I’m Just an Okay Mom.

 

REAL MOMI haven’t posted in two weeks; sorry about that. I’ve been going back and forth with myself, trying to decide if I want to post this at all. However, I think it’s important to be honest with you guys. I think it’s even more important that I’m honest with myself, so here it goes. I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect person, I’m not a perfect partner, I’m not a perfect mother and I’m okay with that.

So, to the moms who feel crappy  because their kid’s lunch wasn’t Pinterest worthy, or because they missed a parent-teacher conference, trust me we’ve all been there. To the mom’s who are about week behind on laundry and had to send their kid to the sitter’s wearing a dirty shirt, don’t freak out cause I’ve been there too mama. To the mom’s who have ever felt like a crappy mom just because they’re stressed and need some space, know that you’re not alone.

I know this post was short, I know this probably wasn’t what most of you were expecting.  So many people refuse to tell it like it is, especially when it comes to parenthood. It’s because people are afraid of what others will think. It’s because people are afraid of being thought of as a bad parent. Well, I’m over it. The truth is, being a parent can be the most incredible (and I mean truly incredible) experience, but sometimes it kinda sucks.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m here to be honest with you guys. I’m not aspiring to be the greatest at anything, I’m just doing the very best I can. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point in my life. I’m finally comfortable enough with myself to say, I’m the world’s “okayest” mom…and I’m fine with it.

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Our Breastfeeding Journey

Breastfeeding has always been important to me. I knew I was going to breastfeed the second I found out I was pregnant. I watched tons of videos on how to get a great latch, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I felt comfortable with my decision to nurse my baby.

When Walter was born he latched within seconds and nursed for around thirty minutes. Natural I thought we were off to a good start. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. We struggled A LOT in the beginning. In fact, we still struggle every day. However, I am pleased to say we’ve made it to nine months, and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon.

If you’re a breastfeeding mama, and you’re struggling, I hope this post helps you in some way.  Remember to take one day at a time, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

STRUGGLING IN THE BEGINNING

In the beginning, I dealt with a lot of nipple pain. For the first two weeks or so I would cry every single time he latched. Literally every single time. The pain was so bad I honestly considered giving up and formula feeding. I’m very thankful that I have a loving, supportive partner who wouldn’t let me give up. Without his support and kind words, I wouldn’t have made it.

I want to take the time to say pain is not normal. It’s a sign that your baby isn’t latched correctly. This could be due to a lot of things, but the most common are a lip or tongue tie. My son has a lip tie, and unfortunately, we didn’t discover it until a few weeks ago. If you suspect your little one might have a lip or tongue tie make sure you bring it up with you pediatrician.

DEALING WITH NEGATIVITY  

I struggled with this a lot in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. For some reason, a lot of people feel the need to comment of things that either has nothing to do with them or things they know nothing about. It can be hard to tune these things out, especially if you’re a new mom. I know I always hated hearing people say I should have formula at home “just in case”, or having people tell me to cover up while nursing in public. Unfortunately, it seems like people always have something negative to say to breastfeeding moms. My advice is to let it go in one ear and out the other, and if that doesn’t work don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself!

LOW MILK SUPPLY 

This is something that most new moms are concerned with. Honestly, it’s incredibly rare for a woman to not produce enough milk for her baby. Most of the time low milk supply is caused by a lack of knowledge and support. However, in some cases, low milk supply can happen with ample knowledge and support.

If you work outside of the home like me, you might experience a dip in supply when you return to work. If this happens to you, make sure you do everything you can to increase your supply before it’s too late.

Low supply is something I’ve faced since returning to work. I’m very lucky, and with the help of some amazing women, I’ve been able to supplement my son with donated breast milk. I can’t begin to explain how thankful I am to the ladies that have helped me feed my son. I will be forever grateful, I can only hope someday I’ll be able to return the kindness.

FEELING OVERWHELMED 

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed is something I still struggle with every day. Being the only person who can feed a tiny human being can feel like a lot of weight on your shoulders. I’m very lucky that my son was willing to take a bottle of expressed breast milk every now and then. If I wasn’t able to get these tiny little breaks, especially in the beginning, I might have pulled all of my hair out!

