Wednesday, June 22, 2011


In the world of new motherhood nothing is as difficult to bear as unsolicited advice on subject which you are educated about and dedicated to.  Before W was born I had dedicated myself to a minimum of one year of nursing.  After the first day of his life that changed.  The lactation consultant who visited us in the hospital was speechless when my answer to her typical introductory question "How long are you planning to nurse?" was "At least 18 months".  Needless to say you don't often encounter individuals who are considering extended breastfeeding outside of a midwifery setting.  When W was 2 months old his pediatrician, who is also a friend of the family, asked me what I was enjoying most about being a mother.  My honest answer was "Nursing W."  As the other supermom was expressing in a recent post there is something special about nourishing and comforting your child at the breast.  Something natural and instinctive. It's a beautiful relationship.  And although we had a difficult start (engorgement, Mastitis, clogged ducts, thrush, latching issues, oversupply, jaundice) at no time did I ever consider giving up.  I wanted to make a point.  If I can succeed while facing every issue in the book in the first 2 weeks, anyone can. And here we are 373 days later and still going strong. 

And now for the unsolicited advice.  "You know, you are going to have a really difficult time weaning him now that you've nursed beyond a year."

Not only was this advice unsolicited, such talk should be banned.  No mother who has just successfully breastfed her child beyond a year while working full time should be told anything that might damage her future breastfeeding relationship.  Were I anyone but myself I could have been scared.  I could have thought "I'd better start weaning now if it's only going to get harder as he gets older."  Thank goodness I have my own experience and knowledge as well as the support of several extended BF'ers and one supermom who will, no doubt, breastfeed beyond toddler-hood. 

I simply looked this person in the face and calmly said "No, I expect it will be quite easy. W will most likely naturally wean whenever he is ready, sometime between 2 and 3 years."

Why is it that in this society, now that breastfeeding is becoming the norm, do we push for a weaning deadline?  Why do we begin to ask mothers when their babies are 6 months, 9 months, 12 months "When are you planning to wean?"  One of my favorite responses to this question is that a child should not be weaned until you can have an intelligent conversation with them about what is happening.  Most children will wean themselves.  Some need a little encouragement. But no child should be forced from the breast.  Then end of the breastfeeding relationship should be celebrated and rejoiced.

"Weaning is not a negative term, nor is it something that you do to a child. Weaning is a journey from one relationship to another. The Hebrew word for wean is gamal, meaning "to ripen." In ancient times, when children were breastfed until two or three years of age, it was a joyous occasion when a child weaned. It meant the child was filled with the basic tools of the earlier stages of development and secure and ready to enter the next stage of development."  Dr. Sears

"And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned." Genesis 21:8

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Sisterhood.

Very few things warm my heart quite like seeing a mama nurse her baby.  I am filled with joy when I see a woman who is comfortable nursing her child in public, and I find it hard not to run up and give the pair a hug.  Then I think about how I would react if a strange woman ran up to me while I was feeding E, and I usually settle for a knowing (and friendly) smile.

I love when I get these smiles while I'm nursing.  Today E was snuggled down in his ring sling, nursing happily (and noisily, as usual), as we perused the farmers' market.  A woman peered over her table and commented, "That's how I fed my babies - wherever they were hungry.  Good for you!"  We proceeded to have a short conversation, finding out we had the same midwife, and E made a new friend in her when he came up for air.

Nursing creates a sisterhood the way mothering does not.  Women who nurse their babies are different, but similar.  I feel an instant kinship when I find out a woman has held her baby to her breast, and I delight in hearing women (especially when their children are grown) speak fondly of their nursing relationships.  This simple act seems to bind women of all ages and experiences together in a way few other things can.

Yesterday I was treated to my favorite brand of "nursing fan," the toddler who remembers being at the breast.    As I was sitting in a corner nursing E during W's birthday party, a curious little pair of eyes found us, peeked in a few times, then came straight up to fully appreciate the situation.  This lovely little lady fondly remembers the beautiful gift her mommy gave her, and seemed to savor seeing another child experiencing the same gift.  It is always a heartwarming moment when a child can identify and bond with another child over something so simple as a meal, and it's a bittersweet moment when I realize that not every child gets this gift.  I'm so happy I've made the commitment to give E the best and longest lasting gift I can - health from my milk, comfort and security from being cuddled at my breast, and the fond memory of not being ashamed to feed my child as long as he needs.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I heard it on NPR

NPR was full of stories on babies and children today.

First on the docket?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children do not drink sugary sodas or sports drinks. The reason? There are too few studies to analyze the long term effects of excessive caffeine and sugar on a child's developing body. Having a husband who consumed an untold number of pepsi, mountain dew and gatorade drinks between the ages 6 and 26 I can tell you the long term effects are not good. This intake has resulted in insomnia and digestive issues to name a few.  I would not be surprised if he experienced a 'loss of height' due to inadequate sleep as a child.

I'm seeing a trend.

Maybe the solution is to allow our children self wean. Allow, if not encourage them to nurse to 2 years, 3 years or beyond. Perhaps if we keep them from drinking sugary fruit juices at young age we can prevent the switch to sports drinks and soda when they are older. Maybe we set a good example by drinking water first, juice second and sodas third, if ever.  Make water treat, make milk a treat. Don't use food or juice or soda as a reward system and don't use it as a coping mechanism. Use it as it was intended: to nourish the body and nourish the mind.

Next up?
Women in their thirty's and forty's freezing their eggs. This is not the first time I've encountered this news. There was also a three page article in one of my fashion magazines this month.

Now, I have 2 friends that I will mention here: The first survived cancer in her twenty's. She has frozen eggs waiting for the day she meets her life partner and needs to conceive a child via surrogacy. The other has several reproductive issues and just tried a round of IVF that was unsuccessful. Both are 'prime candidates' for this procedure. And I'm not judging IVF, even if I know that many women could take charge of their fertility naturally by following age-old practices of cycle charting and herb lore to increase fertility without resorting to expensive, invasive procedures that have not been studied in their long-term effects on the children they create.

However, the idea of freezing your eggs so that you can get pregnant in your forty's (or later) because you, for whatever reason, did not conceive during your prime childbearing years frankly scares me. As W gets older and begins searching for his own life partner I will have several questions. What is she like?  Does she love life? Does she have a good sense of humor? Does she feel the same way about having children? Do they share the same faith? Do they have similar morals?  To those I will add: What are your parents like? Does she have siblings? Would you follow the same healthy and active lifestyle? How does she feel about raising children (ie, what are her thoughts on parenting, breastfeeding, etc.)  Yes, some of these questions may seem invasive, I'm not planning on quizzing any girl W brings home. I just want to know that they would be a good match.  I think any parent would want the same for their child.  And any parent who blesses a union without thinking about what is best for their child is, in my opinion, being reckless.

