Tag Archives: baby

Baby Philosophies

baby philsopiesI write this as a mother in process. I have not learned or experienced it all. I have only experienced my 2 boys (ages: 2.75 years and 4.5 months) and a few dozen more as a nanny. There are many “right” ways to raise your babies and I respect a mom’s (and dad’s) choice to do what they feel passionate about. And, I hope they respect mine. So this list is compilation of things we’ve discovered and done in this family. It is a hodge podge of learned methods, books read, conference lectures, spiritual practices, observing families, and gut feelings.

I write this not to say my ways are best, but to remember what I believed at this stage in my life. I might look back and say “oh, you were so naive” or “yeah, you got that right.” But either way, these have been floating around in my head for months and it’s about time to set them down here. I write as I would write to myself…to the me before I had my babies. So in no particular order, here are my Baby Philosophies.

  • The first 2 weeks are the hardest. Power through. You will sleep again.
  • It’s OK to stare. That baby is perfection.
  • Receive meals, receive help.
  • Make time to shower and brush your teeth… and sleep. (And do it every day.)
  • Babies don’t understand our world. We get to teach them.
  • That man you have loved all this time just got 10 times hotter holding your baby.
  • E.A.S.Y.! Eat, Sleep, Play, & You. A great method without being hyper-scheduled.
  • Leave your baby and the house in the first month.
  • Babies can soothe themselves to sleep. (Mine did at 5 and 6 weeks) 
  • Babies can sleep through the night. (Mine did a 8 and 10 weeks)
  • Be thankful and joyful everyday.
  • Establish a start time to the day. Wake the baby at the same time and feed (7:00 a.m. for me) then note his cues and rhythms for eating and sleeping.
  • You don’t have to follow “baby-led” or “parent-led” techniques you can be a fusion of both.
  • Work towards a 12 hour night of sleep and age appropriate naps through the day.
  • Keep learning. Listen to moms. Read books and blogs.
  • Babies are communicating to us, and it is our job to be flexible to them.
  • Baby gas is painful… for both of you. Learn methods to relieve that gas. Massage, movements, diet change, etc.
  • Don’t let them rely to heavily on “props” – whatever they need to sleep, calm, etc. they will need every single time.
  • Let that baby sleep on your chest. In a rainstorm. Close your eyes and enjoy.
  • Routines promote predictability and trust. It is a gift I can kids.
  • Breastfeed as long as you can to a year.
  • Breastfeeding is hard, great, a sacrifice, a gift, work, time…. and it is only a short season.
  • It’s OK to feel sad when you lose your milk supply, but you are not a failure.
  • Bins and labels and drawer organizers will calm the toy and clothing chaos.
  • Buy gender neutral when possible: toys, blankets, cups, etc.
  • Sleep sacs are genius. Zip down blanket and hinders climbing? Uh huh.
  • Wubbanubs, also genius. Baby can find and place paci. Cut off the paci and baby still has stuffed animal.
  • Video monitors are the most genius. Worth every penny.
  • Start solids when baby can sit up on their own, around 6 months. No need to force feed early.
  • Keep a simple log for the first year.
  • Note milestones, cute phrases, and stories. Compile them for a memory book.
  • You will not regret taking pictures.
  • Make time for fun as a family.
  • Make time for yourself: the occasional haircut, massage or pedicure will energize you!
  • Kiss, hug, snuggle, wrestle, hold hands, high five. Affectionately touch your kids.
  • Treasure grandparent time. Start it young.
  • Praise them. Encourage. Tell them what they are good at.
  • A small house has it’s benefits. We all know what’s happening all the time.
  • Maintain and add healthy habits. Be active. Have a hobby.
  • Teach your kids to transition well, early on. Leave them with family and friends.
  • Choose toys that promote imagination. Limit noisy toys and screen time.
  • Take your kids to a quality church. (Make sure they screen their volunteers!)
  • Encourage your kids to play with friends, play outside, play with siblings.
  • Read all the time. Find books your kid loves. Put them all over the house.
  • Spend time in community with other families.
  • Discipline early. Use a strong serious firm voice as to not confuse them.
  • When possible tell kids what TO do rather than what NOT to do.
  • Pray, sing, and share your God from the start.
  • Teach them to be helpers. Teach them to serve God and people.
  • Teach them to play independently.
  • Don’t undermine your spouse. Even when they are too lenient or too harsh. They are learning too. Give grace.
  • Bring kids along with you on errands and chores. There is much to learn in daily life.
  • Let your kids choose sometimes. Don’t let your kids choose all the time.
  • Protect your marriage as you would protect your kids. It is a treasure. Shut the bedroom door and hold onto your covenant.
  • Hide toys in pretty baskets. 
  • Let your toddler tell you when he’s ready to potty train. Seize the day and start 3 day bootcamp.
  • Promote sleep. Keep a bedtime routine.
  • Family dinners are valuable.
  • Share your clothes. Bargain shop. But, buy new shoes.
  • Kids do not have to have everything or every thing new.
  • Listen to that voice inside and learn what God would teach your through your kids.
  • Understand God’s love for you as his child. A whole new meaning when you have kids of your own.
  • Start each morning with coffee and prayer, your kids will wake with more energy than you.

