Archive for the ‘ Love And Diapers ’ Category

Wait. Pacifiers Actually Promote Breastfeeding Now?

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Did you catch the latest study calling the idea of “nipple confusion” into question?

In an effort to promote breastfeeding, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Oregon literally put its pacifiers under lock and key. To get one, nurses needed a good reason, such as soothing post-circumcision. And they were required to enter a code as well as the patient’s name.

This practice did not promote breastfeeding rates. On the contrary. Breastfeeding rates declined by 10 percent.

“Despite the common belief among medical providers and the general public that pacifier use negatively impacts breastfeeding, we found limiting pacifier use in the Mother-Baby Unit was associated with decreased exclusive breastfeeding and increased supplemental formula feeds,” explained Kair [a resident in pediatrics at the hospital].

Well.

In an article on the study at Today Moms, The World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund sticks to its guns.

“The primary reason for WHO’s policy on pacifiers is the potential for interference with suckling and establishing lactation,” says Dr. Chessa Lutter, a senior advisor in food and nutrition for the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization.

“There is some evidence to suggest that giving pacifiers or bottle nipples can interfere with suckling and getting a good latch on. It’s very important that the baby be able to properly latch on, which evolves over baby’s first week of life. Establishing a good suck is extremely important for the mother as well, so her own nipple isn’t irritated or damaged,” Lutter says.

Confused yet?

I confess to being a rule-follower, especially when it comes to my kids. If prevailing knowledge says to hold off on the pacifier for about a month to prevent nipple confusion, I hold off on the pacifier for about a month to prevent nipple confusion. Which is what I did. My 12-week-old now digs her pacifier. She also digs the boob. And the bottle. She’s quite equal opportunity, nipplewise.

I want people to continue to examine issues relating to my children, even if—especially if?— doing so shatters previously held beliefs. But it does get maddening when it’s drilled into your head to do things one way, for the clear health and well-being of your child, and then someone comes along with an, “Oopsie! Scratch that. Reverse it. Now carry on!” Tummy sleeping and drinking beer to promote nursing both come to mind.

My takeaway: Go with your gut. Even when experts are telling you one thing, if your built-in mama instincts are pulling you in the opposite direction, go there. (Within reason, of course.) Those instincts truly are worth trusting.

Were you a rule-follower like me, or one of those rebels that used a pacifier out of the gate? How’d that go for you and the kid?

Also: Check out my fellow Parents blogger Jill Cordes’ thoughts on the matter. (Hint: She’s less of a rule-follower than I!)

 

Image: Face of Adorable Baby with Pacifier in Mouth Looking at Camera via Shutterstock

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Pottytraining Success! Mostly.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Things have been a little nutty around here. I’ve started working again. We’ve been sick off and on. We hosted a little Easter gathering. Somebody got a big boy bed. I set my phone on top of my car and drove off without realizing it until someone called Clint to say they found it on a busy street a few miles from our home.

Surprise, surprise, it suddenly stopped working one week later. So Vera and I buzzed out to the Mall of America, where we spent an inordinate amount of time in Verizon, taking nursing breaks on the bench outside the store until little girl finally refused to go back in. Outside on the bench: No crying. Step foot in the store: Screaming bloody murder. I totally understood. We wrapped up the transaction in the shopper-packed hallway of the third floor west rotunda of America’s largest mall.

On a whim, I switched from a Droid to the new iPhone, largely because of the camera. (I’m embarrassed to admit that the car/phone incident isn’t uncharacteristic, so I got a LifeProof case, plus replacement insurance through Best Buy for just $15—did you know they offered that for so cheap?? I was shocked.) Now I’m one of those iPhone people. Check me out:

 

I am often diggin’ Instagram.

Oh, and we have a two-month-old. And decided now was a good time to start pottytraining the toddler. Why yes, I do believe I am slightly insane, thank you very much.

Roy is doing awesome, though. We kick-started the process with the three-day method inspired by Julie Fellom’s Diaper Free Toddlers Program, wherein you let your child run around naked from the waist down and just make getting to the potty on time the main focus of your very existence for those three days. The idea being that this initial focus will lay the groundwork for greater success in the weeks to come.