 

Nursing my son has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the most rewarding. The bond we have is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Every mom deserves to feel the amazing bond and love that comes with nursing a child, and every baby deserves the food nature intended for them.

xoxo

Destiny

Why I Regret Being a Crunchy Mom

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We all know that being a parent brings an immeasurable amount of joy. We also know that the happiness we feel is often accompanied by fear or guilt. At least I hope you all know this, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I personally feel it’s important to share the ups and down of parenthood. This is an absolutely insane roll-a-coaster we’re all on, and the more open we are about it the easier it is. I’m hoping this post will inspire you all to be more transparent. It’s okay to share your parenting mistakes, and regrets with others.

I’m writing this post mostly for myself, but also for the parents who feel just like me. I constantly see photos of perfect little families, and I wonder why parenting seems so easy for them. In order to not fall into that same cycle of only sharing the good stuff, I’m airing out my dirty laundry. Here it is folks, the main reason I regret calling myself a “crunchy mom”

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1.I put myself in a box

Being a new mom is terrifying. It’s even harder when you’re young, and there’s no one around you who really understands what you’re going through. I knew I wanted to raise my son differently than how I was brought up but I didn’t know how. Then I discovered attachment parenting and all the other “crunchy” parenting advice. I latched onto the term crunchy so much that I didn’t give myself enough wiggle room. I started to stress about every little thing, and I felt disappointed when I would turn to less natural options. Now I realize that it isn’t all or nothing and that it’s okay to not be perfect. Yes, I’m trying to give my family the healthiest things I can, but it’s not worth losing my mind over. Now I’m trying a more balanced approach to parenting and life in general. There are certain things I will never compromise on like bed-sharing, or giving my son candy. Other things I try not to stress about too much.

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2.I opened myself up to A LOT of negativity 

I’m sure this goes without saying, but people can be pretty shitty. I’m not sure why this increases when you have children. It’s like people come out of the woodwork with their unnecessary comments. People told me I was selfish for having a home birth because my baby was most likely going to die without a doctor present. I can’t even begin to tell you the horrible things people have said because we don’t vaccinate. Choosing to parent outside of the norm has opened my family up to an unbelievable amount of hate. If it weren’t for the like-minded families I have to lean on I don’t know how I would get through it.

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3.It’s inconvenient 

Before you say “well who told you parenting would be convenient” just hear me out. There are times when I understand why so many parent choose to parents a more “conventional” way. In some ways, it seems a lot easier. There are times when I understand why parents sit their kids in front of the T.V, or why they use disposable diapers instead of cloth. If I’m being perfectly honest there are times I wish I was a “normal” parent, because I wouldn’t have to constantly defend my choices. However, my partner and I choose to do thing differently because we believe it’s what’s best for our family.

 

If I’m being completely honest I can’t imagine myself not parenting the way I do now. The only thing I truly regret is labeling myself. Defining myself as a crunchy mama made me feel like I needed to hold myself up to unrealistic standards. And when I couldn’t meet those standards I felt like I had failed as a parent in some way. My advice to parents who are feeling the same way I was is to be gentle with yourself. No one’s a perfect parent, and that’s okay.

xoxo

Destiny

WHY WE BED SHARE

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Trust me I’ve heard it all, so if you have something negative to say about my family’s choice to bed-share, save it. I’m very confident in my parenting decisions, and I trust my instincts.

I would like to say that there is a correct way to bed share. There are do’s and don’ts, and a million and one things to learn, but after making the decision to bed share with your baby don’t waiver- trust your instincts and don’t let others make you feel bad for it.

Our son has slept in our bed since day one, and he will sleep with us until he’s old enough to not want to anymore. I know some of you think we’re crazy, but trust me this wasn’t always the plan. Before our son was born my partner and I planned on co-sleeping. Okay, so I’m sure some of you are confused because you thought co-sleeping meant having baby sleep in bed with you. Don’t worry you’re not completely wrong. Co-sleeping is an umbrella term which basically means sharing a sleeping environment with your baby.

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Like I said before our plan was to just co-sleep. We had a side-car sleeper set up right next to our bed and our son even slept in it ( for about 2 minutes). I hating seeing him in there. Every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed to be held and cuddled so that’s what we did, and we’ve never looked back. Bed sharing is just what works for our family, call us crazy if you want, but our son has slept through the night since day one 😉

So for those of you who still don’t understand why we bed share, or for those of you who are interested in bed sharing with your littler ones here are my top five reasons for bed sharing.