Of course, now I have more to think about.  How was she conceived? If she is one of the thousands of children conceived via IVF or with frozen eggs or sperm how will it affect her? What does that mean for her long term health and what does it mean for the health of my grandchildren? It a complex time that we are living in. Even more everyday I can see the complicated lives we lead. Perhaps this is why I feel a strong desire to get back to my roots, to get back to a simpler and more basic way of life.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Your 11 month old: Week 3

Dear Baby Center -
Thank you for this week's article "The 5 worst foods for babies".  I was ignorantly expecting a list to inclue items such as peanuts, sugary sweets and corn (a choking hazard).  I was not expecting the following.
Soda:  Really?  Soda?  When your own website literature says that your baby should get only breastmilk (or formula) until 6 months and only breast milk (or formula) and small quantities of water from 6-12 months? While we are on this topic, in the '5 worst foods' article you link to 'when can my baby have water?' I'm sure anyone who reads this blog will understand why I personally take offense to your response of 'when they are at least 1 year old and drinking cow's milk.' What if my baby is not drinking cow's milk at 1 year of age?  What if his main source of nutrition is still breastmilk at 1 year of age?
Juice: Ok, I get this one. Far too many parents (this is my opinion, but also happens to be my dentist's opinion as well) give their babies, toddlers and children juice.  At W's first checkup (ok, not really a chekup as he only had 2 teeth at the time) the dentist's only advice was "Keep those teeth clean and keep away from the juice as long as possible." Perhaps because he sees his Mommy and sometimes his Daddy drinking water and we only give it to him in limited quantities (ie we don't let him carry around a sippy cup full) W thinks water is a treat.  Daddy tried to get him to drink juice the other day and he aquired a look of indignation "I don't drink things that aren't clear or breastmilk, Daddy, come on, get serious!"
Crackers: This surprised me somewhat also. Although we haven't given W crackers yet, he is continually being offered them by some of his similarly aged friends. The worst part of W's diet is O-cereal (and not even Cheerios, Organic O's). Ok, I did let him taste a french fry today.... but that's not a regular occurance. But I like the overall message. Don't let your kids fill up on junk and push away their dinner plates untouched.
Gelatin Desserts: Who thinks that Jell-O is a food group?  It's clearly a dessert and not only that, full of dyes and artificial flavors.  Jell-O is great when you are sick or when you've had your tonsils taken out. Or as a dessert, occassionally. 
Processed Meals: I'm deferring to the other supermom's post today.  Everything that has an ingredient list (or other food label with more than one or two ingredients) is processed. Unless you buy it fresh and mix it together your self, it's processed. I myself struggle with balancing the time it takes to make a home-cooked meal vs. nutrition of a semi-homemade meal. It's not easy feeding your family wholesome meals and working full time.  I spent 10 minutes in the grocery store this week debating the on sale chicken vs the organic chicken.  The organic chicken won - and I'm a vegetarian!  If that doesn't tell you something....
Bottom line:  Let's make an effort to support home grown, home cooked meals.  Do you know how much better our home-made pizza dough tastes?  Sure, mixing the dough one night an kneading and rolling it out the next night takes more time than it does to pop a frozen pre-made pizza in the oven. But my husband thanks me at the end of the night and it's worth it.

Re: Your 5-month-old: Week 1

Dear babycenter,
Thanks for all the blog fodder. 
First up, your article "7 mommy guilt trips to avoid."  Your Number One guilt-inducer?  Feeding your baby formula.  The paragraph says, "You may feel like you're the only formula-feeding mom in the universe, but this is far from the truth."  WHAT? What woman feels like the only formula-feeding mom in the universe?  I feel constantly isolated for exclusively breastfeeding my five month old; I feel like the only breastfeeding mom in the universe.  

This is a tricky issue for me.  On one hand, I'm an avid breastfeeder.  I do tend to judge anyone who doesn't breastfeed.  But I also understand that some women have legitimate issues trying to breastfeed.  Those women shouldn't feel guilty.  But women who simply choose not to for selfish reasons?  I'm not sure I'm ready to give them a pass.   

Number 2? Using TV as a babysitter.  I can't even go there.  I have serious issues with the TV, even how much television adults in our society watch, so I better not go into how much we think it's "okay" for our infants to watch.  Television is certainly contributing to health problems in our children and adults.  It's negatively affecting our society in so many ways we can't even keep track.  So do yourself and your child a favor.  Turn off the tube.  (And don't call it the boob tube, that drives me nuts).  Go outside to play.  And if you need to get something done, find a way to involve your child, or entertain him without the television.  If I can use my sewing machine with a wiggly 5 month old superbaby in my lap, so can you.

Number 3? Being environmentally unfriendly.  I'm so tired of all the excuses for not being environmentally friendly.  We better start, as a society, being nice to this planet, or we will soon find we have nowhere to live.  Haven't you people seen Wall-E?
Number 4 – Feeding your kids junk food.  I'll give everyone a pass on this.  Unless you are cooking from scratch, you are eating junk food.  All prepared food is junk food, and most shouldn't even be considered "food."  It would take much too long to address the nutrition issue, so check out Fast Food Nation, In Defense of Food, and Food, Inc. if you are interested. 
Number 5 is leaving your child with another caregiverGone are the days of women in the home, for the most part.  Our modern society has nearly forced us to all have two income homes.  Unless you make some serious sacrifices.  Maybe that's why it's easy for me to say "no TV."  We can't afford it, so we don't have it.  It's not possible for every family, but on one income, our family is making a mortgage payment, a car payment, and a credit card payment.  It would cost us more to pay someone to watch E than a second income would bring in.  So that's definitely one I agree with – women are forced into the workforce, so don't feel guilty about needing a babysitter. 
Yelling at your kids is number 6.  Moms should feel guilty about yelling.  At children, at partners, at anyone.  Screaming and yelling is never appropriate (unless you are at a baseball game).  Your tips about apologizing to your child were good, and I like that you identified stress as a yell-causer.  It makes me so sad when I hear parents yelling at their children for every little thing.  Most parents spend so much time trying to force their children to behave like little adults that they rob the poor children of youthful experiences.  My policy is simple - you only get told "no" if you are potentially hurting yourself, someone else, or another person's property.  Raised voices are for running in the road and putting your hand on the hot eye of the stove.  If parents yell less, children will be much more inclined to pay attention when they hear a stern voice.
The last mommy guilt trip? Not being able to afford all the extras.  If moms feel guilty about it, they should watch BabiesThis documentary follows babies from around the world through their first year.  They all have different levels of parental involvement, enrichment activities, and nutritional levels.  Guess what?  They all reach developmental milestones around the same time.  Maybe we over-enrich our children.  Maybe music lessons and pre-pre-preschool are overkill.  Let's let our children be children, and see what happens.
Another interesting tidbit this week: Since the "Back to Sleep" campaign was initiated in 1994, more babies seem to be crawling later or skipping it completely.  Hm, interesting.  Maybe because the "Back to Sleep" campaign coincided with the arrival of infant seats and other baby propping devices.  I doubt just sleeping on the back has diminished a baby's ability to crawl, but I bet lack of "tummy time"  (which also arrived on the scene with "Back to Sleep") and being held in an adult's arms has.  The lesson?  Always put your child to sleep on his or her back, but don't overuse your 'baby buckets.' Limit (or avoid altogether) time in swings, bouncy seats, infant carriers, strollers, etc, in favor of carrying or wearing your baby.  Wraps, slings, and pouches are easy, cheap, and comfortable.  Plus they are excellent for baby's physical development. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'll start with I don't take astrology very seriously, but this link popped up on my BabyCenter email today and it was so spot on that I had to share.

