Crying: The most important baby reflex

Why Babies Cry

Crying: A babies survival Reflex 

Motherhood

There are no words to describe the overwhelming rush of emotions parents feel when they hear the vibrating squealing cry of a newborn baby making its debut into the world. A cry is a sound we long to hear after birth because we know that our baby has had a healthy entrance into the world.

If you’ve taken parenting classes, read parenting articles or had a broad spectrum of child development classes like me, you’re aware of the vast amount of baby reflexes.

Our babies are born with sooooo many reflexes!

Nearly 75 reflexes to be exact. As a result, some reflexes last for six months while other vanish quickly. Perhaps our favorite reflex is when you place your finger in the little palm of their precious hand, and they embrace your finger.

After all, nothing can turn a mother or father’s heart into a puddle of love faster than that wrap around your finger.

The mouthing reflex, one of the most important, teaches your baby how to nourish himself.

You can test this reflex, but merely stroking the side of your baby’s cheek and in response, they turn their face and open their mouth to your touch. This survival reflex is how your child will naturally learn to latch on to your breast.

It’s the sweetest when you put your face to your baby’s cheek, and in return, you receive adorable sucking kisses.

The reflex we often neglect to talk about is the one we all expect; crying. Crying is your baby’s way of getting your attention. Interesting enough, babies don’t realize that is what they are doing.

Crying is a natural born survival reflex.

In essence, crying is probably the most powerful reflex. A single shriek, squeal or a full on scream can cause any parent to instantaneously drop everything and make a mad dash to their baby.

In the first exhausting weeks of parenthood, you begin to ask yourself why is my sweet angel baby crying so much. Your baby’s cry is their method of expressing that their upset, hungry, wet or cold. It isn’t until a month or two after your babies are born does your child realize that their cry sends a message to you as the parent.

For example, when we are upset some of us mumble under our breath or shout inappropriate musings. Typically, we don’t want others to overhear us, but yet we still need to express ourselves in a verbal manner. Well, our sweet little ones do the same thing.

In the early weeks and months, babies aren’t crying for your attention, but instead expressing their frustrations for a matter of survival.

Side note: Parenthood comes with unbelievable joys and a whole lot of unsolicited advice. Every time you pick up your crying baby can you hear your grandma’s shaky voice saying you keep spoiling him! Welcome encouraging advice and immediately depose of sometimes aggravating incessant commentary of others.

Just like your baby is born with the crying reflex you are given the instinct to come to the rescue.

Often it’s very upsetting for a mother to try and ignore a baby’s cry as the baby ages and matures. A babies cry alerts a mother’s nervous system and amps it into full gear to help their little one in distress.

Also, for many women a baby’s cry can also alert the mother’s milk production and cause their milk to come in.

I am in constant awe of the bond and biological instincts of mothers and their babies.

As your child begins to grow, some reflexes start to disappear.

Your baby no longer needs their crying reflex for survival. Your baby has learned that when she cries her cry commands your attention. At a precious young age, our little ones learn they can easily manipulate you for your attention.

You will be able to clearly tell the difference between a hurt, hungry, wet cry from an angry yell of a cry when they don’t get their way.

As your baby learns and navigates through its new environment outside the womb so does the parent. A change of perception can often give us a change in attitude. Instead of viewing our baby’s cry as a constant need for attention it’s merely a reflex given to your sweet baby to ensure survival.

The love and attentiveness shown to your little one in the early weeks and months allow your baby to grow out of their reflexes and learn how to use their cries and shrieks to send a message.

It can be useful to set parenting goals before your child is born, but important to remember during the early period of your baby’s life, it is impossible to spoil your baby. Despite commentary from others, holding your newborn too much will not lead to negative consequences, but quite possibly the opposite can occur. Your patience and tender loving care will equip your baby with survival skills for a lifetime.

Honey, Lamb and I

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Why Babies Cry

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Newborn Care: Changing Our Approach

Newborn care

Newborn Care: Why We Need To Start Changing Our Approach 

Babies are the greatest blessing that come with the ultimate responsibility.  As parents we strive to create a loving, nurturing and safe environment with the knowledge or traditions to which we are accustomed.

Babies are born without a fully developed brain because if they were their precious little heads would be too big to birth!

Despite their underdeveloped brain, we expect babies to sleep in separate rooms, self-soothe and assume too much crying would mean a serious problem.

In first three months of your littles one’s life, their brain grows twenty percent!! This sizeable growth is even more noticeable in your baby’s behavior.   In the first couple days of life, babies can only pay attention to objects up to 12 inches away compared to 3 to 4 months later they can see objects across the room and respond to the direction of different sounds.