1.Safety and Peace of Mind 

Studies have shown that sleeping within arms reach of another person significantly improves baby’s heart rate and blood pressure. Sharing the same bed as your baby also helps to regulate their temperature. A mother’s body with cool, or heat to meet baby’s needs. This helps to prevent overheating, something that is very common in cribs.

Having my little one next to me at night also keeps me from worrying nonstop. Knowing my son is safe helps me sleep better at night, in fact, countries with the highest rates of bed-sharing have the lowest rates of infant mortality, including SIDS. ( This is not to say only babies in cribs die of SIDS. Babies in bed sharing environments can die of SIDS, it’s just rare)

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2.Happiness and Comfort 

Bed sharing with my son means we both get to have happier mornings. Nothing is better than waking up to baby snuggles. Plus the comfort he gets from being close to me at night means we rarely wakes at night (usually he only wakes to nurse), so we’re all able to get a full nights rest.

3.Bonding

I believe sharing a bed has helped develop a strong foundation for our family as well as for the relationship I have with my partner. A healthy, happy relationship can be hard to find once babies are introduced to the mix. After talking to both families that bed share, and crib sleep I’ve concluded that those of us sharing a bed with our little ones have the best sex life. Let’s face it bed sharing forces you to get creative.

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4. Creating REAL Independence 

The first thing people bring up when they hear that my partner and I bed share with our son is his future independence. Often people think that because we allow our son to sleep with us now that he’ll become a whiny, clingy little brat in the future. I personally don’t believe that’s true. Having our son close to us means that he feels our constant love and support, this includes night time. I don’t believe parenting ends when the sun goes down. In my opinion leaving your child to comfort, and support themselves overnight is cruel.

5.Laziness 

Honestly, this is one of the main reasons we bed share. I’m simply too lazy to get out of bed every time my son wakes up. It’s easier for both of us if I can just roll over and pop a boob in his mouth. This way he doesn’t have to wait, and I don’t have to open my eyes 😉

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Now I couldn’t make a post about co-sleeping/bed-sharing if I didn’t discuss how to do it safely. Here are a few rules you need to follow if you’re planning on bed-sharing with your little one.

  • Bed-sharing should NOT take place on unsafe surfaces such as couches, or water beds
  • A parent should NEVER share a bed if they’re intoxicated, taking sleeping medication, or a heavy smoker.
  • NEVER place baby on the edge of the bed without a side rail or bumper. Here is an example.

Every single bed-sharing death is tragic, however, these deaths should not be related to those who bed share safely. Just as the deaths that occur in cribs does not mean that crib sleeping is deadly and should be eliminated.

As always this post was not created to shame anyone who doesn’t bed-share or agree with the topics discussed on my blog. I’ve said this a thousand times, but I feel it’s important so I’ll say it again PARENTING IS HARD ENOUGH WE DON’T NEED TO MAKE IT HARDER BY BEING HATEFUL TO EACH OTHER.

Like always make sure you’re subscribed so you never miss when I post. Enter your email and you’ll be notified as soon as a new blog post goes live. If you’d like you’d like to see what I’m up to on a daily basis follow me on Instagram I post there almost daily.

xoxo

Destiny

PS. Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate!

5 Tips for Minimalism with kids

Hi there! If you haven’t seen part one STOP and click here to get caught up.

Like always I’m going to start by saying this post isn’t about bashing moms. Parenting is hard enough without all the added drama social media can bring. I’m a supportive person, and I try my hardest not to judge others on their parenting choices. Please keep that in mind while reading this post. If we want our children to grow up in a kinder world, we need to start being kinder to each other. ❤

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Now I know some of you are thinking I’m full of it. I only have a 7 month old, I don’t understand how difficult older children can be. Well, you’re right, I have no idea what that’s like. I’m not here to tell you to throw all your kid’s stuff away and move on. I know these kinds of transitions take time, so below you’ll find a few tips that I hope will make things a little easier.

