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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

LOL: How to Get Through the Crying (And Have Some Fun Doing It!)

We all know babies cry...

These cheeky little bundles come into our lives without a care in the world and with no regard to how exhausting they can be to Mom & Dad. And of course it seems that it is when we are the most tired that these little creatures decide to show off their lung capacity.

There's a saying 'it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings'- I think they should rewrite to 'it ain't over 'til the lil baby screams' ;) All parents have been there. Heck, they send you home from the hospital with a DVD that warns you about how much babies can cry and that you can't always soothe them. In some ways this is comforting to know and in others it's a scary preview of reality for many new parents. I think labour was prep for this- it's painful and you don't know when it will be over ;)

About a week ago our little one started to really notice the world around her. She clued in that there's a big ol' world around her, and she's ready to take it all in. This new curiosity has made it more of a challenge to settle her down for naps, which leads to overstimulation, which leads to lack of sleep, which leads to grumpy baby :(. That, and/ or you can chalk it up to the infamous 'fussy' period babies experience at around 5/ 6 weeks. Yay.

To paraphrase a Barbara Streisand song, send in the screams. You know it if you've been there. The inconsolable baby. Enough said. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I worked up until 10 days before I gave birth, in a job where I was on my feet all day and surrounded by noise. My baby  seemed to have grown accustomed to lots of movement and the noises of the world before she even made her debut, so I expected a child that would probably want this replicated once she arrived.

Now, I know it's a common suggestion that rocking, etc and music can help calm a baby, but when you're pooped out and all you want to do is sit down- never mind lie down- and you have a baby that needs soothing, it can take every last ounce of strength to pull yourself up and bounce that lil bundle.

Here's where the fun comes in. No really, I mean it. I'm a lover of jazz, Broadway musicals, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, etc. While I enjoy other genres, I was raised on this kind of music and I love belting out 'New York New York' at the top of my out of tune lungs. Luckily, babies don't care if a) you're a good singer, or b) if you're a good dancer. Hence, my prescription for inconsolable babies: crank that iPod and sashay, swing, bounce, and sway that lil munchkin to your heart's content. You may not be able to cure the crying, but you can at least have fun trying. Plus, babies love the sound of their parent's voices, so if you make a playlist of songs you know, you can add that to your repertoire.

I've had to do this a couple of times, with varying success (I think that's going to be my catch phrase for this whole parenting thing), but can honestly say that the music not only calms the babe, but helps calm me (or at the very least, take the edge off my nerves) and turns what can be a very unpleasant time into a fun one. Laugh it out and give it a try. I'm not saying you won't be exhausted and/ or grumpy and/ or ready to scream yourself, but why not try and channel that crazy energy into something that may give you back a teenie tiny piece of your sanity?

I hope this helps. Or at least gives you a way to laugh through the crying.

oxox



Monday, July 29, 2013

Swaddling: Snug As A Bug

Like so many things with babies and kids, there are plenty of opinions and taboos. One person says something is ok, another says it's not. All of the conflicting information can be very confusing and stressful to a new parent.

One of the topics I have encountered is swaddling. I have heard arguments both pro and against swaddling, but have opted to swaddle my little one. Given that I was on my feet and moving during my entire pregnancy, I was warned by a few people that my baby may need help to settle- including lots of rocking, walking, and swaddling to help 'it' (We didn't know what we were having) to settle. My Mum swears if she had swaddled me that my Dad and her would have had some sleep before my first birthday! Of course there never is one 'right' answer, but I have to agree with my Mum on this one. I bought a swaddle blanket before my little one came along just in case.

So far I have had quite a bit of success swaddling, but there is an art to it. I have used regular and muslin receiving blankets, and the swaddle with velcro, all with varying success. Since I have a Summer baby, the challenge of swaddling is the heat. I can tell that it's getting to her, so she's been sleeping in just a diaper and swaddle. Poor lil monkey has been harder to settle the past few days because she's so hot. I have had the most success with just a diaper in the velcro swaddle (it's a thicker fabric than the muslin blanketss)- she's a cheeky monkey and can wiggle out of everything else!

For simple & clear instructions to swaddle your lil one, go here. (aden+ anais has ADORABLE  muslin receiving blankets)

The swaddle I'm using can be found in the TPB shop and there are different options for different ages. I'm using the 2nd stage size small right now. 

If you plan to swaddle, I do recommend trying a few different options to see what works for you and your baby. I wish you all the best with this- it may make the difference between a sleepless night and getting some well needed rest!

I'd love to hear if you've tried swaddling and how it's working/ worked for you :)



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

10 Fingers & 10 Toes

Everyone always tells you when you have a new baby to enjoy every minute of it because 'it goes by so fast'. Today my baby girl is 5 weeks old, and I can honestly say that this is so true! We are doing everything we can to document these precious early days.

Of course we're taking a TON of photos and video, but we're also trying to capture memories in more creative ways. One way we have tried is the plaster hand/ foot print. I will say this: it is not as easy as you might think! We tried to do her footprint and ended up with dry plaster before we could get her little foot near the mold! We have bought another kit and I'll let you know how it turns out- it is best to do these hand/ foot prints when the baby is asleep because they are so relaxed (they'll clench their little fists if you try and do hand prints when they're awake- cute, but ineffective!)




Another cute idea I got from my sister- in- law is to do a mini canvas with poster paint so you can get all 10 fingers and toes in one place. Again, easier said than done! With some work, we managed to get 2 handprints with several blobbies in our first attempt, but had to call it quits when the young lady announced she needed a diaper change. Our mission for the second attempt: feet!

Canvas Supplies- Just add baby!

Attempt #1: 10 Fingers! (+ blobbies!)


What I love about these projects is their simplicity (even if they're not so simple to create!)  and that they are budget friendly. Plus, it's nice to be able to show your child just how tiny they once were. Great for decoration now, and memories later.

The plaster print kit I used is from Walmart and cost $8.99. I have heard some dollar stores carry similar kits, but I haven't looked. I also really like the idea of doing Christmas ornaments for the Grandparents, but we'll have to practice more first! The same goes for the canvas and paint- just make sure you buy washable, non- toxic paint (I used Elmers) and wash baby's hands and feet after.

I'll update the photos when we can get our young lady to cooperate (read: when she's sleeping). We're going to try and finish this little project ASAP, but have to wait until a morning or afternoon nap in case she doesn't settle back down. 

Babies! Babies! Babies!



One of the most exciting and crazy times in life is the arrival of a child. And it seems that despite generations of requests, owner manuals are yet to be included with these cute little packages!

My hope for this blog is to document all of the joys and challenges of being a new parent. I hope to provide an online forum for Moms and Dads to share their advice & experiences. In addition, I would like to offer information on events and opportunities for local parents.

I hope to share my family's journey as we enter this exciting new time in our lives, and that others will share theirs too. 

If you have requests or suggestions for blog articles, please let me know! I can't wait for this journey to begin!


Image Source: http://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=baby+footprint&oe=UTF-8&gws_rd=cr&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=ckzwUZnADYWBiwKRsYG4DQ&biw=1275&bih=649&sei=fEzwUfOwAamxiwKMi4GQCQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=lrH9ams4fZV8dM%3A%3BIC2ch6SI-SngCM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi45.photobucket.com%252Falbums%252Ff66%252Famotherswish%252Ffootprint.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.vebidoo.de%252Fefootprint%252Binc%3B480%3B800