I am only 3 years in as a mom. So much more to learn. So much more to experience. I am thankful to be on this journey. My boys are gifts that bring me joy each day.

Luke .25 (the first 3 months)

My baby is 3 months and changing so fast. I have kept track some of his milestones and moments to share with weekly pictures! I did this project for Isaac too (minus the notes). I never want to forget these treasured moments. Did I say it is going too fast?! Oh we love him so!

luke_week 1 logo[ Week 1 ]
Weighed 7 lbs 15 oz at birth, Lost 7 oz in first week
Day 4 – first smile while asleep during “milk comma”1 Jaundice test – billirubin 10.2 – OK!
Sleeping swaddled
Days and nights confused, but sleeping.
His brother loves him. Though he did try to steal his blanket at first sight.
Projectile poop!

luke_week 2 logo[ Week 2 ]
Pedi appt on day 10. Weighs 7 lbs. 14.6 oz.. almost back up to birth weight.
Dr. Broderick says he has big ear canals and is strong
Makes a mess on scale (again) for the nurse.
Crying and grumpy in carseat!
Belly button fell off
First bath in kitchen sink – Isaac thought this funny! Luke did not.

luke_week 3 logo[ Week 3 ]
Propane low, first sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa’s
Mom is re-reading books: Baby Whisperer!
Seeming hungry every 2 hours – I am confusing hunger/sleepy cries
First coos and sounds on-purpose!
Playmat and tummy time
Offered him the paci and he loved it! (uh-oh) Really helps him relax when tired.
Move up to Size 1 diapers
Sleeping 2-3.5 hours at a time
Holding on during nursing like he is helping.

luke_week 4 logo[ Week 4 ]
Slept through dentist with mom
I locked the boys in the car!
Laying in crib semi-awake to fall asleep
Newborn and family pictures taken
First family outing: buy Dad’s phone, skyline & car wash
Tried tummy sleeping in crib unswaddled – then went back.
First 5 hours sleep & 6 hours between feeds!
Visited mommy’s work. Slept most of the time.

luke_week 5 logo[ Week 5 ]
1 month Pedi Appt: 10 lbs (70%), length 22 in (80%), and head 37 in (35%)
Started using swaddlers at night instead of blankets – stronger!
Fell asleep on his own when I had to lay him down crying. (good sign)
Started Vitamen D drops
First small smiles!
First trip to park – Lunken playfield

luke_week 6 logo[ Week 6 ]
First day of spring. Still snowing
Thinking he is overtired and that is why he is crying.
Try putting him down earlier: first yawn or grump. (1-1.5 after feed)
Attended first party – wedding shower.
Following you with his eyes as you move.
Stayed home with Daddy and Isaac first time without mom!
Sleeping 3-5.5 hour stretches as night, up to 6.5 hours between feeds

luke_week 7 logo[ Week 7 ]
Holding head up well
looked at himself in the the phone camera
Smiled after he sneezed
Loves his paci
Letting him soothe to sleep with swaddle and paci
Rocking and bouncing and patting seems too much stimulation when overtired
Congestion and runny nose
Watching for 3 phases of sleep (squirmy, stare, heavy eyes)
Started wake up routine: 7:30 nurse to start his day

luke_week 8 logo[ Week 8 ]
Trying to not put paci in after he spits it out, self-soothe
Mom starts teaching dance again – Daddy with both boys
Facetime mom with both boys!
2 month appt – lots of shots!
Slept 8 hours!
Cut nails for the first time
Family outing for mom’s birthday dinner
Easier to sleep- mom noticing cues!
First sickness (virus) – threw up about 7 times. Poor baby.