This common knowledge is often ignored.   These first 3 to 4 months should still be viewed as a continuation of a gestational period.  Mothers need to begin to mimic the actions of a mama kangaroo.  Before you roll your eyes, I don’t mean hopping around everywhere.  However, that would probably be an excellent source of cardio.

To reduce fussiness and aid in the development process mothers need to reenact the motions and sounds of the womb as much as possible.  Channel your inner kangaroo and carry your sweet little one like a baby kangaroo in a pouch.

Mimicking womb movements and sounds like rocking, swaddling, holding, slushing noises, and warmth tremendously reduces the amount of your newborn crying.

Kangaroo care has become increasingly popular in hospitals all over the world.  Kangaroo care is when a baby has skin-to-skin contact with the mother or father immediately after birth.  There are numerous benefits for the baby laying on the caregiver’s bare skin, including, stabilizing the infant’s heart rate, decreasing crying, and increased milk supply for the mother.

In my previous article about the forgotten reflex, I discussed the how important the first months of a newborn’s life and how a mother’s response to their crying is vital for current and future development.

Americans view the most important American value we teach our children is independence.  This starts almost immediately after birth.  Our baby is fresh out of the cozy womb, and we stick them in a decked out nursery to sleep alone.

We do this out of love because we want our children to grow up to be independent thinkers and stand up for our freedom and boast about our ability to be self-sustaining.

But guess what, according to research, children in other countries grow up to be self-sufficient, independent individuals.  Along with independence, children in other countries also have a better sense of self-confidence and responsibility.

The biggest wives’ tale or dare I say a lie is the belief you are spoiling your newborn by holding them constantly. Compared to 100 other countries around the world Americans are the only ones who make their children sleep in a separate room.

I’m not only talking about third world countries or people who can’t afford to have a home big enough for their children to have their own room.  Children in Japanese and European countries co-sleep or sleep in their parent’s room. They mature into more independent, confident individuals.

A professor at UC Irvine agrees on with the positive relationship between co-sleeping and independence.  Keller explains Americans throw around the word independence without thinking about the theoretical meaning.

Parents count down the days and boast about how soon their babies sleep in their own room and sleep through the night.  However, in reality, other countries who practice co-sleeping raise more independent and responsible children.

Perhaps if we want to raise more well-adjusted, responsible, respectful and independent children, we as parents can start by treating the first four months of a child’s life mimicking the baby’s experiences in the womb.  This means constantly being present in those first few months.  The connection and presence of the parents during this crucial time is imperative to the child’s development and ability to form relationships, independence, and responsibility as they mature.

Honey, Lamb and I

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Newborn Care

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Articles used in Harvey Karp, M. D. “The Happiest Baby on the Block and the Happiest Toddler on the Block 2-Book Bundle.”

 

 

 

Pregnancy: The Guilt of Joy

Motherhood

 

Motherhood

Motherhood takes over our souls with a flowing stream of overwhelming emotions.   These emotions range from indescribable happiness that causes your heart to open so wide it might burst from a slight glance of your baby’s first sleep smile to tiresome endless nights endured during the long months of teething. The full stream floods our emotions often in the early weeks of pregnancy.

I anticipated for the moment when that little line turned pink my entire life.  I was overcome by anxiousness, ecstatic joy, and most of all thankfulness.  I had spent the past eight years suffering from unbearable pain from endometriosis and pelvic pain.  The uncertainty of my ability to bear children was always trapped in the back of my mind, but the day had finally come.  After only four short but had felt like four unbelievable long months of trying to conceive, I had received the blessing I had always imagined.

Within the first couple of days of receiving the news of my ultimate joy I was overcome by a feeling I had not anticipated; guilt.  Unfortunately, this nasty often unshakable feeling sticks with us throughout motherhood.

Guilt began to consume my happiness as I lay restless in bed every night.  I thought of all the other women who are still waiting to receive the news they had been waiting for, and for the women who have to meet their babies in heaven instead of a hospital. The root of my despair was my feeling of unworthiness which is a feeling I still struggle with as we have two beautiful, healthy children now.

The particular feeling, I was experiencing was survivers guilt.  It is the defined as the guilt an individual feels when you survive an event someone hasn’t.

Apparently, this typically occurs after a catastrophic event has transpired not after hearing the most exciting news of your life.  Women can also feel this way after experiencing a miscarriage.  We are surrounded by a world full of endless comparisons.  We even compare our pain to others who have or haven’t experienced an event.