About the Gemini Child (W)

A Quick and Agile Mind

Your Gemini child will look up at you with bright, merry eyes, making you laugh as he makes it clear there's a lot going on in that head of his. And if he starts talking at an early age, he's just living up to his nature!

Gemini children tend to be communicative, charming, and social, but even if your Gemini child is a quieter sort, he's still quick-witted, curious, and mentally engaged with the world around him. Make sure he's always surrounded with books and puzzles to stimulate his mind, and give him plenty of space and supplies for his many projects.

Gemini children love anything new, and they tend to bounce from one activity to the next at a moment's notice. As soon as they master a new challenge, they'll grow bored with it and move on. Their mood may also change in the blink of an eye.

Many Gemini children are indecisive or change their minds often. The other side of this coin is their adaptability. Gemini children often prefer variety of experience over depth of understanding, but as their parent, you can help them focus and develop a particular area of strength.

Your Gemini will excel at cerebral endeavors like reading, writing, and debate, as well as anything requiring dexterity, such as playing the piano. Due to their variety of interests, Gemini children tend to have many friends and will often be the center of the circle, naturally excelling at what we grown-ups call networking.

About the Aries Parent (W's Daddy)

An Inspiring Act to Follow

As an Aries parent, you're a natural leader. You have lots of energy, and you're passionate about your interests. Your children find you inspiring, exciting, courageous, and a wonderful example to follow -- except when they find you a little bit insensitive and overbearing.

Yes, your mind is quick and your mouth is even quicker, and sometimes you say things you later regret. Also, you have a bit of a temper, so when your children frustrate you, they know exactly when and why. Well, at least you let your irritation go once you get it off your chest! And your kids always know where they stand with you.

An active lifestyle suits you and your family best. Take your kids hiking or challenge them to a game of volleyball or soccer in the park -- but make sure you don't get too competitive, especially if any of your children are the sensitive sort. Aggressive displays of energy might be a bit much for them to handle.

On the other hand, you're their biggest supporter and they know it. You'll be on the sidelines cheering for them whether they're competing in a debate or a basketball championship.

Your children will always appreciate your honesty, even in its bluntness, and the youthful energy that keeps you young even as you grow older. Make it a point to show them your tender side, too. They need to know they can rely on your emotional support as well as your strength and dynamic energy.

About the Scorpio Parent (W's Mommy)

Strong and Silent

As a Scorpio parent, you're likely to be the emotional center of your family -- whether you realize it or not. You're passionate, sensitive, and intense, and you're deeply bonded with your children.

Your children see you as quite complex, even mysterious, so you may have to go against your nature in order to be open and honest. You'll have a much closer and more effective relationship with your family if you can be vulnerable with them, which includes communicating your feelings and your fears, and listening to those of your children.

Your natural interest in history and psychology and your facility with research will make you a favorite resource when your kids need help with their homework or school projects. You're also quite perceptive, as you combine sharp focus with an emotional, intuitive point of view, so you'll have a unique insight into your children's feelings and motivations.

But whatever you understand -- or think you understand -- about your children, encourage them to put their experiences and feelings into their own words, and above all, don't use their secrets against them! As a Scorpio, you might tend toward power plays and controlling, manipulative behavior, but obviously, those have no place with your children.

Make yourself aware of these unconscious behaviors, and focus instead on openness, mutual trust, emotional candor, and genuine affection. If you can achieve these with your children, you'll create the kind of home life every member of your family needs to feel secure and connected.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Ultimate Bra Guide

Kudos to InStyle magazine's June 2011 issue.  When this shiny new magazine showed up in my mailbox (one of the perks of my job) my eye caught the cover heading "Ultimate Bra Guide: Wonder of Wonders! Miracle of Miracles!"  Now, I have never been an avid bra-wearer despite being a somewhat full-breasted girl (okay, woman).  I have much preferred tank tops with shelf bras or wireless bra-lets under my shirts.  I've always had an issue with the way a bra fits and many years ago I swore off underwire (it must have been a male invention).  When I became pregnant it was back to the bras - I had no other choice.  I needed support and coverage for my eager-to-breastfeed body.  After W was born - same story.  You can't keep a nursing pad in place without something to put it in.  Of course, with the wild engorgement I experienced my chest was rock solid so the need for support was moot. Still, all the 'experts' recommended wearing a bra and so I did.  A few days after my milk came in I developed nasty double mastitis.  Luckily, I caught it early and was able to treat it. I blame the bra and I know that next time I will be bra-free the first few weeks even if it means changing my shirt every hour.

Back to topic. Even though I may not be a big wearer of bras, I'm always interested to look at the new features to see if something (without under wire) catches my eye.  I was not expecting, but was pleasantly surprised to see two (yes, not one but two!) nursing bras featured in the 5 page spread. Estimates say that anywhere from 1 to 3% of women in the U.S. are pregnant at any given time.  Keeping in mind that only 50% of babies are still being breastfed at 6 months and I would estimate that only 0.5 to 2% of the female population is breastfeeding at any given time (I could not find data to support this).  So having 2 out of 32 bras (6.25%) being nursing bras is an outstanding representation.

Now, if only we could get 6.25% of the female population to be nursing.  Help me with the math... I think the only way to hit that figure would be for 75-100% of all women who give birth to be nursing to approximately 2.5 years - sounds like a good target to me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby Center Update

Dear Baby Center,

I was pleased to see your update in my inbox today.  Two topics especially caught my eye.

1) Everything you need to know about baby poop.  Only as a mother can you not shy away from 10 different photos of dirty diapers.  Your information was accurate and well presented. I only have two comments. First, it looked as though you may have thrown in a cloth diaper photo, but the image was cropped too closely to tell (enough said).  Second, you mentioned that your baby can have solid pieces of food in their poop or constipation when they are first introduced to solid foods. You give several explainations for why this happens, but you do not list early introduction of solids as one. I personally did not begin solids with W until he was closer to 7 months and even at 11 months he does not take in the quantity of solids most babies his age do.  And yet, even with small quantities of food going in, the food was still coming out mostly undigested until about a month ago.  I took that as a sign, not that he was swallowing without chewing or eating too fast as you suggest, but that his body was not yet ready to process solid foods.  Now that his system is mature enough to process solids he no longer has pieces of food in his poop and is overall less gassy. My lesson? With baby number 2 I will not introduce solids until my baby has at least one tooth (W did not get his first until after 8 months) and I will again follow a slow introduction allowing the intestines plenty of time to develop.