The potty part he had down in a jif. In fact, now that I think about it, I do not believe he’s had one accident involving #1. #2 has been a little more difficult. Just a little, though. He’s somewhat reluctant about it, meaning that we need to be extra positive and encouraging when we see silent crouching, “the face,” and other signs he has to go. (We also upped the reward. Multiple fruit snacks AND a matchbox car, what what?)

In fact, it went so well over that three-day weekend that I didn’t even think to get nervous about having that Monday, Day 4, alone with the kids. It started out as it usually does, with all three of us lingering in bed too long, then eating a leisurely breakfast too late. We went on to play trucks and read some books, then we broke out the play-doh.

We were having so much fun that I lost track of time and let play-doh time inch into lunchtime, which therefore looked to delay naptime. This is not a good thing on a normal day, but to a kid whose world is being thoroughly rocked by the pressure of trying to time his bowel movements so that they end up in that white thing in the bathroom, it’s an emotional disaster waiting to happen. When my statement that I was going to start lunch was met by wide-open-mouth wailing and alligator tears, the delicate nature of my situation suddenly struck me. Newborn sleeping in a sling strapped to my chest, plus hungry, tired pottytraining toddler. Not good.

Of course the play-doh clean-up process and lunch took twice as long due to a few minor breakdowns, and of course I was somewhat harried and on edge, despite my best efforts to remain calm. Then just as we’re about to head upstairs for naptime, Roy runs over to the potty and poops, no drama whatsoever. I couldn’t have been more proud if he’d won a Pulitzer. “Great job, hon!” I said. “Now hold on so we can wipe.”

And that’s when his eyes met mine, and I could see that little devilish twinkle sparkling amid the exhaustion and overstimulation, the twinkle that wins at times like these when everyone has been pushed to the edge. “Roy, no-no-no. You stay right here,” I said in my best Serious Mom voice. It was all I had.

It wasn’t enough. He ran off, naked butt peeking out from under his striped t-shirt, giggling that strung out tired-toddler giggle-screech, heading straight for the couch. “Roy, stop right now!” I tried, speed-walking after him, clutching Vera’s warm, sleeping body. He laughed as he scrambled up on the couch, butt-planting down into the tan cushions before scrambling further and butt-planting it again. And again. And again.

All I can say is, thank god for Bac-Out. And the fact that I paid extra for fabricguard. We cleaned it up together, Roy excitedly declaring, “Oh! More poop!” every time he discovered a spot I’d missed. I was significantly less thrilled.

In related news, I am happy to report that we seem to have had a #2 breakthrough last weekend. Fingers crossed it sticks. We’re on Day Three accident free.

So yeah, it’s been a little nutty around here. Is it crazy that I love it, poop cleanup and all?

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Where’s the Oddest Place You’ve Nursed?

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

I’m not necessarily a lactivist. It’s just that I have a newborn who demands to eat quite a bit. And if we’re out and about, I’m going to feed her. I’m nursing exclusively, so feeding her means attaching her to my boob. Having a newborn as well as a toddler also means that I don’t have the time, energy or self-consciousness to worry about whether or not that dude over there will be bothered by the sight of a baby eating as nature intended. I just don’t give a sh*t. Wait, does that make me a lactivist by default?

I kind of just like saying that word.

So it was Family Day at the hair salon last weekend. For the three of us, at least. I was in for a long overdue foil, and at the last second, my awesome stylist agreed to sneak the boys’ haircuts in while I was processing. (Christine happens to have a son about Roy’s age as well as a newborn daughter at home, so she’s 100% down with our crazy/volatile family situation at this moment.)

Initially, I’d envisioned this outing as a chance at a little me-time. But after the boys got involved, it was clear it’d be anything but. The big question was: What to do with Vera? The girl does not sit silently in her car seat, whether or not it’s locked into a moving vehicle. She usually does sit silently on me, but could she be counted on to perform (meaning not perform?) on command? Newborns. So darn unpredictable.