My sense of guilt was something I wanted to downplay and certainly not share.  I was embarrassed and ashamed to feel sadness at such a joyous time. An important notion that all women need to acknowledge is, only you can determine your range of emotions and those emotions are as relevant and significant as anyone else’s. To downplay or ignore your emotions during pregnancy and motherhood can only lead to further guilt and intensify negative feelings.  Often the most appropriate time to talk to someone about your despair is when you’re most hesitant.

Perhaps the ugliest of feelings such as guilt can be trees that bear fruit.  As motherhood progresses, we must remember to possess an endless flow of empathy for the invisible struggles and burdens that can engulf all of us.

Honey, Lamb and I

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Motherhood

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Sleep Easy with The Best Baby Monitor

Sleep Easy Knowing Your Baby Is Safe

As a parent your #1 concern if your child’s safety, period. Now be honest, how many times have you woken up your sweet sleeping baby by checking on them all hours of the night.

EVERY time I peek in the room every bone in foot will pop, or the wood floors will squeak. Immediately before you precious little one wakes up I drop to the floor and use my ninja secret service skills I never knew you had!  Sound familiar? Or Is that just me?

To cut down on hopefully the majority of your midnight check-ins on your little, it’s best to invest in a good baby monitor.

Do your research and find a good one. Let me tell you how annoying it is to hear constant static all night long.

Best baby monitor

 

It gets worse on nondigital monitors because you can pick up other people’s monitors in the neighborhood. NOTHING is more terrifying than your monitor picking up a baby mobile in the middle of the night. Then shaking your husband awake reminding him you don’t have a baby mobile that makes noise!

Many baby wireless baby monitors share a radio frequency with household products like phones, game consoles, laptops, bluetooth device. To avoid interference, opt for a digital enhanced cordless monitor.  Digital monitors are private so you won’t intercept voices or mobiles in the neighborhood.. soooo petrifying! And nobody will be able to hear your baby or you!

Here are the digital baby monitors that made the cut! Side note: the greatest thing I’ve signed up for since being a mom is amazon prime! If you don’t know what it is you may live under a rock, but no worries I didn’t know it existed either. You pay $99 to get free two-day shipping for a year. You’re pretty much just paying for fast shipping, for me, it was worth it! Shopping on Amazon is the equivalent of shopping at Target without carrying both crying kids around. I could spend hours looking at products during nap time!

 

Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor– $84.49

  • Rated highest on consumer reports
  • Best battery life
  • Best long range, great for large homes
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Finder future if monitor gets lost
  • Two-way talk!

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens– $167.97

  • Zoom in and out without effect picture quality
  • Two-way talk
  • Sound activated LED light
  • Remote pan/tilt
  • Night vision
  • Interchangeable Lens
  • Temperature monitoring!

I’ve only heard people say great things about both of these! If you have had problems using one of these I would love to know, or you have a baby monitor you like better!?

*contains affilate links

Baby Food Recipes

Why should you make your own baby food?

There are so many pros for making your baby food even though it may be time-consuming, but when all you want is the best for your child, it makes it all worth it.

So why make your own mushy goodness for your precious little baby?

1. It is the only way to know EXACTLY what ingredients your baby is digesting! Don’t be fooled by the ingredients on the back labeled apples and water…they forgot to mention starches (rice flour or corn modified starch) and citric acid, ascorbic acid, AND SUGAR

  • -I don’t know about your baby, but mine is full of infinite energy. no sugar necessary.
    -Sadly enough, they add the fillers to increase profit, not to benefit your child’s nutrition.

2. Commercial baby food cooks at extremely high temperatures that kill bacteria along with the nutrients your little one needs!

3. There is no way you can even compare the taste, smell, and color of real food puree

-Commercial baby food is dull in flavor, color and does not smell appetizing! Am I dramatic? Maybe? But you taste it!

Little lamb is not a fan of vegetables, and I don’t blame her! It doesn’t have the added sugar like commercial baby food to make it more appetizing! However, this is an easy fix, you can add applesauce or any sweet fruit to your baby’s vegetables.

Obviously, commercial baby food is not poison and provides nutrition to your baby, but without any doubt homemade baby food is superior.

baby food recipes

The baby food possibilities and combinations are endless but here a few of my favs
Carrots, mango, and peach
Pears and pees
Squash, Peach, and Applesauce
Avocado and Applesauce
Butternut Squash and Peaches
Green beans, Kale, and Pears
Beats, Pears, and Spinach

Baby food recipes

Making baby food is the easiest thing you will make in your kitchen! I use my Ninja blender, and it works amazingly. However, if you want something just for baby food try the baby bullet!

