Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I learned from babywise

I've received a good amount of questions from people curious about Babywise. It's quite the controversial book. Some moms hate every idea that has come out of it. Some live by it like it's their bible. Others, like me, take the principles and practices from the book and apply it to their family's as it fits.

Regardless of where you land at either end of the spectrum, here are some tips that I found really helpful for my family. Some of these tips are real lifesavers for my little one.

1) The basic principle of this book: establishing a feed, wake, sleep schedule

A solid, full feeding (whether breast or formula) will promote a great wake time, and a restful sleep time. If one of these three things are out of line, the other two will be affected. This was a huge revelation for me to understand. If Hunter had a bad feeding, he would not be as alert during his wake/playtime, and he would either cry before his nap or wake up early. If he had a rough nap, his feeding wasn't as successful. And thus the cycle is out of whack creating a tired, fussy baby and tired mommy.

2) The order of the feed, wake, sleep schedule is important

The order that these three practices falls just as important as how successful they are. A successful feeding will lead to an alert and wakeful playtime and a restful nap time. But if you have a wake play, feed, nap schedule you have the potential to get this system out of line. What happens is baby starts to depend on nursing or his bottle to fall asleep. Having his play time right before sleep time teaches him to fall asleep on his own. This is the most amazing thing to watch, Hunter will be put in his crib wide-awake maybe talk to himself for a minute or two (sometimes 10!) and blissfully drift off to sleep. Note:  this took some time to develop and train and I'm glad I did because it is been a real lifesaver for naps!

3) Scheduled FULL feedings

This is where the controversy comes in. In baby led feeding you feed the baby when the baby is hungry. This approach is a little bit babywise teaches you that the baby sometimes does not know that they are hungry. For example newborns can blissfully sleep past the four hour stretch when they're supposed to be awakened to eat sooner than that. Also babies like to nurse for comfort which could be happening rather than true hunger. Like I said you could be on the baby led feeding routine and love it. If that's what works for your family that is great!  But I believe in schedules, consistency & routine so this is what works for my family.

The amount of time between feedings will depend on the baby's age. A newborn eats every hour and half to two hours. But someone Hunters age at almost 4 months eats around every three hours (except at night).  So Hunters schedule will be every three hours from the first feeding to the last.

FULL feedings are KEY. if baby is not getting a full feeding or just snacking all day long, he will never get full and be able to last the amount of time between feedings. So it is crucial even on the baby's birth day for baby to get the full feeding. (Which I'm sure you mom's  know is very hard when you have a sleepy newborn!)

Note: the book does discuss growth spurts, sickness etc. and in that case you feed the baby when they need to be fed. There is "no cry it out" just because it hasn't been three hours if it is truly hunger. This is where people get very confused and think that this book is from the devil! But if you read the pages carefully it really does say when the baby is hungry feed the baby!!

4) Scheduled naps

Yes, naps are scheduled too! Just like the feeding schedule, you train the baby to sleep when necessary. This took some time but now will Hunter actually show signs of being tired around the same time every day at his scheduled nap time.

5) Where/ how baby sleeps

Baby sleeps in his crib for every nap and at nighttime. Babywise doesn't shove this concept down your throat, but they suggest this is the best place for baby and parents. They also advise to stay away from sleep props, so that baby does not get dependent on them to sleep. Essentially you should be able to put baby down in his crib and walk away and baby should sleep by himself and be able to soothe himself if he wakes early. (This doesn't always happen but 9/10 it does!)

**an adjustment I made to babywise that works for my family** I don't feed Hunter immediately when he wakes up from his nap (unless he' can't wait).  I Hold him or let him play for 10 to 15 minutes before he eats. I don't want him to think that he automatically needs to eat every time he wakes up.**

At the end of the day, I encourage you to do your research. This is my job: mommy. The BEST job so it is my job to be as well-educated as I can for the welfare of my baby. Do your research, and take the practices from different theories that work for you. Babywise is not the end all be all for me. I still like to research and learn from other mommies and other books about baby and have applied them to my parenting! (The four "S" have been key!) and I don't feel guilty at all if I have to deviate from the plan. There are some days where Hunter is off schedule a little bit and I have to feed him sooner or he doesn't nap very well. He's a baby it's going to happen! But babywise provides structure to my crazy life and for that I am grateful.

So I hope this is helpful to you!! Let me know if you've any further questions I'd be happy to answer. Xoxo-B

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tip from my home to yours: Balance is everything!

Today I wanted to share a makeup and style tip. I am no makeup artist, but I take this philosophy with me for my style & in my life!

Balance is Everything!

The photo above displays two different looks 
Nude lips with Dark eyes, and a more natural looking eye with dark lips...♥
Mascara: Armani "eyes to kill"
Eyeliner: Maybelline ebony black
Lips: nude: Mac Spice liner and Gloss

Don't be that girl...