2) Fewer behavioral problems for breastfed babies.  Although I would be interested to know if this study evaluate babies who were breastfed longer than " least 4 months..." I was overall happy with the presentation of the article. I will be looking up the research myself to read it in more detail.  I would have to agree with the potential causes of fewer behavioral problems: the presence of certain fat and amino chains in breast milk and greater mother-baby bonding.  I also appreciated the small comment on mothers who choose to breastfeed being supported (although you did not say supported by whom).    Congrats, Baby Center - sometimes it is clear that you are trying to fight against the reign of the massive formula companies.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Attachment Parenting

Since before W was born I have hesitated to label my parenting style.  That is unless I were to label it as 'instinctive'.  One reason we love W's pediatrician stems from one of his interview comments: "If you follow your instincts you will do the right thing 95% of the time. I'm here for the 5% when you don't know what to do or you don't trust your instincts."  Being a mother has been blessedly easy for me.  No, being up all night (and day) with a newborn is not easy.  Changing to a vegan lifestyle because your three week old has a cow's milk sensitivity and you are already a vegetarian isn't easy.  Having a baby who prefers to be held in an upright position while sleeping with full body contact, thank you! doesn't make it easy to get anything else accomplished.  But, overall, I still consider being a Mom easy.  And instinctive. 

As W got older and we spent more time with friends who were also parents of young children I was understandably surprised when the other parents' instincts did not necessarily mirror my own. Not that their parenting style is wrong. On the contrary, their style is mainstream - it is mine that is unusual. After several months of frustration, exacerbated by the other Supermom living too far away for me to socialize with on a regular basis, I decided that I needed to find like minded Mommies and Daddies for W to be around.  He needs to know as he grows up that we aren't different from everyone in the way that we are raising him.  Just different from some people. 

Fast forward several more weeks to today.  I researched and joined a local Attachment Parenting (AP) group.  I'm unable to make it to the 'meetings' which is ok with me because, as I mentioned, I'm not an 'Attached Parent'. I'm a parent who happens to follow some of the AP principles. But I will not be ruled by these principles any more than I am ruled by mainstream parenting principles. 

Still, I would have to say that today was a resounding success.  I was dismayed at first to see 3 shiny vehicles pull up and 3 shiny Moms pull out their shiny strollers.  But they turned out to be headed to a different play place at the park than I.  It was refreshing when I found the right spot to see babies in Ergo carriers and Mommies interacting with their kids on the playground rather than standing and chatting with the other caregivers. Yes, some standing and chatting occurred, but an effort was made to include the children in all aspects of the play date. On second thought, perhaps it was effortless and natural to include the kids. The group leader recognized me immediately by my sling and smiling baby and I knew I had found a home when in the middle of introducing herself to me and giving me some information about the group she (without leaving the playground or even pausing mid-sentence) lifted her shirt and proceeded to breastfeed her young daughter who I later found out is closer to 3 than 2 years old. 

I am not about to sever the ties of my current relationships.  I enjoy sharing my unique parenting ideas with my mainstream friends.  But I will enjoy, a few hours every Thursday morning, spending time with Mommies, Daddies, babies and children, fully attached.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Re: Your 4-month-old: Week 3

Dear babycenter,

You've done well in not giving me much fodder for the blog the past few weeks, but this week... In the words of SuperBrother, "you fail epically." 

First, the leading three articles in my email include a reference to bottle feeding or formula, but no breastfeeding reference.  In fact, there's not a single mention of breastfeeding in my whole email.  Am I, as an exclusively breastfeeding mother, to be alienated so soon?  Of course, I suppose less than half your readers who initiated breastfeeding are still doing so.  But maybe if we could start to associate an infant with the breast instead of a bottle, we could help encourage women to continue breastfeeding.  I know you want to be inclusive, but as a publication that presents itself as a source of information for new mothers, you have an obligation to encourage mothers to do what is best for their babies.  And research undoubtedly shows that breast is best, hands down.

In your article How Your Baby's Growing, you say, "Even though crying is still your baby's strongest form of communication..."  WAIT.  What?  Really?  If that's true, then my baby only communicates a few times a day, and often none at all.  (Yes, he often goes a whole day without crying.)  My baby's strongest form of communication is body language, thank you.  Crying is not an infant's go-to communication method.  It's just that parents are often not tuned in to infants' subtle signs, and baby has to resort to crying.  And by giving false information like your aforementioned statement, you are only furthering the communication gap between babies and their parents.
A few notes on the past few weeks... 

In 4 month, week 2, you recommended I get my partner involved in baby care.  Seriously?  My partner's been involved since day one.  Actually, he was massaging and talking to our baby during the pregnancy, making sure I had good nutrition and plenty of rest.  I'd say he's been there since the first day one.  Maybe I'm different than most mothers.  Even though E is with me about 21 hours a day, I don't feel anxious when I leave for work in the morning and my two guys stay home together.  I feel confident in daddy's ability to care for E.  If I hadn't had a supportive and involved partner up to this point, I'm not sure we would have made it to this point.  I feel very sad for mothers who are just now going to take babycenter's advice and "get their partner involved."

The week before that, you had several quick clicks concerning solid foods.  I know we talked about this in month 3, week 4, but I'll say it again.  Leading medical organizations currently recommend breastfeeding exclusively until six months of age.  Quit talking about solids. 

And finally, a quick sister-to-sister...

Last Mothers' Day, we were just discovering this whole new way of relating to each other.  We'd been in different stages all our lives and rarely able to connect in the way we could when we both became expectant mothers.  Hardly seems possible that it's been a year, does it?  That our relationship is now so changed; our definition of each other, and of sisterhood, has taken been radically altered.  We see eye to eye so very much now, it makes all those years of opposing teen angst seem like a lifetime ago.  I'm so happy to be sharing mamahood with you, and so proud of the mommy you've become.

I thought I was done, but here's "Doctor Moms Tell All."

Q: Can you spoil a baby?

A: Thank you so much, doctor moms, for being spot-on this time!  Babies have needs.  Sometimes they need food or a clean diaper.  Sometimes they need cuddles.  That's still a valid need.  Thanks for encouraging readers to respond quickly and consistently to their babies.  Children who learn that their caregivers are reliable and loving grow up to be reliable and loving adults. 

People often comment that they never hear E cry.  We always respond, "He has very little reason to cry."  We meet his needs before they become unbearably urgent to him.  He has faith in us, so he doesn't have to cry.  He simply has to remind us that it's time to eat, or sleep, or play, or give hugs.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

on poop

I'm amazed by the cavalier attitude some moms have to their child's constipation. Constipation is not a normal state it indicates a problem in the diet that needs to be addressed.

Yet another example:

Hi all, how many poopy diapers are normal for a 13 month old? I have twins that are often going 4-5 times a day, is this nomal?

