When Breastfeeding Difficulties Are Overwhelming–Getting Past Them

In early 2004, when I found myself pregnant with my first child, there was never any doubt in my mind that I would breastfeed. The cost of formula, the ease and convenience of nursing and the health benefits for mom and baby all combined to make the decision a no-brainer. I never considered, not once, bottle feeding my child.

As I got closer to delivery, all the books, my doctor and other experienced mothers all assured me that while the first few weeks can be tough, it eventually works out and becomes easy.

Unfortunately for me, although I successfully nursed both kids for as long as I could, it was never what I would call easy. I struggled with mastitis and recurrent thrush, and low supply problems resulting from my thyroid disease. I never did get the blanket thing right. When I asked our pediatrician for help with positioning, she blew me off and said, “Oh, you’ll figure it out.” When I asked a friend the same question, she said, “You just need to practice.” What I needed was for someone to say, “Hold him like THIS, put your shirt like THIS, put your arm like THIS.” Continue reading “When Breastfeeding Difficulties Are Overwhelming–Getting Past Them”

Is Your Spouse A Dumb Daddy?

When it comes to keeping our two children happy and on schedule with their routine, my husband and I tend to use a Divide And Conquer philosophy. We each have our strengths as parents and we each have things that frustrate us. When I’m reaching the limits of my patience, my husband is great about stepping in so I can cool off; when my husband tires of sibling rivalry, I step in to give him a break and chance to regroup.

We also split up the household duties. The faster the work gets done, the more time we have to spend together. For example, after dinner, it’s common practice for one of us to get the children ready for bath and bedtime, while the other tackles the dishes, cleans up the kitchen and puts away leftovers. Continue reading “Is Your Spouse A Dumb Daddy?”

Gently Weaning From The Pacifier

Last month, my two-year-old daughter had an MRI. She has an eye condition called strabismus, for now she uses the daily disposable lenses, but in the future she will have to undergo surgery to correct the problem. Prior to surgery, she needed the MRI to rule out any neurological causes behind the eye condition, and because she is only two, the procedure required sedation.

In my bag, along with a change of clothes and her special blanket, I also brought her pacifier. She takes it to sleep with, and it’s an instant soother for her when she is upset, so I figured I should have it in case the procedure was frightening.

She did wonderfully, until it was time to take her back for the sedation part. Nurses and doctors bustled about, and there was a lot of equipment and flashing lights and beeping, and she started to look a little nervous, so I gave her the pacifier.

The nurse caring for her made a comment about it and said she could tell from looking at her that she is a pacifier child. “My son took a pacifier and his teeth looked like hers,” she said.

The comment made me think. Is there something wrong with my child’s teeth? They look fine to me. Should I have weaned her from these pacifiers by now? She only takes it at naptime and bedtime, it’s not like it’s in her mouth all day long. We made that decision some time ago. She talks well too, so I hadn’t seriously considered weaning her from the pacifier until now.

Part of the reason for that is because I very strongly believe that you shouldn’t take away a child’s comfort object just because the experts say “it’s time.” How is it beneficial to abruptly remove a child’s bottle because they have turned one, or take away a school age child’s teddy bear because “only babies sleep with stuffed animals?” In my house, transitions are usually done a little later than recommended, but they are done slowly and gently, so the effects are long lasting.

My daughter went down for her nap today as usual, with her pacifier in her mouth. Still though I’m wondering if it’s time to start thinking about the best way to wean her from her pacifier use, and I could use some advice for the gentlest way to do so.

Did your child use a pacifier? How did you wean them from it and at what age?

Disciplining The Sensitive Child

I have two children, a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. They have vastly different personalities, and I’ve had to tailor my parenting to address those differences. My son is energetic, independent and fearless, he is a picky eater, and even as a young baby, he didn’t sleep a lot. My daughter is more reserved and cautious, she sleeps and eats well, and she’s quieter.

The differences between them are most apparent when it comes to discipline.

When my son was two, a timeout was effective form of discipline for him. He’s the kind of kid you needed to physically pull away from sticking his fingers in the electrical socket because he wouldn’t listen any other way. A timeout is still a part of my discipline repertoire for him, and part of the reason it is such a punishment is because he has to stop playing, leave his toys and be by himself sitting on his bed. 99% of the time, he comes out a few minutes later, all apologetic and hugs me and says he won’t do whatever it was he did. Now that he is four, disciplining him continues to be a more “hands-on” approach. We don’t spank our children, but I do have to take his hands, and have him look me in the face, so I have his full attention. Continue reading “Disciplining The Sensitive Child”

Making Babywearing Work For You

In early November, an ad by the maker’s of Motrin sparked outrage among moms who felt that the ad was insulting to babywearing moms. If you haven’t seen the video, you can view it here.

I’ll just say that I thought the ad was poorly done. Although I wasn’t as offended as some were, the ad made me less likely to ever want to buy Motrin. I won’t buy J&J products, but I never did anyway. Generics are cheaper, and just as effective.

I did wear both my babies, but quite honestly, it had nothing to do with bonding and everything to do with convenience. I also breastfed both and I spent so much time doing that, I figured I had the bonding covered.
Continue reading “Making Babywearing Work For You”