace of mind).

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So after the first week or so, he was used to, and we were used to, him sleeping around us. I was also exclusively breastfeeding him, so it was extremely unpractical for me to have him sleeping in his crib, have to take him out, feed him and try to put him back afterwards since he’d always fall asleep while he ate. So, I would have him sleep next to me, when he would get hungry, I heard him routing and would feed him laying down, after he would fall asleep I would then too. My husband was able to sleep through this all (thank goodness because he had to go to work the next day), my son wasn’t put through any discomfort and I was able to easily fall back to sleep. It was (and has been) wonderful.

I know a lot of people are not keen on co-sleeping, but to be honest, there are so many advantages to it. You can read more about it here.

But back to the beginning of our routine. We initially started with a routine at about 6 weeks when we were able to start bathing him. We have since changed his bedtime, but the routine always stays the same regardless of the time. This has also helped us with traveling in different time zones.

So we start with some calming activity, usually reading a book, going for a walk or gently playing with a toy. Afterwards I bathe him. After the bath I blow dry his hair, massage his body with coconut oil, and put on his pjs.

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From there we go into the bedroom (everything is dark to avoid stimulation after the bath) and I breastfeed him in the dark while laying down, generally he falls asleep, however if he doesn’t I simply pick him up and hum a song while holding him and he falls asleep. It is a very simple process and he never cries or fusses and I am at peace because I know he’s gone to bed happy (there’s something about him going to bed crying that disturbs me).

For napping we also have a (somewhat simpler) routine. We close the blinds turn on some running water white noise and gently rock him to sleep. It takes about 5 minutes, sometimes 10 and he’s generally easy to put down. His naps are usually 30 minutes in length and he has one nap a day for 1.5 hours in the morning. I was interested in starting a routine, but to be honest it never worked for us and I was more stressed out than anything.

Now he’s such a happy baby and has made his own routine more or less.

What’s worked for your family’s sleeping arrangement?

Thanks for reading!

See ya, Dairy!

Alright, so it has been a while but I’m starting to get into the swing of things. However, as you probably remember post and can understand where I am coming from. I can never seem to get too comfortable without my little guy spicing things up again. So here goes, my third attempt of getting back into a routine, but this time, I will make it work.

Í feel like dairy is such a 2010 topic but I am not going to talk about the usual dairy issues today (how gross it is to eat) because in all honesty, I seriously loved dairy. I tried to go vegan and it lasted all of half a day before I wanted something with cheese on it and living in Europe, the cheese is amazing!

But, I digress, the reason I am writing about dairy today is because I actually have given it up. Like 100% I do not eat a single thing with any part of a cow in it (I never ate beef to begin with). The reason why I was able to actually stick to not eating dairy this time is because of my little love.

At about 6 weeks we started to see a regular pattern of him crying hysterically at about 6:00 pm every night for about 4 hours (this got old real fast!) he would arch his back and you could tell how uncomfortable the little guy was. So I started paying more attention to other things he would do and tried to gather any odd ‘symptoms’. I know most parents would have just said, ‘oh its colic’ but I knew deep down there was something wrong (Hello mothers intuition -its real folks!). So I noticed (well hard to miss) how much he was spitting up, my mom and midwife and anyone I asked about this said it was normal, but I mean, this child was crazy good at spitting up. He also started to get a rash around this time after breastfeeding, it was strictly on his face and would go down after a while but it always appeared after breastfeeding. What really set my mom mode off was when he started having dark, dark, green, slimey stool (TMI sorry non moms -you do not know how important poop is until your a mom). I knew this couldn’t be normal no matter how many people told me it was, it wasn’t. So with these random symptoms I took to the internet since I felt like my midwife and doctors weren’t taking me seriously.

The first thing that popped up was Milk Protein Allergy (NO! Not my sweet cheese!). I dug around and it sounded exactly what we were going through -like I could have written some of the posts myself.

So, if you’ve never met someone with a MPA, you’re probably thinking ‘oh, like lactose intolerant’, no, not even close. Lactose can be taken out of the dairy whereas, milk is composed of two kinds of protein, Whey and Casein – which is what people who have a MPA are allergic to, the actual protein itself. These cannot be taken out of milk and is also found in butter or anything than comes from cow’s milk. These proteins also carry through your breastmilk and make their way into your babies tummies.

So the only thing I could do was eliminate dairy from my diet completely and hope that we saw some results. I read that it could take 8 weeks to fully leave mine and my sons system so don’t expect overnight results. But I’m telling you, we saw overnight results! He stopped crying the next day and we have had easy going bedtime routines ever since, he stopped spitting up (COMPLETELY, like no spitting up at all!) after a day, the rashes stopped appearing after about a week and his stool went back to normal after about 2 weeks, so it did take some time to leave our systems but we already saw some improvement the next day!

After eliminating dairy I noticed from time to time his symptoms came back, so I started a diet log and noticed it happened mostly when I ate processed food. So I tried the elimination diet. If you aren’t familiar with the elimination diet it is simply eliminating all allergy foods (eggs, soy, dairy, nuts, wheat, corn, anything that is considered a highly allergen food). So that I did, and his symptoms came back with soy and egg as well. So I have also eliminated those from my diet and we have had no issues at all! He has been a happy camper ever since.

But to be honest, I don’t miss dairy at all! It has been quite an adjustment since we are used to eating it, a lot. But I feel so much better after eliminating it. I feel lighter, my skin feels nicer and I see overall I am much more alert. My husband and I have decided even when I am done breastfeeding, we will not go back to dairy. We feel much better without it!

What are your thoughts? Dairy lover or not? Anyone have experience with Allergy babies?

Thanks for reading! xo