L is a healthy pooper too...that is when he isn't I would say he usually goes at least 3x a day. I would also bring it up with your ped to see if its a concern...but Im thinking not!! I cant believe those girls are 13 months already!!! :)

Lactavist and Supermom Rebecca
"...that is when he isn't constipated..."?  How often is your toddler constipated?  What are you feeding him (or not feeding him) to make him that way.  We have encountered 'constipation' twice in 10 months.  The first time was just a normal bowel frequency change, it wasn't actually constipation. We were understandably concerned when W stopped moving his bowels 4-5 times a day and abruptly switched to 4-5 times a week. The second (and only close example) occurred when DS had a sinus infection and was slightly dehydrated and on medication.  Even that was just harder stool than what we normally saw - he wasn't truly 'constipated' in the sense that he skipped a movement.

A few tips?

Decrease the frequency of constipation by:
a) delaying solids until your baby has at least 1 tooth and is 6 months old
b) breastfeed - exclusively - until your baby begins solids
c) continue to breastfeed until your child is able to wean naturally. Breast milk is high in water content and has natural laxative properties (btw it also combats all of the leading causes of diarrhea)
d) offering water before laxatives.  Water and fiber are proven ways to combat constipation. Why not try a natural dietary remedy before a medical laxative.

On a side note: In case you were wondering it is perfectly normal and acceptable to discuss your child's bathroom habits with other supermoms.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On a discussion board post

I've been trying to make an effort not to judge others' parenting styles.  I had to restrain myself on this one.  In particular I believe that this shows the gaping opportunity for education among new and experienced mothers as well as the need for reform among current 'health care' practices.

My 6 month old is suffering with hard stools ... Thankfully he is passing them but they are hard and round and he is so uncomfy at times. (waking every hour or so thru the night and sleeping on his side with his knees to his tummy) He also really gassy. He is on Soy formula and has started solids ... rice pablum, whole grain rice pablum, apple sauce, pears, carrots, beans, sweet potatoes and prunes.... we are getting close to introducing meats. Doc suggested giving him lax a day ... ie ... PEG powder. (I am allergic to it and it makes me really uncomfy) We switched to soy when my son developed diarreah when he was on milk formula. I was thinking of putting him back on the milk? Any ideas? Suggestions?

Lactavist and SuperMom Rebecca: First, if your child had severe diarrhea on cow's milk formula they are lactose intolerant.  Re-introducing this type of formula to counteract constipation is ludicrous. Second, constipation is not just something that 'happens'  there is a root cause that can be addressed.  I am appalled that the doctor did not first suggest reducing or eliminating the solids in the baby's diet before resorting to a laxative.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Breast is half-full

Always the optimist and 'look on the bright side' sort, I had to share this news from a woman who struggled to bf her first child and has had an emotional first week with twin boys.

When I first started .... I would nurse the twins ad then pump AND hand express about 2ml if I was lucky. Its been increasing lil by lil and now, EACH time I nurse,
B gets one side for 12 to 20 mins
W gets another side fo 12 to 20 mins
Then, JUST FROM PUMPING I get 14 or more ml of milk. EACH TIME!

You go girl!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reasons I'm glad I will be breastfeeding beyond 1 year

Weaning - The posts, blogs and questions on message boards regarding weaning have seemed profuse to me lately.  "When is the right time?" "What do you substitute with?" "How do you cut out nursing sessions?" "What if they won't give up the bottle?" "What do you do if you end up with engorgement or a clogged duct, etc?"  I'm glad that I've made the decision to allow W to self-wean (which he has started and is doing splendidly with, thank you) I don't have to worry about which nursing session to drop, W will choose.  I don't have to worry about substituting something for nature's perfect food, W won't drop all nursing sessions until he is receiving adequate nutrition from other sources.  Have you ever had a craving for a ham sandwich?  Probably because your body needs/craves protein.  Babies work the same way. If W needs milk, he will have a craving for it.  I have already seen times when he wants adult food specifically or wants just to nurse.

Illness - No one wants to see their child sick.  I've seen W ill more times than I would like.  But I always have the ability to sooth him.  Warm liquids for a sore throat? Check!  Electrolytes and high water, low sugar content for dehydration? Check!  Snuggle session with Momma to make it all better? Check! Release of endorphins to help you sleep? Check!  (Let me just say that none of the typical drinks: sprite, Gatorade, pedialyte, juice meet all of the aforementioned criteria).  Even when W is 18 months, 24 months, etc. I will still have the ability to meet his needs when he is sick.

Weight Gain - Baby is a year old, so it's time to make the switch from bottle to cup, right?  What if your child isn't good at drinking from the cup and winds up like W most days with more water on his shirt and the floor than in his mouth?  What a waste to have milk or formula all over the floor and the fear that your child will come in 'underweight' at their next well-visit.  Not to mention the possible dehydration that could follow.  And what about that 'need to suck' that babies are instinctively born with and sometimes take more than a year to outgrow? Since we won't be weaning from the breast W will still get his fix instead of relying more and more on the pacifier.  W will start taking EBM from a sippy this summer but as he has mastered the art of reverse cycling I won't be surprised if the mid-day milk is the first to be dropped and subbed for water or natural juice.

I feel so blessed that I had the education, support and opportunity to breastfeed my son. And we will not be 'nearly done' with his first birthday rapidly approaching.  We will be 1 year and counting; I will continue to provide him with nutrition and support as long as he requires it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pampers believes... And scores a few tiny points with me.

The Superbabies are cloth diaper butts.  The Supermoms feel strongly about cloth diapers.  Very strongly.  So it seems surprising to post a commercial for Pampers here.  But this commercial is surprising.  Good job, Pampers, for being so inclusive.  You're still yucky in the landfills, and we still think disposables stink when they are soiled, and cloth is justsomuchcuter, but good job on marketing.  Plus all those babies are adorable.  Thanks for making me smile.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Subby

Parents magazine has an article this month called "Breaking the Binky Habit."  I didn't read it, since my guy isn't a pacifier man, but it did get to thinking about binkies and what we call them – especially when I saw the sidebar about what kids call their pacifiers.  Pacifiers are an interesting "hot button" topic in parenting circles.  Some literature claims they can lead to nipple confusion, other sources say nipple confusion doesn't actually exist.  Some kids have a permanent binkie-ring around their mouth, and some would sooner spit the thing across the room.  Some parents can't stand pacifiers, some can't live without them.  (The supermoms aren't really either group – though one superbaby is a pacifier taker and the other is not.) 
As I mentioned, E isn't a pacifier man.  That's fine with me; some kids are and some kids aren't.  We don't push the issue – he will take one every now and then for baby daddy (who claims E is the worst pacifier-sucker ever), and he recently discovered a new use for it – chew toy.  He grasps it between his gums, then – POP – jerks it out.  Rinse, repeat.  A new game we play at bedtime in those minutes between when story time ends and nursing time begins, I'm absolutely fine, and actually quite entertained, with this new use of the pacifier.
I think, if E were to ever form an attachment to the pacifier that went beyond using it as a chewing toy, we would call it "subby" – the substitute.  I've never particularly liked the term "pacifier," even though it does explain the basic use of the thing.  I also don't like "binkie" or "Nuk," both genericized trademark nicknames.  (That's a term I learned today, isn't it fancy?  Things like Scotch tape, the Yo-Yo, Duck tape, Kleenex, and Port-A-Cath are all genericized trademarks.  Thank you, Wiki, for that little piece of trivia.) 
When you think about it, a pacifier is quite like a substitute teacher.  It's sort of the same but not exactly the same as your regular teacher (or nipple).  It's not quite as well trained as your regular teacher, but it gets the job done.  It generally lets you get away with more than your regular teacher (a pacifier doesn't set you down when you bite it).  You don't get the same one all the time, since there's a pool to choose from.  You might get attached to it, but in the end, it doesn't know you as well as your regular teacher, and the bond just isn't the same.
And on the subject of pacifiers, this terrifying contraption came to my attention yesterday...  Chew on that for a while.  Maybe you won't be as horrified as me.  But it ranks right up there with bottle prop on my list of dumb baby inventions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Your 3-month-old: Week 4