  1. Speak openly to family members 

I want to give you my most valuable piece of information first. The biggest problem parents can face when they choose to do anything outside of the norm is their family. I hear all too often ” oh I can’t get rid of that, ____ got that for her.” Well, the easiest way to combat this problem is to let family members know your policy on gifts ahead of time. When doing this always be respectful, but firm. You’ll encounter some family members who don’t agree with your choice, and that okay. Try your hardest to explain what brought you to your decision. If you find that doesn’t help, just move on. You’re no required to argue with anyone.

To try and avoid hurt feelings as much a possible, my partner and I have decided to have a families and friends follow a few simple rules when getting gifts for our son.

  • We limit gift giving to special occasions ( I’ll touch more on this later)
  • The gift much be something he needs, something he wants, something he can read, or something he can wear
  • We prefer sustainable materials. This basically means no/ very little plastic

 

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2. Activities over possessions 

I know this one can seem kind of like a splurge but just stick with me. What’s more logical, buying a toy that will sit in box or room unused like the 4,000 other toys your kid has or buying an annual pass to a theme park you can use over and over again. Honestly, the choices are endless hear, find an activity your child is interested and do that instead of buying another toy.

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3. TEACH THEM TO GIVE 

I put this one is all caps because I wanted it to really stand out. This is something that I believe is incredibly important. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, it’s never too early to teach them to be generous. Something my partner and I plan on doing with our son when he’s older is allow him to go through his toys and decide what he wants to keep, and what he wants to give to another child. I personally don’t see the point in hanging on to things that aren’t being used.

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4. Only keep what they’re interested in

We all know kids go through phases. I’m sure all of you reading this could walk into your kid’s room and find something that hasn’t been played with in months. Why are you holding on to it? Find a few things that they’re loving at the moment, and donate everything else.

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5. Limit new possessions to special occasions 

How many times have you walked into a store and allowed your child to grab something off the shelf just to avoid a meltdown? Don’t be embarrassed everyone does it. The only problem with this is, it creates a habit. To avoid this try limiting getting new items to special occasions like birthdays.

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I can not stress this enough, this post is not able shaming parents who don’t follow this lifestyle. This is only a guide to help those who feel like they can’t rise above the chaos. My goal with this blog is to create a safe space for like-minded people, and show people it possible to live a life that’s focused on the things that matter.

xoxo

Destiny

Minimalism with kids

I’m positive this post will ruffle so feathers because there’s something about kids and their toys that always gets someone’s undies in a bunch. I want to start by saying I’m not making this post to shame anyone. I’m sharing this for the mom out there that are feeling overwhelmed with all the clutter. And for the moms that are just like me, and what their child to appreciate the things they have.

I hate that I have to say this but, again this is not to shame anyone! Do what you think is best for your family. Whether that means your kid has two toys, or two thousand!

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I’m not going to lie, guys I am by not means the perfect minimalist. I’m not even sure if I should call myself that. Before I had my son I was like so many people, and thought that the more things I had the happier I would be. So as you can imagine I had a TON of crap, and I was miserable. I was constantly feeling overwhelmed and would find myself having panic attacks if things weren’t where I thought they should be. While I was pregnant I stumbled across the minimalist documentary. This is kind of embarrassing but I think I watched twenty times. It was eye opening! After watching I started to pair down my things. Again, I’m not perfect and to be honest I still have a ton of stuff but I try not to beat myself up about it ( and neither should you). It’s a work in progress, and I’m okay with that.

Now for those of you who read the title, I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell any of this has to do with children. Well don’t worry, this is where I talk about that 😉

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Anyone who has ever had children knows you end up with a bunch of stuff and most of it you never even use! For example, my partner and I still have boxes filled with baby stuff up in the attic and for some reason, we felt the need to hang on to it. Even though we never plan on using it! We’re constantly being told to hang on to things for the “what ifs” well my advice to you is just get rid of it! If you don’t absolutely love it, or use it on a regular basis there’s no point in hanging on to it.

For my family, this also applies to my sons toys. My partner and I are very selective when it comes to the toys we buy for our son. If we don’t think he’ll absolutely love it  we don’t buy it. If he has fourteen other toys just like it, we leave it at the store. I’ll be honest ,right now it’s pretty easy because he’s only 6 months old and can’t have a melt down in the middle of Target. If you’re a parent to older children just take one step at a time, and remember it’s not about being perfect. Minimalism is what you make it. It’s not about who has the least amount of things, or never buying anything ever again.