Beats, pears, and spinach Recipe
Lightly steaming your baby’s food is really the best way to keep all the nutrition in the fruits and vegetables!

1. Start by peeling your beets and pears
2. Dice them into small squares so they cook quickly
3. Place your diced beets, pears, and spinach in a pan and steam for about 5 minutes
4. After they are slightly soft throw them in your blender and blend away
5. Guess what you’re done!! I then pour them in ice cube trays
-each tray is about 2 Tablespoons
-Another alternative is baby food pouches… I mainly use these for traveling purposes

Happy baby food cooking!

 

baby food

Colorful modern nursery

Statement lighting is all the rage and a perfect focal point for any room, not to mention your baby will love looking up at something bright and colorful. The colors I picked for the room are light and cheery, but the blue brings a boldness that makes it hard to look away. Geometric patterns are a timeless trend they have made their way back into our hearts, homes and maybe even in your little one’s nursery. This colorful modern nursery puts an emphasis on using geometric shapes from every focal point of the room; the rug on the floor, the fun shape of the lamp placed on a table, and the art hanging on the wall. The geometric shapes will bring life and dimension to a room creating the perfect space for your new addition.

colorful modern nursery
colorful modern nursery

colors: Milkyway | Marine Blue | Dust Pink

Wall art Chevron light pendant |  Plush dog |  Deer print |  Table light  |  Honeycomb wall shelf   |  Number print  |  Rug | Crib

Statement lighting is all the rage and a perfect focal point for any room, not to mention your baby will love looking up at something bright and colorful. The colors I picked for the room are light and cheery, but the blue brings a boldness that makes it hard to look away. Geometric patterns are a timeless trend they have made their way back into our hearts, homes and maybe even in your little one’s nursery. This colorful modern nursery puts an emphasis on using geometric shapes from every focal point of the room; the rug on the floor, the fun shape of the lamp placed on a table, and the art hanging on the wall. The geometric shapes will bring life and dimension to a room creating the perfect space for your new addition., modern nursery furniture, modern nursery idea, modern baby nursery decor, modern girl nursery

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Breastfeeding Checklist

Breastfeeding checklistBreastfeeding checklist 

So you’ve decided to breastfeed, go ahead hug yourself (you’ll probably need it) or do a little dance because your giving your baby the greatest gift and guess what this gift is free!!

Holla!

Breastfeeding seems to be so controversial for some people, and it doesn’t have to be. There is nothing wrong with choosing to give your baby formula; it’s still a good source of nutrition, but I would be lying if I said it was just as good. Nothing man made can be as good or healthy as what God has created.

Breastfeeding might be the hardest thing you will ever experience, and more than likely you will get frustrated along the way.
However, feeding your baby formula and wondering why they projectile vomits 15 times a day is also frustrating. Breastfed babies digest the majority of your milk and swallow less air than formula babies. Thus, making them spit up less on average; of course, every child is different.

My second child had a terrible time latching on. He would cry for 30 minutes before he would latch on or would get so tired from crying and just go to sleep without eating. He was 9 pounds at birth and ended up losing a pound the first month which meant we practically lived at the doctors office. I ended up exclusively pumping for the first four months, and it was exhausting. At four months old and by the grace of God he started latching on and I went and locked that pump in the closet! The pump and I needed some time apart!

Everyone always says stock up on burp rags, so I did. My first baby probably spit up seven times in the first six months of her life. I exclusively breastfeed her for the first 7.5 months, but man can that girl eat! She was still hungry after she had emptied me out, so I introduced formula as a supplement and boy did she not like it! It took several attempts before she started drinking even an ounce.

At one-year-old, I tried to give her only formula except when I breastfed her morning and night. She spit up more that month than the first year of her life and not to mention formula poop and pee smells terrible. Just my personal experience.
I’ve created a breastfeeding checklist of products I found to be amazing in helping me through the journey and blessing of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding checklist
Breastfeeding checklist

Breastfeeding Checklist

Mandela breast pump |  Nursing bra | Nursing cover | Milk storage bag | Coconut oil | Nursing pad | Sexy nursing bra

Vitamin E oil | Digital clock | Glider chair  | notebook | Boppy

 

*Vitamin E and coconut oil are both great for cracked nipples and dry skin for you and baby. Vitamin E oil is especially soothing for hemorrhoids. Don’t ask just take my word for it!