Dear babycenter,

Thank you for your email this week.  "Your baby loves to reach out and touch anyone and anything she can get her hands on."  Yep, that's true.  But your recommendation that I should "outfit her crib and play yard with fascinating toys" fell a little short.  My baby doesn't have a crib or a play yard.  Maybe instead of outfitting his crib and play yard, you could recommend some toys we can play with interactively.  My guy loves his Lamaze giraffe, for example.  It squeaks, it rattles, it crinkles, and it's bright and shiny and easy to chew on.  We spend lots of time sitting together talking about the giraffe and playing.  I think that's better quality learning time than "spending time in an activity saucer or under a floor gym," your other recommendation for this week.  Seriously.  Maybe you should recommend I play with my child, not provide things for him to play with. 

And the picture of the baby with a cell phone up to his ear?  SERIOUSLY?  Your "telephone talk" game is crap.  There, I said it.  It's CRAP.  How is me holding phones up to our ears and pretending to have a telephone conversation any more beneficial than simply having a conversation with my baby???  I thought you were going to suggest I put my baby on the phone to talk to his grandmother or aunt (which is silly, but I can see some merit there), but your actual suggestion was so much sillier.  

And I know we've said it before, but it bears repeating.  Again and again, until the problem is fixed.  I clicked on your quick link "When can I introduce solid foods?" not because I'm thinking about doing so, but because I wanted to see what babycenter had to say on the topic.  Why, oh why, babycenter, are you still spewing this 'solids introduction between 4 and 6 months' nonsense??  Thank you for following that up by saying that the AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding until six months, but maybe you should switch those two paragraphs?  Maybe you should address the fact that delayed introduction of solids decreases food allergies.  

You do get some points from me, babycenter, for correctly defining Ferber's method of 'sleep training.'  I appreciate that you give equal credence to the two major methods, Ferber and Sears, as well as addressing the middle ground, and acknowledging that what works for one child may not be the best for another.  Good job, babycenter.  At least on the sleep front.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Center: Your 10 month old, Week 1

Baby Center, you made my week!!  For once I don't have some silly parenting advice to blog about.

Topics of note:

"Overheard in the June 2010 birth club: 'I have a clogged milk duct...'"  So excited to see that other moms of 10 month old babies are still breastfeeding!  Go Moms!!

"Your life: Avoiding Baby Toting Injuries"  Although mostly about how to pick up your baby and hold them properly on your lap, I was pleased to see that the advice for 'toting' your baby was to invest in a good backpack carrier and not to invest in a good all-terrain stroller.

Ok, and one silly topic - Baby Center poll "Is your baby cuter than other babies?"  97% say 'Yes'  Of course they do! All babies are adorable, some are especially adorable.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Those thoughtful formula companies

Dear Enfamil -

Thank you for the recent gift you sent me in the mail.  I suppose that since I never unsubscribed from your mailings (It was great to give the more than $100.00 in coupons and free samples for your infant formula to a friend for her adopted son) you figured that I was a loyal user of Enfamil products.  So naturally you would send me information on the Enfagrow Premium Toddler Formula for babies 10-36 months.  But after this I am going to have to call your 1-800 number and tell you to please stop sending me these mailers, they just incite my lactavist rage. 

A few notes on your mailer:

1) "Enfagrow (tm) PREMIUM (tm) Toddler or Milk?  You decide." 

mmm.... how about this?  Can you please stop referring to Cow's milk as 'milk'?  It really should be referred to as 'cow's milk'.  We call milk made from soybeans 'soy milk', milk made from rice 'rice milk', milk made by humans 'human milk'.  Why do cows get to be special and have their milk just be 'milk'?

So on this question - I choose 'milk'!  (of the human variety of course).  By the way, no place on your information packet do you say that 'breastfeeding is best'.  Yes, I understand that very few women are still breastfeeding at 10 months and U.S. medical professionals only recommend breastfeeding to 6 months (and after if desired).  But you should still be required by the FDA to disclose that formula is a 'substitute' for human milk, not just a food choice. 

2) Selected nutrients: DHA, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin E

Ok - your DHA supplement has no daily value established.  Why?  Because the FDA has decided that your additive has no nutritional value and they can't even prove that it makes a difference.  The only DHA that has been proven to make a difference in brain development is natural DHA found in human milk. So please stop marketing your formula on this fact.

As for Iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E - don't most pediatricians recommend that formula fed babies are put on a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps in your product?  So why would you want to load kids up on vitamins that can actually do some harm when you have too much?  And really, nearly 50% of the daily vitamin C dose in one serving of your formula?  How many servings should a 10 month old be getting? High doses of vitamin C can lead to abdominal cramping and even kidney stones!

3) Instructions for preparation and use

" in refrigerator at 35-40 degrees F for no longer than 48 hours. Ah!! Finally some light is shed on the situation.  So this is why people think that human milk can only be stored in the fridge for 2 days.  I'm so thankful that when I prepare a bottle for my baby to eat while I am at work it can stay in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 6 months or more!!!  Yet another way that breastmilk saves you money - no throwing out old bottles because they are 'expired'  - simply dump into a milk bag and freeze for later use (or donation).

4) The fine print

You are using my name (acquired from a third-party list, ie: you bought my name and address) to send me FREE gifts, discounts and baby advice.  Yes, you are sending me FREE (if unwanted) gifts.  And you are sending me discounts - on products I don't buy.  But baby advice?  Telling me to 'decide for myself' if I want my baby to have cow's milk or infant formula isn't advice.  And teaching me how to properly prepare infant formula isn't advice. 

What you have given me?  A great blog post.  So, thanks again Enfamil!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Had to Share A Beautiful Blog Post...

The Supermoms are avid baby wearers, and frequently hear what other babywearing mamas hear - "I wish they had something like when my kids were little."  Over at Nine Davids, there's a beautiful series of babywearing pictures around the world and throughout history.  Take a peek.  It's truly breathtaking.