I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m cruel. I’m sure some of you are thinking my son will grow up feeling deprived, and thinking I don’t love him. I can assure you that is not the case. I want to raise my son to appreciate the things he has,and to understand that monetary things don’t bring happiness. I want to show him that its possible to live a life that’s in line with your values. If you’re one of those people who think I’m crazy I’d like to share with you some of the things I hope my son gains from minimalism.

  • Creativity and Innovation 

Fewer toys will enable him to be more creative and imaginative with the toys he has available to him.

  • The ability to share with others

By having fewer toys, he’ll be able to develop good communication skills by practicing sharing with other children

  • Less stress 

Clutter creates stress in humans of all ages. I’m sure you’ve all heard someone say “all these toys and my baby only wants to play with ___.” When given too many choices children can become overwhelmed and stressed.

  • Independent play

By having fewer toys around he’ll be able to stay engaged longer. It will be easier for him to locate toys, as well as clean up after himself.

  • Conscious Consumerism 

By helping him to be selective with his toys I’ll be able to teach him the importance of spending your money carefully.

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Above all I want my son to value our time together as a family. I want to teach him that moments are more important than material things.Again I’d like to state that this post ( none of my post actually) isn’t about shaming someone. Parenthood is difficult enough. My goal here is to build a community of like-minded people, however I don’t intend on doing that by tearing others down.

If you found today’s post helpful, make sure you check in later this week because I’ll be continuing my series on minimalism. Make sure you subscribe to get notifications every time I post! If you’d like to see more of my day to day life follow me on Instagram . I make new post there daily!

xoxo

Destiny

 

SCREEN TIME

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It’s safe to say We all know screen time in excess can be harmful to infants and toddlers. And I’m sure we all know it’s not great for older kids either. So, why is it that so many young kids are getting so much screen time? Well, because parents are tired and it’s often easier to plant your kid in front of a TV.

Quality caregiving requires so much of our time and energy. It’s understandable why you would want a few minutes to yourself.

I’m not here to tell you how much screen time your kids should be getting, ultimately that’s up to you. I’m also not trying to make you believe a few minutes of TV is going to damage your kid forever. I’m simply sharing the reasons my partner and I have decided to limit our little guys time in front of the TV.

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The AAP suggest TV for children under two, and no more that 1-2 hours a day for older children. For my family these recommendations ably to anything with a screen, not just TV. We don’t allow our son to play with phones, tablets, or watch television right now (he’s six months), and when he’s older his screen time will be limited. If you’d like some information about how to break your family’s TV habit, this article is extremely helpful.

So at this point, I’m sure you’re all wondering why we don’t let our little man have screen time.  Well, if I’m perfectly honest we weren’t always this way. In the beginning, we were like most parents and believed it was perfectly fine for out newborn to watch TV with us. It wasn’t until a few month in that we changed our minds. I started to notice how focused Walter was when we would watch TV together. He was always perfectly still, and quiet. At first, I thought this was great because I was able to do the things I wanted while Walter was watching TV. However, the more I observed him, the more worried I became. Whenever he was in front of the TV he became a zombie. It was almost like he was in a trance, and that really freaked me out.

Once I started doing more research about the effects of screen time on little ones, we just swore it off. Don’t get me wrong here, there are times Walter catches a glimpse of a screen every now and then. Media is everywhere, it’s impossible to keep him away from screens completely and I’m okay with that. I don’t see any harm in a few seconds ( or minutes) of screen time once in a while. The problems start when young kids spend hours in front of a screen.

Recent studies have shown excessive screen time can lead to delayed language development, connotative issues, and some have even linked it to ADHD. In fact, Dr. Ari Brown, the lead author on the American Academy of Pediatrics said, “The concern for risk is that some kids who watch a lot of media actually have poor language skills, so there’s a deficit in their language development. We also have concerns about other developmental issues because they’re basically missing out on other developmentally appropriate activities,”. Countless other studies have show that children don’t understand what they’re watching on TV until around age two.

