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

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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?

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry ChristmasI hope every one of you is having a wonderful day where ever in the world you are.

Christmas this year isn’t too exciting for us but will nevertheless be a great few days spent together getting ready for our little boy. We decided this year not to visit family as it would require either an 8 hour drive across Germany or 8 hour flight to Canada, both of which, would be extremely uncomfortable for an 8 month pregnant woman. Instead we are having our own little Christmas, eating cheese fondue, making gingerbread houses, watching Christmas movies (obviously a Christmas Carol) and drinking hot chocolate.

Normally I am a Christmas freak! And I mean FREAK. I take out decorations November 1st and count down the days. But this year, it feels like part of our family is missing (our little boy) and the day that he joins us will feel more like Christmas than December 25th.

We are so excited for next year, to spend our first Christmas as our family of 3!

From us to you, Merry Christmas!