Breastfeeding checklist

Happy feeding!

Breastfeeding checklist

Breastfeeding checklist

Wooden Baby Toys

Wooden Baby Toy Guide 

Bells, whistles, flashing lights and singing songs that what toys are made of or at least in today’s day in age. Interactive toys that can do just about anything short of trying a toddler’s shoe, but let’s be honest their life expectancy is short. Toys seem to have an extra short life span in our house, some heavy wear and tear by my toddler is putting it nicely. My little lamb loves any toy that will sing, however, when we go visit her great grandmother’s house, she has just as much fun with wooden non-interactive toys and sometimes they holds her attention longer. Something even more special is little lamb gets to play with the same toys my mom use to play with, and they are still in excellent condition. The secret is…. they are wooden! Wooden baby toys are timeless and worth the investment.

Wooden Toy Guide-A timeless and perfect toy for a little one.

 

1.Dog pull toy | 2. Rainbow | 3. Alphabet Blocks | 4. Balancing Tree | 5. Xylophone 

6. Bamboo Whale | 7. Bowling Game | 8. Play Food | 9. Airplane | 10. Bunny Push Pal

 

Tell me you didn’t just all in love with each one of those toys! They are a precious gift for any boy or girl that will probably last them a lifetime! So don’t feel bad about spending just a little more money on them or you can start whittling down some wood yourself. However, I probably wouldn’t get done carving a wooden toy till little lambs 18th birthday, but more than likely I would lose a finger before then!..anyway happy shopping!

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Gender Neutral Nursery

I have had a looongg blog hiatus with somewhat of a good excuse. Life has been insane! Our family had a great holiday and brought in the year with a big a surprise! We are expecting baby number 2! The drama and excitement didn’t stop there.. My husband had just quit his job to go back to school. This meant a complete change of pace and lifestyle, but we had been preparing ourselves. However, we were not prepared for my hubby to get a TERRIBLE case of pancreatitis and land himself ten days in the hospital during his second week of grad school! So, to say we have busy is an understatement! I’m taking a break from proofreading my hubby’s papers and to create a nursery inspiration board!

Since baby number 2 is on its way it has given me more of an excuse to think about nursery design! I’ve been wanting to update little lambs room for awhile now. However, now we are contemplating on whether the babies will share a bedroom or transform our guest room/office into another nursery. Nevertheless, I created this cute gender neutral nursery that would also work great as a shared bedroom.

gender neutral nursery

 

 

1. Pendant Light | 2. Classic Crib | 3. Let Your Light Shine Print  | 4. Deer Print | 5. Table Lamp

6. Diaper Holder | 7. Drawer Dresser | 8. Retro Rocker | 9. Wooden Camera | 10. Crochet Bin

11. Elephant Head

Benjamine Moore color palette: White Wisp, White Water, Cool Mint

Fox Themed Nursery

fox nursery

Woodland Fox Themed Nursery 

To be honest, I really could never get tired of nursery ideas and decor! There are just so many creative ideas the possibilities are endless. I’m actually a little surprised that I haven’t attempted to redecorate little lamb’s room just even a little bit. Lately, Mr.Fox has gained huge popularity and for good reason. He is just too cute…well at least the stuffed ones. I recently witnessed my first sighting of a real fox and not in the wild but suburbia. Living in Arizona for so many years I’ve seen my fair share of wild animals; coyotes, hauvalina, bobcats, and mountain lions but this was my first fox. I was sitting looking through a good friends window into their beautifully landscaped backyard and awkwardly stated ummm I think I just saw a fox? Sure enough, just miles from the University of Oklahoma lives a neighborhood fox…who knew! He was a mangy, scrawny little fella definitely not like the cute little things you would see in a little ones nursery!

Check out this adorable woodland fox nursery, a perfect color palette and display of nursery items to help inspire you to create a fun and colorful Mr. Fox bedroom for your little man!

fox nursery

So what do you think? Is Mr. Fox cute enough to make a debut in your little man’s nursery?

Benjamin Moore colors: Marine Blue, Rumba orange, Gibraltar cliffs, Gray sky

1. ABC dresser | 2. Light pendant | 3. Teepee | 4. Fox poster | 5. Orange rocker | 6. Storage crate

7. Navy rug | 8. Plush fox | 9. Navy Dresser | 10. Crib | 11. Organic baby swaddle

 

Follow my fox nursery Pinterest board 

You can find this adorable printable at my Etsy store for only $5!

fox print