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I do want to take a moment to touch on the difference between passive and active screen time. Passive screen time is just plopping your kid in front of a screen and expecting it to babysit them. Whereas active screen time is something like a Skype call or face-timing with a relative. There is a HUGE difference between the two! Georgene Troseth, a Vanderbilt University developmental psychologist conducts some of the country’s leading research on children and screens. She says, “We’re finding pretty consistently — in fact, two recent studies with actual Skype [calls] — that children do seem to learn better when there is social interaction from a person on video. So it’s kind of encouraging with FaceTime or Skype for parents and grandparents to know that [with] that interaction, the children might actually be willing to learn from a person on a screen because of the social interaction showing them what’s on the screen is connected to their lives,”.

If you’d like more information about raising a child without screen time, Mama natural has a fantastic blog post discussing the topic. You can find that here.

I’d like to stress how important it is to do what works best for your family. If you choose to use interactive media with your child make sure you find a healthy balance. Actually take the time to sit down with them, and get involved, that’s going to be more valuable than anything else.

xoxo

Destiny

Starting Baby on Solids

I often get asked why my son hasn’t started solids yet, or what foods I want to start him on. So in this post, I’ll be going over why we haven’t started solids, when we plan to, and what foods we’ll start with. Enjoy!

WHY WE WAITED

My partner and I decided before Walter was even born that we were going to wait until he showed true signs of food readiness before we gave him anything other than breast milk. There are a thousand and one reasons why parents delay introducing solid into their babies diet. The most simple being babies only need breast milk ( or formula) to thrive. I know, it’s shocking! I’m sure someone’s mother in law just fell out of her seat. Unfortunately today it’s not uncommon for mothers and fathers to be encouraged by their doctor, or family to start solid food long before baby’s digestive system is ready. Introducing solids before baby is ready (especially grains) has been linked to food allergies later on in life. If you have a history of allergies in your family, the longer you wait the better.

WHY WE’LL NEVER GIVE OUR SON BABY CEREAL 

We chose not to give our son baby cereals for two main reasons. Number one being that babies can’t digest grains before the age of one, and two because rice cereal has been known to contain arsenic! Parents are often encouraged to give their baby cereal to held them sleep better. There is no scientific evidence that supports that theory, in fact, many recent studies have disproved it altogether. The reason people think it helps babies sleep is because it binds their tummies. The main reason babies wake up at night is to poop. If you give them a bottle filled with cereal, they’ll theoretically sleep longer. Not because their tummy is full, and they’re satisfied but because they’re constipated. As for the arsenic, I won’t go into too much detail about why I don’t want my son eating that. I’m sure most people will agree we shouldn’t be feeding our children a deadly poison. If you’d like to read more about it on your own here is a link to the FDA website.baby semolina isolated on white background

 

WHEN WILL WE FEED OUR SON SOLIDS 

The short answer is when he’s ready. I know that’s not the answer you guys are looking for so I’ll elaborate. I believe no baby should receive solid food before the age of six months. the AAP even states for optimal health and wellness babies should be breastfed for the first six months of their life. With that being said we obviously weren’t going to feed our son anything other than breast milk before he was six months old. Along with that, we chose to wait until he showed other signs of food readiness. For example:

  • A desire for something other than milk. Babies often show a desire to play with food before they are actually ready to eat it. I’ll just take a second to mention my usual disclaimer, of course, every baby is different, use your intuition when it comes to feeding your baby. Your little on may show signs of food readiness long another. Always do what YOU think is best.
  • An ability to pick up small objects. I believe it’s important to allow our little ones to feed themselves, in order for them to do so they’ll need to have developed their pincher grasp. This is when baby uses his thumb and forefinger to pick things up.
  • The ability to sit on their own. This is extremely important because this skill is needed to allow baby to swallow properly. Wait until your little one can sit on his own for several minutes before introducing solids.
  • Last but not least baby should have lost his tongue thrust reflex. This is the reflex that causes a baby to immediately push anything thicker than milk out of their mouth. I’m sure you’ve all seen a mom feeding their baby a jar of baby food and the little one immediately pushes it out of their mouth and mom scoops it up with a spoon and shoves it back in. All for the baby to spit it right back out again. If your little one does this, it may be a sign he isn’t ready for solids yet.

