Monday, March 22, 2010

Secret Sisterhood

I felt a bond the other tonight with a woman I had only known for about one minute. My family and I were at church when a lovely lady came over to admire baby Sam (who can resist). As she made sweet faces at Sam, I boasted about what a good baby he is and how I can take him anywhere. She smiled and asked if I was breastfeeding. When I replied yes there was a twinkle of passion in her eye and I instantly knew she had breastfed as well. We talked for a long time and talked as if we had known each other for years. I could say anything to her about breastfeeding, my breasts, sore nipples, you name it, and was amazed how easy it was to share something so intimate with someone I hardly knew. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and really didn’t want it to end. It was like she knew what I was going to say before it was ever said. It has been at least 15 to 20 years since she has breastfeed a child, but that didn’t matter, she was able to talk about this sacred dance between her and her babies as if they were not grown, but infants in need of her supply. I ate up all the advice she was willing to give and left the exchange feeling good about motherhood, good about breastfeeding, and great about myself. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to talk about it, or how I really needed to share the small triumphs I have experienced while breastfeeding with an interested ear.

Since Sam has blessed my life, I have had some very wonderful random conversations with Moms I know and Moms I have never met before about breastfeeding. Each time I speak with a breastfeeding Mom I am amazed at their willingness to share personal experiences and listen intently to mine. It is like I have uncovered a secret sisterhood and I am proud to be a member. I have not been to a La Leche meeting yet, but I think I just realized the importance of them. So…see you there!

You can find a meeting near you by visiting:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bath Time, Fun Time!!

When it came time to ditch the sponge baths (which my husband and I had down to a science) and move on into the baby bathtub, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to lay my little guy down in the warm water and have the best bath experience ever. Well...not so much. Sam screamed as if we were trying to torture him in a cruel and bizarre way. He screamed and cried so much that I actually cried and my husband with nerves of steel started to look a little frightened. It was not a good experience for anyone. As we tried to calm Sam down we knew that we had to find a way to make bath time a great experience for all involved.

If you think about it bath time is very scary not just for your baby but also for you as a parent. The water temperature was something that I obsessed over for a good 10 minutes before we put Sam in the bath. When he started screaming I of course thought I had burned his gentle skin. When I saw that his skin was not burned or even red I thought that the water was too cold and he would now get sick and it was all my fault. So stressful!! The design of the bathtub I had picked out was also part of the problem. It had a sling/cot that held Sam up over the water. This made him feel exposed and cold since he wasn't actually down in the warm water. He also looked and felt unsure laying on the bath sling/cot even with my hands there to support him. I knew we had to get a better bathtub and a way to make Sam feel safe and secure during bath time.

The search began for the best bath tub money could buy. Luckily, it didn't cost very much. We bought the 4moms Cleanwater Infant Bath Tub with Digital Thermometer. Yes, you read that right, clean water and a built in thermometer. Genius!!! The tub is also curved to fit your babies body with a thin foam like pad for him to rest his back on. The way it is designed allows water to flow over the thermometer sensor, then into a water reservoir, and then gently spill over into the basin where your child rests comfortably. There is a drain on the basin side that allows the soapy water to flow right out. The drain also prevents the water from getting too high. Your baby has the luxury of fresh warm water continuously circulating around him/her. The thermometer is awesome! It turns bright red and sounds an alarm if the water coming out of the faucet gets too hot or turns bright blue if it gets too cold. It gives you a green light when the temp is just right for baby.  I love being able to glance over and see the exact temperature while I am bathing Sam.

So, we had found the ultimate bathtub, but this was only one piece of the puzzle in achieving bath time, fun time. We needed to figure out how to make Sam feel totally safe and secure while being lowered into this new wet environment. I thought and thought, googled and googled, and then remembered what made Sam feel secure at night in his cradle when we first brought him home from the hospital... swaddling! Babies like to be swaddled. We swaddled Sam in one of his very thin baby towels. So far, so good. Put on some mood music. Then we lowered him in legs first into the already filled basin with water that we knew was being kept at the perfect temperature. It totally worked!!! Once in the tub we were able to slowly unwrap the towel and start bathing him. Since that night, bath time is a fun and relaxing time for everyone.

Speaking of relaxing... Sam's asleep, Daddy's home, I think I could use a soothing bath myself!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Newest Toy

Last week I ordered The Balboa Baby Sling by Dr. Sears. Yes, yes I am one of those crazy Dr. Sears followers but I can't help it. His parenting tips fit my personality. I have read four of his books and with each read I find myself liking him more and more. The last book I read of his was called The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby and it introduced me again to the idea of baby wearing which I swore I would never do. But, wanting what is best for Sam and loving the idea of carrying him hands free, my husband and I went to the baby store and started trying on slings. It is no wonder that the most comfortable sling was made by the great and very rich Dr. Sears. So, I went home and ordered it on Amazon (seller...One Hot Mama Nursing and Maternity).
Today was my first attempt at wearing the sling while trying to get random tasks done around the house. It is very easy to adjust and although Sam looks uncomfortable, he does seem to really enjoy it. Getting the right fit for both of us to be comfortable did take several tries of me loading him in and out. I got frustrated at first because the lady and baby on the box look so blissful and Sam and I didn't quite have those same carefree smiles on our faces. But with practice I got him in the right way and I started walking around the house. Within 5 minutes he was sound asleep. Amazing!!!! I usually spend a good 30 to 45 minutes rocking him to create the right nap mood and this sling had him sound asleep with ease. With Sam quietly dreaming I decided to see what could be accomplished wearing my baby for the first time.

I can straighten up the living room.
I can put a new trash bag in a trash can.
I can hang up clothes.
I can blog.
Okay now the things I can't do with the sling. Well, at least not yet.
I can't unload a top loading washer.
I can't unload the dishwasher.
I can't rinse dishes that are in the sink. (Baby Sam got wet!)

I am slowly and cautiously falling in love with this sling. Just the fact that I was able to get Sam asleep so fast gets it a second date for tomorrow. It was very comfortable to wear and so far it feels very safe. I will have to practice some more around the house before I debut it out and about. I am really looking forward to using it at the grocery store and Target so I can ditch that incredibly heavy car seat!!!