luke_week 9 logo[ Week 9 ]
Really enjoying mornings – happy, smiley boy!
Watching and smiling at Isaac as he talks
Last daily segment he takes a short nap in chair, carrier, or held
Up to 5.75 hrs sleep/7.5 between night feeds
2 month Pedi appt: 11.6 lbs (58%), 23.5 in long (80%) – lost a few oz since sick :(
First babysitter – Aunt Katie

luke_week 10 logo[ Week 10 ]
Move up to Size 2 diapers
Really bad gassy day – decreasing my milk intake to see if that affects him
Taking 4 oz in bottles
Breaking out of swaddle at some points
First Easter – did well being passed around. Fell asleep on mom
Slept 7.5 hours / 8.5 between feeds
3.5 – 4 hour between some day feeds
Finding his thumb, mad when he cannot

luke_week 11 logo[ Week 11 ]
Super engaging – smiles and coos in response to your words.
Likes to watch Isaac
…also cries at his screams and sudden movements
Sleeping 9.5 hours! Woo hoo
Blowing bubbles.
Watches TV.
Schedule going well, napping pretty regularly now.
Long nap about 2:15-4:30 daily. Shorts naps other section of day.
Catnap around dinner time in chair, reminds us of dinners with Baby Isaac.
Asleep at 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. bedtime.
Really chubbing up. Loving his rolls.
Tucking himself under my chin

luke_week 12 logo[ Week 12 ]
1st day with Grandma
Slept 11 hours at night!
Turned 180* in crib, broke out of new larger swaddles.
Blowout at target AND lost a paci. Screaming!
Isaac held him 15 minutes while watching Curious George
Gave himself a hickie on his arm.

luke_week 13 logo[ Week 13 ]
Back to work. Transition went well!
Grown out of 3 month clothes, especially sleepers. He’s long!
1st time downtown. Swing dancing with mom at Fountain Square.
Napping so well, having to wake him to eat.
Not needing paci as much, rarely putting back in at sleep.
Smiled at mommy when she came to wake him.
Arms out of swaddle a lot, but not hindering sleep.
Up to 5.5 oz. in bottles


Quick Tip: Simple Socks

So this post is a no-brainer but it sure does make me happy. And because I am so happy… I thought I would share my happiness. Socks. They disappear, they lose their best friends. It’s a tough life for a sock. With quickly growing babies, socks don’t last as long as my grey and blue nautical pair from high school. Yep, still in my drawer. Still cozy in boots. (Not still in style.)

I ordered my 2 and half year old some sneakers and sport socks. His big feet are getting bigger and, well, so are the socks and shoes. (I could stop right here and weep over the fact that my first baby is definitely a little boy now, but there isn’ t much of nap time left.) As I was putting the new large socks away, I pulled the ones he’s outgrown. And as I thought about this simple solution I started a few years back, it felt like a Project Momma Quick Tip.

socks1Kid socks look similar and it’s definitely hard to tell their size just looking at them. In fact I accidentally put baby socks on my toddler a few days back. (Proof right here.) There is no way I will remember what size socks are when I pull them out of storage. So, when I buy new socks, I simply keep the packaging or labels and shove it in the drawer under the socks. Then when it is time to pull them to store away – until the next baby has grown too big too fast – I already the packaging with them. I fell upon this idea accidentally because I kept the sock tags from Isaac’s baby socks; they were the only ones I’d found that would actually stay on those active baby feet. I save the label because did not want to forget that brand (Okie Dokie from JCPenney if your are wondering).

socks2So, now that it’s time to rotate the old socks, I grab that label, the socks and a ziplock bag to store them. 
And there you have it. Easily understood socks. I keep the outgrown socks and shoes in a separate bin from clothes. One reason is that I pass around clothes with my friends but socks and shoes I hang on to. Another reason to keep them separate? They may not be true to size. Hey Oshkosh, size 2-4 did not last pass 2 and a half for my big boy. Just sayin’. Every kid grows differently so I don’t want to have to search through my 2s, 3s, and 4s clothes, to find my 2-4 socks that fit Isaac when he was 1 and 2. Yeah, read that sentence again if you have to.  socks 4I have also started keeping some other tags and packaging for items like swaddles, sleep sacs, underwear, etc. It really takes no extra time upfront but saves a little confusion on the other end. Why not give myself little organized treasures? I deserve them.

Anyone else have a quick tip when it comes to your kids’ clothing?
quick tip  socks logo

My Recovery Spot

I like to always be prepared. At least as much as I can. So at 37 weeks with my first pregnancy I tried to prep for my upcoming C-section. I bought extra large pads and mens boxers – ya know, to help the healing. But that was the extent of what I knew to do. The surgery itself was not a bad as I thought and all my docs said I was healing well. At the hospital I had help and direction and of course the amazing lift bed that almost stands you up on its own. Coming home was the harder part for me. Driving in the car was very painful; I felt every bump! Isaac had jaundice so we had 1-2 dr. appointments a day for the first 5 days home. This was exhausting and again, painful with all the extra movement in and out of the car, up and down through the buildings, and nursing in the car. But it was the laying down and sitting up in bed that opened my incision (and some minor malpractice by that no longer licensed OB – thats a whole other story). Yep another trip to the doc to close it up. All this combined with the first time mom learning curve, challenge of nursing, and sleep depravation made for a pretty hard first week.