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WHAT FOODS WILL WE START WITH

Mostly likely we will start with avocado. Mainly because when it’s ripe is soft enough for Walter to chew without it having to be cooked first. Plus it’s high in fat which is fantastic for brain development. We plan on offering him other soft ripe fruits such as bananas, mango, and peaches. I often hear parents talk about how they are afraid of offering their baby too many sweet fruits, fearing they will only eat sugary foods and no crave the savory taste of vegetables. I’m not worried about this but to debunk this theory let discuss the natural craving for sugar. We are by nature fruit eaters. I know this comes as a surprise to most but just stick with me. Breast milk is naturally sweet, whereas cow’s milk isn’t. This is because humans are designed to have a diet high in sugars (natural sugars of course). Humans thrive in the tropics, where natural tree ripened fruit is the most abundant source of calories. In our natural environment, we would be drawn to fruits because it’s much easier to sit under a mango tree and eat until your heart’s delight than it is the hunt, kill, skin, and eat an animal.

whatever food your choose to start with is up to you. However, I do want to stress the importance of seeking out the highest quality, organic food possible. It is incredibly important to feed our little one’s food free of pesticides and chemicals, not only is it better for their bodies it’s also better for our environment. Shop at farmers markets whenever you can. This is the best way to get organic, nutrient dense foods. Plus you’ll be supporting a local small business 😉

I do want to stress that before the age of one breast milk should be your child’s primary source of calories. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “food before one is just for fun.”

However, you choose to feed your child always remember they are a reflection of ourselves. If you want your child to love fruits and vegetables YOU have to love them! One of my favorite bloggers once said “If you are a mom or dad who is trying to feed your kids healthy whole plant foods, and are surrounded by negativity and discouragement to do so, I encourage you to press forward. You are not alone. You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.” -Ellen Fisher.

 

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xoxo

Destiny.

Attachment Parenting

For me, parenting has been a very complex journey. It’s the hardest thing I’ve even done, however it has brought me a tremendous amount of joy and happiness. I’ve found that as parents we all face the same struggles, and we all hope to reap the rewards of confident, successful, and happy children. We are all just trying to do our best.

There are so many choices to make from the food you feed your children to the way they sleep. All of this can be incredibly overwhelming. I know so many families who choose to meet their children’s needs in vastly different ways. For me, I have chosen to parent outside of the norm.

My partner and I chose a more natural form of parenting. For us that means making informed decisions about our son’s medical care and choosing a holistic approach whenever possible, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, and many more decisions that don’t fall in line with a more traditional, adult-centered style of parenting.

I know that all parents get negative feedback on their style of parenting. I have encountered many people who don’t agree with my decisions and that’s okay. Below you’ll find the ways I stay sane when it feels like almost everyone has something to say about how I’ve chosen to raise my son. Enjoy.

Seek out like-minded people

I’ve found that online support from facebook groups is my saving grace.  This is my safe space to discuss information with parents who share the same beliefs I do. This applies to any style of parent. Find people with similar views, and hang out with them. Trust me it will keep you from pulling your hair out.

Have research to back you up

This one mainly applies to my crunchy mamas. Whenever you chose holistic care over more traditional care people are going to give you shit. Therefore I am always seeking out new information to help me feel more confident with my decision. The more I read, the more I learn and the better I feel when talking to people who don’t agree with my decisions.

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Don’t let other people’s thoughts influence your beliefs 

You can’t please everyone. You will always encounter someone who doesn’t agree with you. Try your hardest to offer information in a calm respectful manner. If that doesn’t work simply walk away. Always remember you don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone, and most importantly you don’t have to argue! If they don’t like it, that’s their issue, not yours.

It’s not always the most convenient but it’s worth it.

When I first read about attachment parenting I knew that was the way I wanted to raise my children. It’s just what made sense to me. Along the road I’ve debated my choice many times but I’ve never given up. My partner and I believe this is what id best for our son, that doesn’t mean it’s what is easiest for us. Trust me We’ve struggled. People told us we were crazy when we decided to co-sleep, they called us baby killers because we don’t vaccinate, they told us our son would hate not being circumcised, and they swore up and down we’d regret not having a stroller. What I trying to say is we’ve dealt with our share of hate and it hasn’t been easy. Through it all we’ve stuck to our guns, and trusted the process, because of that we have a beautiful, happy, healthy six-month-old son.