The purpose of wearing makeup is to accentuate your best features; to look like you are not wearing makeup at all!So with that being said remember: balance is EVERYTHING! xoxo-B

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lovely Neighbor: Ivory Lane

Meet our Lovely Neighborhood blogger: Emily from Ivory Lane

Emily and her sister (Rach from Pink Peonies) inspired me to get into blogging. They are just DOLLS and have the sweetest family that seems to be very close. Emily is currently pregnant and has the most darling looks for her growing bump!

Check out her blog to see more by clicking HERE!

Some of her DARLING looks:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Getting baby on a schedule: "A Slave to the schedule?"

At 12 weeks we have a  pretty consistent schedule thankfully. I have been asked many times "isn't it a pain to have the baby on schedule? Doesn't it make you a slave to the schedule?" 

My answer is yes. and no. 

The schedule allows for me to know when my baby needs what he needs. 

Now before you start thinking "He's a baby, you cant tell a baby when he's hungry or tired, he just is!" ...hear me out.

To implement a schedule you need start with the basics for an infant. You know a newborn cannot go more than 4 hours without eating, therefore they must be woken up to eat. You also know that a baby NEEDS sleep. If you have a baby like my little guy who hates to sleep and has a serious case of FOMO, then you know you need to put baby down for naps to teach him to sleep. 

Believe it or not, these basic principles are the building blocks for a schedule for baby.

At 3 months old I know Hunter needs to eat about every 2.5 to 3 hours. As the day progresses he needs to eat closer to every 2.5 hours (I believe a moms milk supply isn't as plentiful in the late afternoon and early evening as it is in the morning.) Therefore, all my feedings during the day will be spaced out like this:

3 month old Feeding times:

10:45pm (wake him up for dream feed)

In order for baby to have a full and satisfying feeding, a great nap is a MUST! How much sleep your baby needs will really depend on your baby. Like I said, Hunter does not require much sleep only sleeping about 12 hours a day total. Some days he's more like 13, other days he's more like 11 1/2 hours. Regardless, a great nap will naturally follow a great feeding and adequate awake playtime. 

3 month old sleeping schedule goes as follows **(note nap times vary from 40-70 min for Hunter)

7:45am -8:45am morning nap
10:45am -11:40am late morning nap
1:25pm -2:10pm early afternoon nap
3:50pm -4:45pm late afternoon nap
6:50pm -7:30pm evening nap
8:45pm down for the night until 6:30am (dream feed 10:45pm)

The next phase of sleep training will be to eliminate the Dream Feed. I have not done this because of my milk supply issues ( click HERE to see Low Milk Supply post) so I will have to maintain this 10:30pm feeding for a little while longer until I can be sure that Hunter is getting adequate milk calories AND that I am getting enough feedings in to keep my milk supply where it should be. 

So for now, I am a "slave" to the dream feed, but its necessary so I make the sacrifice of 
sleep for a little while longer. Its only for a season and its an important investment into 
my little ones life!

It's no secret that with this schedule I am home mostly all day everyday. When we have our outings I still try to stick to the schedule as best possible.

For example we had a play date yesterday where we went on a short walk to one of our favorite coffee spots. Me and the other momma arranged for this to be done at 9:00 am. Hunter had just woken up from his nap. So we walked there and got to the coffee shop and made it back in time to feed him at 9:30. That way baby schedule is not compromised and this momma got her much needed coffee fix! Now I know this isn't always feasible, I mean life happens and you can't always keep the little ones on the regime, but we stick to it as much as possible.

Please remember this is my style of parenting and everyone will do things differently! You need to do what's best for YOU and your baby.

Shoot your questions to 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Breastfeeding: Low Milk Supply

I have had my share of breastfeeding challenges with Hunter. Mainly due to his reflux. (and an unfortunate bout of mastitis!)  But breastfeeding exclusively is so important to me and my husband that I resolved to stick with it no matter what. Once we found the right medication for Hunter's reflux, breastfeeding became simple and easy again. I just love it.

Unfortunately a brand new issue reared its ugly head this week: Low Milk Supply. 

It seemed I always had an abundant amount of milk for Hunter from the start. I was blessed! But Hunter started waking up early from his naps a couple of weeks ago. Right between 30-45 minutes into his naps he would awake. He started waking up and was content until his next feeding, just happy to be up and play. But a few days ago he started waking up and crying profusely. I thought he was having trouble in his sleep transition from light to deep sleep since the timing was almost spot on every nap. But I read in babywise, that more often than not the "45 minute intruder" or waking early from naps is due to a feeding issue. But this didn't make sense to me since he was eating well and seemed content after his feedings (although now looking back there were signs that said he was not fully satisfied: rooting after 45 minutes of nursing, sucking on his hand, fussing after feeding) but being a first time mom I would just burp him and after I got a burp out of him he seemed fine so I didn't think he was still hungry! Well he was!