Breastfeeding is Best - And Here Are Your Prizes!

In the past ten to fifteen years, obstetricians have encouraged women to "try breastfeeding."  Pediatricians have told women that "breastfeeding to six weeks is healthiest."  However, the AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding to six months, continuing until one year of age, and as long as mutually desired after that.  The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until six months, continuing with "appropriate complementary foods up to two years or beyond." 

Why, then, are so many women never breastfeeding?  Why are we being told to offer our babies cereal and pureed foods at 4 months when the leading infant health organizations are recommending otherwise?  Why are we being let to believe that as long as we breastfeed for six weeks, we've done the most important part?
The Supermoms (and super-lactivists) have decided a reward system is in order. 
Breastfeed when baby is born?      Smiley face sticker
Until six weeks?                              Silver star sticker
To three months?                            Gold star sticker
To six months?                                Free ice cream at lunch
To nine months?                              Ice cream for a week!!
To one year?                                    Free pizza each week (on Friday. Square pizza with corn, of course)
Let your baby lead weaning?          You get a state of the art, lights up when it rings, super rad, hot pink and neon green phone!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On a Discussion Board Post

Post: Okay ladies, my DD and I have almost made it to the one year mark EBF! And neither of us have any intention of quiting any time soon. But this is where my question comes in...I know there are lots of benefits in continuing past a year, but what are they? My hubby thinks it's "weird" to continue after she turns 1, so I really need to find some good solid info to show him why it's a GOOD thing! I will be doing some research on my own, but if you have any advice or info to share, I would really appreciate it! I can handle other people not appoving of my choice to continue, but I would really like my husband's support to continue at least! :)

Lactavist and Supermom Rebecca: Enough said!! So happy to see some people fighting for what they know is the right thing to do.  My favorite advice on this topic comes from Dr. Sears (I must meet this man someday).

Breastfeeding Ad Campaign Ideas

Formula too expensive? 
Try this great substitute: 
Human Milk 
(Studies show that Human Milk is better for babies than leading infant formula brands and cow's milk)

Food Labels

As I read the side of my Rice Dream rice milk carton my eye caught "NOT FOR USE AS AN INFANT FORMULA" in large, red capital lettering. 

Seriously? This concept makes my heart hurt. I understand that infant formula is expensive.  But rice milk is practically water! Sure, it's tastey and healthy, but not for the rapidly growing body of an infant. All I can say, in the nicest way possibly, to anyone who may be considering using rice milk, soy milk, cow's milk, condensed milk, Karo syrup (or heaven forbid powered potatoes) as a substitute for the outrageously priced infant formulas is "Could you at least consider breastfeeding?"  If you missed the boat and your baby is several weeks old now, think about re-lactation, it's completely possible. Or, use donor milk.  I have freezer full and I'm not even trying to stockpile.  There are so many resources out there for you, you don't have to jeopardize the health of your baby.

Baby Center's 10 Signs your baby has allergies

Dear Baby Center,

Thank you for the recent email with 10 Signs your baby has allergies.  For once, this was a timely email.  W (and I) have been battling a stuffy nose for about a week.  As there are no other symptoms aside from the stuffy nose and slight headache, everyone has been saying "You both must have allergies." But clearly, as a baby generally does not develop seasonal allergies until 3 to 4 years, it is not likely that "It must be the pear trees!"  We could be dealing with dust allergies as we have been outside at the ball park with dust and dirt flying around (and as a mom of a young child my house is not dust-free).  It could also be that after 6 months of exposure to the Nanny's cat W has finally developed his father's pet dander allergy. Of course, that wouldn't explain why I also have a stuffy nose.  A cold it must be then!

I am obligated to mention that although I appreciated pages 1 and 2 of your article I was more than disappointed with pages 3 and 4. When answering the questions "How can I prevent my baby from allergens" and "What can I do to prevent my baby from getting allergies in the first place?" you didn't even mention that exclusive breastfeeding and delaying solids until 6 months or later have been shown in studies been associated with a reduction in allergens.  (Of course this is controversial, probably because of formula lobbyists and the lack of funding for breastfeeding research). 

Your expert quote:
"Someday we'll be able to look at genetics and really know what a child is destined to be allergic to and what to do about it," says Virant. "But the reality is that, right now, there's nothing that predictably helps." 

Supermom and Lactavist Rebecca: "At least try breastfeeding exclusively and not giving solids until 6 months or later - besides the possible benefit of a reduction in allergies, we know that neither are detrimental to your child's health.  Do them a favor - breastfeed."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Your 3-Month-Old, Week 2

Dear BabyCenter,

I'm glad you put a tiny blurb on the sidebar of this week's e-mail.  It said, "It's A Fact...  If you're feeding your baby formula, you can expect to pay between $1,300 and $4,000 for a year's supply."
Good to know, but maybe you could have made the blurb more than 2 inches wide, with a font larger than 8pt.  Or maybe your advertisers want it to be small, just like the fine print at the bottom of formula advertisements?  Perhaps you could make a huge highlighted header that reads, "If you are breastfeeding your baby, you can expect to save several thousand dollars in your first year!!!"

Also, thanks for the tips on "how to make peace" with my "post-baby body."  First of all, my body is not "post-baby."  It is "peri-baby" (peri meaning 'around' or 'about.')  My body is about my baby, not after him, thankyouverymuch.  Secondly, maybe among your weight loss tips for post-baby bodies, you could have included some praise for GROWING A HUMAN.  Maybe focus on the amazing journey my body has taken in the last year.  How I shouldn't expect my body to be the same since sheltering and nurturing an eight pound baby.  So there's some suggestions.  But in any case, my "pre-baby" blue jeans fit just fine, thanks.  Here's a weight loss tip from the supermoms – breastfeed.  We promise your jeans will fit faster than you imagined possible.

Monday, April 4, 2011

solid food, multiple languages and more!

Dear BabyCenter: 

Thank you for this week's update topic "Is your child ready for solid foods?"  According to your article, I can introduce solids to my baby anytime between4 and 6 months even though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months.  A few questions for you. 1) if you say between 4 and 6 months does that mean I can't introduce solids after 6 months? What will happen?  2) If the AAP recommends waiting at least 6 months to introduce solids, why are you still telling moms that they can start solids earlier?  Is it because a bulk of your advertising (ie income revenue) comes from Gerber?  BTW - you know very well that DS is 9 months old, why are you just now sending me solid food articles?  According to your advice we should have started solids at least 3 months ago.

Dear People magazine:

Thank you for your recent blurb on celebrity babies who speak multiple languages.  It was so nice of you to not only show that celebrity's babies are smart, but that they are 'better' than 'average' babies because they are multi-lingual.  It was also very responsible of you to not explain why these babies are multi-lingual.  All research shows that if you speak several languages to your child from birth they will naturally grow up being able to speak each language they are exposed to.  So no, it does not shock me that Heidi Klum's kids speak German or that Selma Hayek's daughter speaks Spanish or that Celine Dion's son speaks French (he is Canadian after all and most Canadians speak both English and French).