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If any of your are parents and are struggling know that you’re not alone.Trust your instincts, you know more than you think you do.

 

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xoxo

Destiny

WHY WE LEFT OUR SON INTACT

Originally this post was supposed to go up on Wednesday, I’m sorry for the delay.  I spent a lot of time debating if I was going to make this post at all. I wasn’t sure if I could handle the potential backlash. After careful consideration, I decided I would go ahead with the post.

Someone very close to me told me “If you believe in something this much you shouldn’t be afraid to share it.” So I’m making this post for all the new moms who are debating circumcision. I hope my story helps you find the answers you’re looking for.

DISCLAIMER: This is just my families story. I am by no means saying you should make the same choice we do. Please DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY! Also, I am in no way trying to make those who did circumcise their sons feel guilty, or saying they are bad parents.  I will be including pictures or procedures, links to videos of the procedure being performed on newborns. This content may be disturbing to some viewers. Please proceed with caution 

So I guess I’ll start by telling you all the definition of circumcise. It’s defined on Merriam-Webster as “to cut off the foreskin of (a male) or the prepuce or clitoris and labia minora of (a female)”.  Yes, you read that right females have foreskin as well, but more on that later. Next, We’ll discuss why people circumcise. The three main reasons are a religion (however for your sake and mine I won’t be discussing religious reasons in depth), medical necessity, and culture.

Religion: Like I said I won’t be going into to much detail here. Just know people circumcise their children for religious reasons. To my knowledge, this is found in most religions, but Judaism is the most common. If you’re a person of faith and anything I’ve stated here is incorrect please feel free to correct me.

Medical necessity: This is where things can get a little confusing. In the past, it was believed circumcision prevented STD transmission, penile cancer, UTI’s. More recent studies have found this to be false.

Culture: In most countries, newborn baby boys are NOT  circumcised. This is really only an American custom. In our society intact men are seen as dirty, or ugly. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing circumcised penises that men left in their natural state are ostracized. If you’d like more info about the rates of newborn circumcision click this link.

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about circumcision lets get into why my partner and I chose not to circumcise.

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Honestly, it started with this picture. I stumbled across this while researching circumcision and I couldn’t stomach the thought of my little baby being strapped into this thing. The thought of him being in pain because of something I wanted shook me to my core. His body = His choice.

After I found this picture I looked into a video called elephant in the hospital I’ve included a link if you’d like to watch it for yourself. This documentary opened my eyes even more. I started to think about my son’s basic human rights. How could I cut something off of him without his permission? I’ll put it like this, If a doctor came to you and said your baby would look a lot better without his toes would you cut them off? Of course not! That sound insane, so why are we so willing to cut off a part of our child’s penis? Why do we believe boys are born needing to be fixed? I soon learned it wasn’t just boys we had done this to. Young girls were also subjected to genital mutilation (FGM). The practice of FGM was used from the 1800s until the late 1970s to cure everything from female masturbation to lesbianism; It was finally outlawed in the US in 1996. All of that sounds insane, doesn’t it?  We can’t imagine strapping a little girl down to a table and letting a doctor cut off parts of her genitalia, so why are we doing it to our sons!  More information about FGM can be found here.

The more I researched the angrier I became. Then I learned that some babies actually die from complications of this barbaric procedure. A recent study conducted found that 117 boys die annually from circumcision-related complications. You can read more about the study here.  The fact that male genital mutilation hasn’t been outlawed based on those numbers is astounding. Here an example to help you put things into perspective. Remember drop-side cribs? In the late 2000s, it was reported that children were dropping the side of their cribs and either suffocating or strangling themselves. The CPSC banned drop-side cribs after 38 reported deaths. You can find more on that right here.  Once I discovered this information I knew circumcision was not the right choice for my family.

Like I said in the beginning, this is just my family’s story. I’m not trying to make anyone feeling guilty about their decision to circumcise or not to. My only hope is that this will open people’s eyes a little. Do your own research and come to your own conclusion. Circumcision wasn’t the right choice for my family. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOURS.

I’ve included a few extra links to videos of the procedure being done on a newborn baby. I’ll go ahead and warn you it’s graphic. View discretion is advised.

Newborn circumcision

Newborn Circumcision 2

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xoxo

Destiny