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Mom Speak!

Advice for the Breastfeeding Mommas

Alysha

I am a proud nursing mom! I nursed my oldest daughter until she was 21 months old (when she weaned herself). I am currently nursing my 14 month old, with no end date in place. 

For some reason, it was difficult for a lot of people in my life to understand why my husband I chose not formula-feed our babies. 

I would often get questioned on why I would breastfeed when I could just use formula and when I planned to stop. Many people had rude comments or overshared their unproductive opinions about breastfeeding.

While I have nothing against formula feeding, I chose to nurse because I felt it was the best choice for me and for my babies. I feel it builds a connection with your child that can't be substituted. I also believe that although formula has come a long way, after my own research, I don't think it has all of the nutritional benefits of breast milk. (Look it up!)

Even though I have had people make fun of my decision, I stayed strong and surrounded myself with people who supported me. 

My mom, for example, didn't nurse any of the five of us, and almost every other woman in my family formula fed. However, even though I'm sure she has her opinions, she realizes this was a decision that my husband and I made, and supported it and us. 

Since I never really had anyone I could relate to, I thought I could help some other people in a similar situation by sharing some tips and advice to any breastfeeding moms out there that have no one else to turn to.

 

1. Take Care of YOU! Nursing can take a lot out of you, so it's extremely important to make sure you eat well and stay hydrated. I can't count the number of times I've gotten caught up with my little ones and I look up at clock and realize it's noon and I haven't had anything to eat or drink. I had to start setting  reminders on my phone so I don't forget to eat! 

You want to make sure you're providing the best milk for your little one, and the best way to do that is to make sure you are getting healthy things into your own body. You can't provide the proper nutrients to your child if you aren't getting them yourself! 

 

2. Invest in a nursing cover. I don't mind if other people breastfeed their children without one, but, I personally am not comfortable with it. My nursing cover has a permanent home in the diaper bag, and I take it everywhere. Instead of having to run to the car or bathroom when we're out, I just use my cover while walking around. Any little thing you can do to make breastfeeding easier makes it more likely you'll succeed. 

 

3. Surround yourself with supportive people. Never formula feed because of other's opinions on nursing. I cannot count the amount of times I've heard women say that they have stopped nursing because of the people in their life not supporting them. As a mom you have to be strong for yourself and your baby.

If you don't have anyone, join a blog or a forum. Go to some mommy meet-ups and get to know some breastfeeding moms. Stay positive. 

 

4) Stick with it! Know upfront that it's not easy. It can be painful. It can be messy. It can be time-consuming. It can be a hassle. However, realize that you made this choice  for a reason, and you should stick to it. Remind yourself why you made decision to breastfeed, and let that be your motivation. With my oldest, the 1st few weeks were excruciating, and I thought it would never get easier. But it did. 

Lot's of people say to themselves, "maybe it's just not for me." Mothers have been breastfeeding as long as they've been having babies. They did it, and so can you! Know that it's something that your body knows how to do, it just takes a little time, persistance, and support.

Be strong and don't give up! 

 

I have a lot of experience with breastfeeding (3.5 years & counting) and I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have! Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you!

Xx

Alysha

Siblings Without Rivalry

Alysha

One of the most common questions I get asked nowadays is if Halo is jealous of her baby sister Zen... And the answer is no! Not at all not, not even a little bit. Halo adores Zen, she loves playing with her, and she loves to help out.

When my husband and I decided to make Halo a big sister, we both began to focus on avoiding the jealousy bit. We wanted Halo to feel happy and just as important as she always has. We sat down together and came up with some ideas to make the transition as smooth as possible.

All of the steps we took have worked wonders for us, and I hope this list helps other families avoid what can be a very tough time for a child who has to share the spotlight with a younger sibling. 


1. Get your child something to take care of! We bought Halo a fish tank for her nursery, made sure she saw it was empty, and covered it with wrapping paper.  Once she got bored and stopped asking to peak inside, we added a fish and shrimp (I was around 37 weeks). When Zen was born (at home), we revealed her pets and she was so excited that her sister got her a fish.

She loves her tank, and still appreciates Zen giving it to her. Giving her something of her own to take care of gives her some responsibility and shows her how important it is to take care of things (like babies).

Every morning she checks on her fish and it's the cutest thing ever! A fish tank may not be feasible for every family, but there are other options such as a hamster, plant, ant farm, caterpillar, etc.

2. Buy your child a bunch of small gifts! When Zen was born, we gave Halo some surprises and told her they were all from her baby sister. She was so happy! And because every kid loves gifts, she fell in love with Zen immediately!

We also put some small gifts aside so that when people came to visit,  they could give Halo a gift and some attention, before acknowledging Zen. That really helped make her feel special and very important, rather than ignored with all the attention give to her sister

3. Let the big sister or brother help! Getting the role of big sister or brother is a huge deal to a child. They want to help, so I say let them! Giving them little tasks here and there can make your child feel important and involved, rather than excluded.

When I let Halo help out, to give Zen a bath, for example, she can't wait to tell Daddy that she got to help. We’ll ask her to “teach” her little sister how to do things like hold a spoon, color, stack blocks… anything! It helped her feel involved, responsible, and helps teach her look out for her little sister.

4. Avoid making them feel like there’s a huge change. Although having Zen was a major adjustment, we didn't want Halo to feel like her life was flipped upside down. We made sure that visitors didn’t say things like “You’re not the baby anymore” or “Are you excited about the new baby?” We didn’t want Halo to feel like she’s being replaced, and made an extra effort to ensure she knew her role as our baby has not changed.       

It has been 10+ months since Zen was born, and Halo still shows no sign of jealousy. Each day we continue to show both of our girls that they are equally important and loved!

It's important to show your kids that you have added an addition to the family, and not a replacement.

Halo adores her little sister and her little sister adores her right back. Everybody is happy!

If you are adding to your family, help your oldest transition into sister or brotherhood! With continued support and work, it can be really easy!

Xx

Alysha

Potty in Public

Alysha

So after reading my previous post, ‘Potty at the Park,’ someone asked me what I do when I'm outside at malls or restaurants with my potty-trained toddler. You can't carry a potty wherever you go, but I definitely have a solution!

My husband found the Primo Folding Potty Seat (available on amazon.com) and we use it exclusively in public restrooms. I am a little bit of a germophobe, so the fear of my baby using a public toilet is terrifying to me. It's also awkward for her to sit on an adult sized seat, and the thought of her falling into that disgusting water gives me nightmares.

Our solution:

1st we put down a toilet seat liner (we got the Dora Potty Topper, also on Amazon). The beauty of these is that they have an adhesive so you don't have to worry about the liner shifting.

On top of that, we place the Primo Potty seat. It puts me at ease to know that there are 2 levels of protection between her and that dirty toilet seat! She's also more comfortable sitting on an appropriately sized seat...Everyone's happy!

We fold and store the seat in a gallon sized Ziploc bag along with the seat liners, and keep them in the diaper bag. We take them everywhere, just in case. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone with toddlers!

Xx

Alysha