Knoxville has an 'attachment parenting' group.  A place where you can get together and discuss the advantages and challenges to loving your kids.  Can't go on that overnight party weekend with your friends because you can't leave your exclusively breastfed 9 month old behind with a stranger and he isn't welcome in the hot tub?  That's ok.  Come and have fellowship with people who are like minded - baby wearing and breastfeeding encouraged.  Sounds like I need to line up the next meeting time!

Monday, March 28, 2011

On A Discussion Board Post...

Discussion Board post: My daughter will be turning two in a little over a month. I have read in several places that when they turn two you are supposed to switch them to lowfat milk. Really? I'm worried that she really needs the extra fat in the whole milk still. She drinks 1% milk at Friendly's so I know she will accept it, I'm not worried about that at all, but I don't want to rob her of nutrition she might need. I know the pediatrician will tell me to switch her, especially since my daughter is in the 75th percentile for weight. Anybody who didn't switch their child to lowfat milk at age 2?

Answer from Lactavist and Super-Mom Rebecca: (no, I didn't actually post this) I read somewhere that when you child is one you can switch them to cow's milk (it had better be whole) and at 2 you can cut back to 2% (you don't want them getting fat). What do you think about keeping your kid on 'whole human milk' for as long as they need those added nutrients? I'm pretty sure it has all of the correct nutrition and fat content levels. BTW – did you know that most adult humans are intolerant to cow's milk? I think that means we no longer need those nutrients from milk and we can get our calcium, etc. from other, ie vegetable, sources. I'm sure most kids will accept cow's milk in any form (especially when you add chocolate or strawberry syrup to make it as sweet as human milk is naturally) but you really don't want to rob them of the nutrition they might need up to age 4 or 5. I know that your pediatrician may tell you 'it's time to wean' but if they do, you should report them to the AAP who recommend BF until 2 years (and after as long as mutually desired) and then you should find a new pediatrician. Anyone who didn't switch their child to cow's milk (at any age)?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Your 2-month-old, Week 4

Baby Center has a "does your baby sleep with you" poll.  Guess what.  More babies "always" sleep with their parents than "never," but it's interesting how it's almost 1/3 each: always, occasionally, never.

This was interesting -
 Babies who tend to keep their head in the same position, rub it against the mattress, or bang it against the side of their crib may have more hair loss. 

Bang it against the side of the crib???  I'm thinking a baby who does that might have more issues than just a bald spot!!
Dear BabyCenter,
I'm not worried about why my baby has a flat spot on the back of his head.  He doesn't.  But if he did, it's not because of sleeping on his back at night, as you suggest.  It's more likely from sleeping on his back at night, then being on his back in his bouncy seat, laying on his back on the couch beside me while I hold his bottle in one hand and my IPad in the other, then laying on his back under his jungle themed play arches, then napping on his back in his pack-n-play, then reclining on his back in his carseat to the mall, then being snapped into the "travel system" stroller to walk around the mall, then riding home in the carseat with his cool "bottle prop," then going back to bed to sleep on his back.  Did you know, BabyCenter, that the average American baby is only held about 2.5 hrs per day?  Maybe that's the cause of this "positional plagiocephaly."  And maybe the solution is not more tummy time.  Maybe the solution is babywearing.  Carrying.  Cuddling.  Less hands off and more hands on. 

Just a thought, BabyCenter.  Just a thought.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Parents Magazine April 2011

Parents magazine april 2011: "leashes are for dogs, not kids. You wouldn't put your child in a crate, or let him poop on the sidewalk, right? If you have a bolter, invest in a cheap umbrella stroller with a buckle.."

Thank you for telling me that my child should not be put on a leash.  (enough said) but maybe you should re phrase the crate part....have you seen the cages on the market? And l'll do you one better. Talk to your child, find out why they run and discuss the consequences. If they are old enough to run, they are old enough to understand. And if they still run? Try wearing your child in a carrier. Not only will they stay put, but it might give them an added sense of security being physically close to you.

Also, thanks for your article: is your child gifted or just smart. The descriptions were just vague enough to apply to 75% of readers. And the other 25% will go on to think their kids are "just smart". Let's think realistically. I understand that each child is special and perfect in his or her own way, but you are encouraging parents to over look other talents in favor of "smarts" that the child may or may not have. A better indication of your child's genius potential? Were you and your partner gifted, smart or just plain "average"?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Conversation About Oversupply.


The Australian Breastfeeding Association has a booklet called "Too Much" that talks about oversupply issues. Imagine if we in America starting giving women the idea that they could possibly produce too much milk, instead of constantly telling them they won't produce enough??


Well… I know that problem first hand. I had classic over-supply and overactive MER. What really boggles my mind is that you always hear about women who 'couldn't do it' or couldn't make enough milk, etc... but women don't shout out, "Breastfeeding was easy for me!" because they don't want to make the women who couldn't cut it feel bad – so a lot of people are only hearing the negatives.


I completely understand what you are saying about women saying breastfeeding is easy – I feel bad when people ask "how it's going," and I can only say, "It's the easiest and most natural thing I've ever done." And when my friends ask about your breastfeeding, and I tell them you are still going strong, they are just like, "Wow. She can produce enough to satisfy your nephew? " And now, people are starting to tell me that I won't be able to keep up with E's appetite because he's so big. I've always been frustrated by how we (American society) constantly tell women their bodies aren't good enough, but now I get super angry by it. Don't tell me I won't be able to feed my child. Of course I will.. He's my guy and my body knows him and his appetite and we are perfect together.


I have always been upset by women who aren't tall enough, skinny enough, etc. etc. and now this also.

But, yes, I can produce not just enough milk to satisfy my 24 lb chubber, I have enough left over for the freezer. Did I tell you about the woman who said, "Are you still nursing him? He's so big, he's going to just wear you away." No, actually, I do just fine, thank you! Yes, I eat everything in sight and yes, I'm about the size that I was in high school but I'm not unhealthy and my body has responded perfectly to him (and clearly he is thriving). It's like telling a pregnant woman to 'be careful, you may not be able to grow that baby' – seriously? We are well-designed.

Don't feel bad about telling people things are going well for you – or for me. I would love for people to know that I'm still breastfeeding at 9 months and have no plans of stopping.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

BabyCenter's "Doctor Moms Tell All"

Q: I can't make a bottle fast enough for my crying baby.  Shortcuts?
Dr. A: fill a pitcher with formula and pour it into bottles as needed, or make several bottles in the morning
Dr. B: plan ahead & use premeasured formula packets, don't worry about warming
Dr. C: sometimes you can't be a magician, and you don't want your baby to cry too long. but don't be too hard on yourself, just go as fast as you can.
Dr. SuperMom the lactivist: Learn your baby's early hunger cues so s/he doesn't have to resort to crying.  breasts don't have to be made, they are instantly ready and always warm.  Do yourself and your baby a favor and breastfeed.