We went to the doctor this week because I was concerned with his feeding. He started becoming really irritable during feedings. But this was not the same agitation he felt when he was having reflux issues. This time he would latch on, suck for 10-15 seconds, then pull away and come back to latch on. He would repeat this for a little while until either I switched breasts or changed nursing positions. I just thought he was distracted, since he was getting older and more aware of his surroundings. But now it makes sense that he was not getting the milk fast enough or as abundant enough. Another thing he did was started sobbing after a couple tries latching on. I mean out of the blue suck suck suck, pull off, sob. It was heartbreaking. 

So, to the doctor we went! 

He weighed Hunter, and sure enough he did not gain as much weight as he should have. He gained under a pound in a couple of weeks. The doctor wasn't SUPER alarmed but he did say we needed to make some changes. He mentioned supplementing and my guard went up immediately. I did NOT want to give my baby formula (now, if this was the ONLY option for Hunter then obviously we would do formula, anything that could help him.) I explained that to the doctor and he said that I could supplement with breast milk. He suggested pumping in between Hunter's 7 and a half hour sleeping stretch at night. So it was back to little sleep for this momma...but worth it if it helped me to be able to continue breastfeeding. 

The extra pumped milk was not only done to help boost my supply but to give to Hunter in a bottle; one to two extra ounces a day. I had not pumped nor given Hunter a bottle yet so I was a bit reluctant because I did not want him to refuse the breast having a bottle. But I kept telling myself that this is better than having to get formula. (which would have been given through a bottle anyway). 

So, 4 AM rolled around and I stumbled downstairs half asleep. I pumped for 15 minutes using an electric double breast pump. (Ameda Purely Yours pump found Here!)

I discovered that when I pumped the left side I only got 3/4 of an ounce after 15 minutes. The right 
pumped 2 ounces. According to the pediatrician Hunter should be eating between 4 nd 6 ounces per feeding. So,  if I fed him for 15 minutes he was only getting 3 ounces. No wonder he was fussy! (I know that breast-feeding is more efficient at emptying the breast so he could be getting more than this amount but it gave me a good idea to start with)

I give Hunter 1 ounce of pumped milk at his 5:00 feeding and 1 ounce at his 7:45 feeding. He took the bottle just fine and it didn't seem to create any nipple confusion at this point.

It is now day 4 of pumping and the quantity has increased a bit to 1 ounce on the left and 2.5 ounces on the right. 

Other tips found from Kellymom and LLLi to increase milk supply.

  • Make sure that baby is nursing efficiently. This is the “remove more milk” part of increasing milk 
  • production. If milk is not effectively removed from the breast, then mom’s milk supply decreases. If positioning and latch are “off” then baby is probably not transferring milk efficiently. 
  • Nurse frequently, and for as long as your baby is actively nursing. Remember – you want to remove more milk from the breasts and do this frequently. 
  • Take a nursing vacation. Take baby to bed with you for 2-3 days, and do nothing but nurse (frequently!) and rest!
  • Offer both sides at each feeding. Let baby finish the first side, then offer the second side.
  • Switch nurse. Switch sides 3 or more times during each feeding, every time that baby falls asleep, switches to “comfort” sucking, or loses interest. Use each side at least twice per feeding. Use breast compression to keep baby feeding longer.
  • Avoid pacifiers and bottles. All of baby’s sucking needs should be met at the breast if possible.
  • Only breastmilk for baby!  Avoid all solids, water, and formula if baby is younger than six months, and consider decreasing solids if baby is older. 
  • Don't forget momma! Rest. Sleep when baby sleeps. Relax. Drink lots of liquids and eat a balanced diet. 
  • Adding pumping sessions after or between nursing sessions can be very helpful – pumping is very important when baby is not nursing efficiently or frequently enough, and can speed things up in all situations. Your aim in pumping is to remove more milk from the breasts and/or to increase frequency of breast emptying. When pumping to increase milk supply, to ensure that the pump removes an optimum amount of milk from the breast, keep pumping for 2-5 minutes after the last drops milk.
  • Consider a galactagogue. A substance (herb, prescription medication, etc.) that increases milk supply is called a galactagogue.
Hunter has increased a majority of his naps from 30 minutes to about an hour. Now I know if he's waking early it most likely is a hunger issue.

I'll give an update on how my little guy's doing in a week or so! 

Props to all you mamas out there who are breast-feeding and have stuck with it. It's challenging I know but soooo worth it!!

Prayers for good milk! Xoxo-B