So the 2nd time around I was more prepared – mentally and tangibly – for what life might be like that first week. You better believe I had a heart to heart with my doctor. I was determined for him to do the surgery. Since the first time around I ended up sleeping in Doug’s lay-z-boy, I planned for that from start.  I made a little Recovery Spot:

recovery spot 3

Every family has their own plan after baby. For us, this meant mom nursing and getting up with baby at night. Dad needs sleep because of his job. No need to be on top of high buildings, using dangerous tools, and putting the lives of others at stake without a good night’s sleep. Since I was up nursing anyway this made sense to us. First time around I learned it was hard to stand from the chair with baby or even reach down to pick him up from a chair or swing. So we fashioned a sleep space next to the chair that I could reach while in the chair. (Note that I wouldn’t leave Luke there during the day while big brother was awake. This was his nighttime-everyone-else-is-asleep-mom-is-right-next-to-me-spot.) We moved in the sturdy piece of furniture that usually sits in our master bedroom under the window.

recovery spot 5 The space was to help me function without a lot of unnecessary movement. So I have the Moses basket to set Luke down to sleep and while I stand up through the night. I kept some diapers, wipes, and a burp cloth. The monitor was there to keep an eye on both boys whenever they were their beds. Also my phone charger and a lamp. I moved this lamp here specifically because it has a 3-way bulb. Dim for those night feedings. recovery spot 1 On the other side of the chair I have the baby log, boppy and cover for nursing, remotes, and a basket of filled with supplies. I kept a pillow on the chair for extra support and at night I would bring out a big comforter to make the chair feel more like a bed. recovery spot 2 I all the small items a basket so during the day I could move it high out of Isaac’s reach. But through the night it was so convenient to have medicines, lotions, hand sanitizer, books, notebook (for all my listing), and my ipad all within reach. I usually had a large water bottle here too, it’s just not in the picture. recovery spot 4As I sat in this chair WAY to much, it was super helpful to know that I had everything that I needed. The less times I had to get up and down the better for my healing. So this little Recovery Spot was a big help!

Almost Ready for Baby – 38 weeks

So, as I write this we are 5 days away from meeting our little one! And, since he has stayed put inside, I have accomplished everything to date on the list from a few weeks back… baby prepI actually ended up adding a few things along the way too. So here are a couple of the highlights…

We decided to set the Dining Room up as a dual purpose room. My thoughts are baby will sleep in there nights until he sleeps through the night, 11-12 hours. For Isaac that was around 10 weeks old. A 2nd crib was purchased (actually it was a gift!), bed made, blackout shade installed, and some baby items brought in.

more baby prep 6 more baby prep 7

The buffet that I wanted to add doors to for ‘safe’ storage is in process; it still needs paint and handles. Doug may finish this weekend, but at least is usable to store some baby things.

Isaac has a big boy bed and has been experimenting with sleeping on it. I would say he’s 70% big boy bed, 30% crib depending on how tired he is. I am fine with letting him get comfortable. He stays in and calls me in the morning to come get him. So far so good!

more baby prep 2

Baby clothes (0-6 months) have been washed, sorted, and put away in the boys’ closet and dresser (some in the dining room cabinets too).

more baby prep 1

Our cars are prepped with car seats; grandparents also have a car seat for Isaac. This is big! I won’t feel the pressure of driving both kids all the time and we will not have to move car seats to do it. HOO-RAY! Grandparents are scheduled to help fill in for the first couple of weeks. We are blessed! Don’t know how we would do this without them!

more baby prep 10Hospital bag is packed. Baby’s gift to Isaac is wrapped. I even have some Valentine’s Day gifts for Doug and Isaac ready.

Baby log is made. Isaac notes for helpers are prepped. (Both probably deserve their own post)

more baby prep 8We even have diapers! Friends, volunteers, and family have been stocking us. Our small group even planned a MealBaby for us. Awesome.
more baby prep 9

I also did a big stock up of our pantry. Hopefully this will help in the first few weeks when I cannot drive. Doug can go grab milk, bread, and fruit, etc. I think we have enough cereal to last through summer, thank you coupons and sales.

more baby prep 5

All the paperwork has been done. And, I even had my LAST dr. appt. That really made it feel final since I have been spending hours there each week.
more baby prep 4

While looking for batteries and a key chain I got frustrated one day off and even got organized our junk drawer. Which turned into all the kitchen drawers, then all the cabinets. Not really on the agenda, but hey?!
more baby prep 3Our last thing to do is name this baby. We are down to a short list. Doug has a firm favorite and Isaac is calling him that, too. I like the name but like a few others better, so we are waiting until the moment to make it final.

Overall I am feeling pretty good about the tangible prep. I wish I could prep Isaac like I can the house and baby stuff. I am hoping he isn’t too jolted. I also hope my healing is quick and easy so I can be a functioning mom of two! I cannot wait to hold a sleeping baby again.