We decided not to chance it, but rather let her roll with the boys. I’d sneak in a quick nursing session during the dudecuts. Then she’d take off with the boys again.

But Vera is definitely a mommy’s girl. She screamed for nearly the entire hour I was gone. Once the three of them got to the salon, she nursed and then fell sound asleep in my arms. So after the boys were nicely sheared, we decided it was best for everyone’s sanity if she just remained snuggled in my arms.

Of course the sweet snuggling stopped abruptly once we went in for a rinse. So there I was, reclined in the wash station (right off the busy waiting area, by the way), my head in the sink, cape thrown aside, tanktop and nursing bra stretched down, adjusting that little newborn body against my tummy with one hand while blindly navigating her wailing mouth to my bare nipple with the other. Nothing to see over here, folks! Just feeding my screaming kid while getting my fancy beauty needs attended to! Move along!

Darned if I didn’t successfully nurse her in that awkward position, then proceed to have my first-ever haircut/babygazing session.

And so the day brought two milestones: Our first girls’ salon outing, and my oddest nursing experience yet.

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Natural Birth Dos & Don’ts

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

A quick heads up for any of you who have connected to this blog or my birth story because you’re hoping to have a natural birth: I wrote a story on the Dos and Don’ts of Natural Birth for Parents.com.

It was nice to be able to pull together some of my thoughts and to pick the brains of other mamas who’ve gone the natural route. Of course I had a couple of experienced midwives weigh in as well.

Our advice includes some basics, such as finding a supportive practitioner and birthing environment, as well as things you might not think about at first, such as remembering your birth partner, going ahead and eating that egg sandwich and cutting off others’ birthing horror stories.

Come to think of it, you should do that last one whether you’re headed the natural route or not. No pregnant lady needs the extra worry.

Check out the story.

Natural birth hopefuls: I sincerely hope the full list helps you achieve the birth you want. I’m happy to try and answer any questions in the comments.

Natural birth veterans: What advice did we miss? Help the hopefuls by adding your two cents!

 

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Post-Baby Socializing

Monday, March 26th, 2012

We’re at the 7-week mark now, and things are going pretty well. I’m finding the baby thing a little easier the second time around.

 I’m not coming fresh to every little thing, and that contributes to an overall feeling of (relative) competence. I’m  comfortable being around a baby. Handling a baby. Having a baby.

Her cries and do not scare me, nor do the various hues and consistencies of her bowel movements. I know how to use a breast pump and what to carry in the diaper bag. We’ve already got a kid-friendly schedule in place and a daycare provider we love and trust.

It’s more about managing/balancing the family’s time (there seems to be less) and emotions (there seem to be more).

We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather here, which has made things easier. It’s drawing us out of the house, and out of our heads, much sooner than if it were the typical chilly Minnesota March. It makes a huge difference.

The most common outing is “around the block,” followed closely by “to the neighborhood park.” We sometimes swing by and pick up Vivian, Roy’s bud, and her family, too.

Check out the protective arm around the shoulder. Roy loves Vivi.

Vivi got a new brother the week after Roy got a new sister. Franklin and Vera kick it on the playground’s edge for now. Oh, the little siblings will be tearing it up soon enough.

As the weeks pass, we’re getting more adventurous. Last week, for example, Vera and I went out to lunch to celebrate Romelle’s birthday.

I’m still at that stage where showering and putting on clothes that do not double as pajamas feels like a major coup, so this was big stuff. Romelle is totally worth it.

And guess what? Clint and I went out, together, without the kids. We got them snuggled into bed, put on spitup-free clothes, then drove off to spend time with other grownups for a couple of hours. (Of course, a sitter was involved. Thanks, Bubbe!)

It felt so novel. I do not have any photos of the occasion because I was too busy talking and drinking wine and just completely enjoying what it felt like to be out talking and drinking wine. It’d been a really long time.

Yeah, things are going pretty well.

Babysmiles make everything better.

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