Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stuff on my Mind today

Today I wanted to post a couple of things on my mind including:
1. Ferberizing
2. Christmas for an Infant
3. The only-breastfed (no bottle) child--why I think this may not be a good idea
4. How much knee surgery sucks when you have a almost 5-month old

Topic 1.
I'm sure you've heard of the Ferber Method for getting your child to sleep on its own. If you haven't:http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified_7755.bc

The above is a link from "Babycenter.com", NOT a primary source, but an overview all the same.

My husband and I always knew we wanted Mimi to be able to self soothe. We both believed this was an important thing for children to be able to do and this ability to self-soothe will help her develop good sleeping habits into childhood. BEFORE ever trying it, I was all about it. When the day came when my husband I decided to give it a try, I had some doubts.

The idea is that you have them sleep in the same place--not a swing or bouncy seat--but their bed, every-time. She had been sleeping in her crib since about 2 weeks old. Which I never intended to do--I had a co-sleeper next to the bed, but she slept longer and sounder in her own crib in the next room. This step we could handle.

Next, you eliminate sleeping crutches such as pacifies, rocking to sleep, nursing to sleep, etc. This was a change for us, but not to terrible to get over. Pacifiers were not an issue, she could careless about paci's most of the time, rocking and nursing to sleep however was difficult to cut out. I had been nursing her to sleep and gentle transferring her for MONTHS. We changed to me nursing her (or getting a bottle depending on who was home), then putting her in her cribbed (burped and dry diaper) while still calm but awake. Thus begins the difficult part--she screamed as soon as we walked out her door.

Ferber's technique it to let them cry for five minutes, then go in and reassure them WITHOUT picking them up, then waiting ten minutes, then 15, you get the picture. Ferber explains that most babies will "break" in 3 days, and no longer cry when put down to bed. If it wasn't for my husband blocking me from going near her room until our little "ferber timer" went off, Mimi would not be ferbered today. Is ferbered a word? lol. Anyway...I can say to you now, that Mimi successfully puts her self to sleep for 2 naps a day and every-night. It took about 3 days (go figure). We have been doing this for several weeks now. Mimi takes about 2 naps a day, one is usually one hour, and the other is about 2 hours. She sleeps from about 9 pm at night to 8:30ish in the morning and doesn't wake up to eat (maybe 3 times a month she'll wake to eat). Mimi seems much more rested and settled after we started ferbering her. She loves her crib, and often wakes up and plays in there without crying for awhile.

It worked for me, but only because my husband supported the decision and didn't let me interfere in the process. It was hard to hear her scream. But she doesn't even do it anymore. Now before you go leaving me a comment exclaiming "She's too young to do this! You're cruel" which is what my friend Grace delicately mentioned to me, I'll tell you a story. We tried ferbering awhile ago--even though I thought it was too soon--my husband wanted to try it. We would leave her to "cry it out" but when we would go back in she would be so worked up, she wouldn't stop crying and she would be really upset. We knew it was too soon. We held off a couple of weeks--now when she is crying and we go in, as soon as we open the door, she turns off the crying like a light-switch and smiles at us, then proceeds to cry as we walk out the door. She's manipulating us.

One thing to note--we had not had a bumper in her crib before. Even though they are pretty--we believed them to be useless because:
1. You can't see them
2. They can't really even move for several months, so there was no worry of her getting her limbs caught in the crib slats
3. They make is a pain is the ass to change cribs sheets---if you have a puker you know how often you have to do this

However--no that she rolls and is no longer swaddled, we installed a breatheable mesh bumper (bought off amazon for less than 20 dollars), she can't get her limbs caught in the slats anymore.

Enough on this topic? Okay, ask me questions is you have them

Topic 2--Christmas for my Infant
Am I a bad parent because I didn't buy Mimi stocking stuffers and Xmas gifts? My feeling is that she really doesn't even understand what gifts are, nor can she have the fun of unwrapping them. Also, she doesn't need anything. I buy her stuff all the time when it's on sale. I recently bought her some Robeez and Umi trainer shoes for when she's older and learns to walk, I bought her the "if you give a ..." series of books from Kohls (at 5 bucks a piece vs normally 15 a pice for hardcover), and I bought her a cozy fleece jacket from LLbean when it was on cleareance last month. I didn't wrap any of these, but they are gifts for her I guess. Besides all this, my family and my husband's family, not to mention our friends have showered her with Christmas gifts beautifully wrapped under our tree right now.

Topic 3
I recently watched a youtube vlog (you're saying, oh no here she goes again with her youtube rants...), and I watched this video:

She is giving an update on her 7-month old son, who has NEVER had any bottles or pacifies, only the breast. This is impressive! That means this women has NEVER been away from her son for more two or three hours in is entire life. Am I a bad mother because I often relish a trip to the grocery store or Target alone while my husband watches Mimi? On the pacifier issue, I don't really have anything against them and Mimi rarely wants her other than the occasional non-hunger soothing. I do however cringe at the site of 2 year-olds walking around with them in their mouthes. Out of curiousity, I commented on this women's video asking her is there was a specific reason she had NEVER used bottles or pacis, because whenever she's mentions it, she has this tone of smuggness "I have nursed his exclusively with NO bottles EVER! (add in scary laugh Muh Ha Ha!). Well she replies back to me that bottles and pacifiers cause ear infections, low milk supply, nipple confusion, and difficulty weaning to a cup. Whoa Whoa Lady, so you're saying that my kid (who gets atleast 1 bottle of my breastmilk a day sometimes more if I have class etc) is going to be prone to ear infections and this will lower my milk supply etc? I did do some research into this---the suction of n0n-vented bottles and pacifiers (which are hard to find because technology has caught up to this suction problem) can cause ear issues. So--I used Avent and Playtex Ventair, and sometimes Evenflo vented nipples. I feel confident that I am not causing Mimi ear infections. I wonder at the women's' point on this becasue her son is 7 months---exclusively nursed---with two ear infections so far, and Mimi (almost 5 months) often gets bottles, no ear infections here! So perhaps her son is prone to them genetically or due to some formation differences in his ear. Lastly, let me tell you my supply is not affected by Mimi's bottle feeding. I normally have at-least-30 bottles stored up in the freezer. Which leads me to my actual point----I had to have surgery on my knee this past week to repair a buckle-handle tear in my minicus. Because of the anesthesia, antibiotics, anti inflammatory and pain medications, I was unable to nurse at all for over 24 hours. I pumped and dumped while my husband gave her the frozen milk in bottles. Mimi was okay with this deal except in the morning and evening when we generally do our long comforting nursing sessions. So imagine you, like me, had an unplanned surgery that left you in this position and you had NEVER EVER given you kid a bottle for 7 months. How traumatizing would this be for your kid? I therefore suggest you do give your kid a bottle here and there even if you normally exclusively nurse--it gives you a break and prepares you child incase you ever HAVE to use a bottle like I did.

This blends into topic 4--me moaning about how much is sucks to be on crutches when you are caring for a 5-month old (almost 5). Like mentioned above, I had to have some-what sudden emergency surgery on my knee last week to repair a torn knee menisucs. I had what is called a buckle-handle tear, where the inner portion tears away, causing pain and inability to fully bend or extend your knee. Left untreated, this injury (I was told) would do further damage to my knee and cause life-long pain. So they wanted to get me in as soon as possible to try to re=attach the tear. Because is was re-attached and not removed, I am no on crutches (no weight bearing) for 6 WEEKS! This F'ing sucks. Can you believe this!? I can't even take care of the baby, shower, get my self dressed, NOTHING for six weeks. My husband and I are trying to adjust to the situation. I am depressed at my situation. I am the type of person who hardly ever lets people help me out---let alone fully take care of me and my baby. I need constant help if I have the baby with me. If left alone, I lounge around in gym clothes with ice packs watching PBS. Now that we have our office back (my husband's friend finally moved out after 3 months) at-least I can sit at our desk and do work and feel at-least mentally productive. So I'm depressed. I cry everyday pondering how I will survive 6 weeks on crutches under my husband's care. Any tips for not drowning in tears and going insane?

After January 1st, Mim will be spending two days a week at my friend's home-run daycare (which I love), and one day a week at home with our expensive but capable babysitter Jenna. A nice college girl who loves my daughter, but needs to learn to rinse out bottles. I was meant to stay home with her two days a week--but now I think we will be spending Monday's at my friend Grace's and Friday's home with Daddy. I pray this goes by quickly and everything heals right so this never happens again.

I wish all you girls a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Both! Enjoy your babie or pregnancies or just life!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mimi Updates and I turned 28 :-)

Tis the season to be busy..fa la la la la, la la la la

It has been crazy lately but I wanted to make a quick update on Mimilicious.

Mimi is going to be 5 months on Dec 22nd. Sh
e is about 18 lbs and boy is she heavy! We did end of starting solid foods, one tablesp
oon serving, only once per day. So far she has had sweet potato, carrots, apples, pears, prunes, and oatmeal cereal. Our doctor recommended NOT to use rice cereal or giver her pureed bananas because of her constipation problem. Mimi holds her poop for 4-5 days at a time. Very frustrating and probably very painful for her. I thought starting veggies and fruits would help with this, but alas it has made it worse. I think I will try to give her 2 oz of water a day in a bottle or sippy cup to alleviate this issue. I have the playtex sippycups, but the nipple at the top is hard and she hasn't quite got the idea of sucking it yet.
I ordered some "Nuby" ones off amazon, so we'll see if she likes those better. I have been making all my own organic babyfood with teh exception of pru
nes. Finding organic prunes proved tougher than I thought. When I finally found them, they were 4 dollars for 4 oz, so I bought the earth's best organic prunes for 50 cents a jar. It really is affordable to make your own organic food--maybe not the most convienent for travelling--but very affordable and easy.

Here is a list you might find helpful as you make your babyfoods--
  1. Peaches - Summer’s blushing fruit contains high residues of iprodione, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and methyl parathion, an endocrine disruptor and organophosphate (OP) insecticide. Methyl parathion has caused massive kills of bees and birds. According to Consumer Reports, single servings of peaches "consistently exceeded" EPA’s safe daily limit for a 44-pound child.
  2. Apples - Apples may contain methyl parathion. Both fresh apples and baby food applesauce can also contain chlorpyrifos, an OP which has caused large bird kills. CORE Values IPM apple growers are trying to phase out OPs.
  3. Pears - Pears, both fresh and in baby food, can also come with methyl parathion, as well as the OP azinphos-methyl, which is toxic to freshwater fish, amphibians and bees.
  4. Winter Squash - Dieldrin, a chlorinated, carcinogenic insecticide, exceeded the safe daily limit for a young child in two-thirds of positive samples. Another potent carcinogen, heptachlor, also showed up. DDT and its breakdown product, DDE, were detected in baby food squash.
  5. Green Beans - Green Beans can contain acephate, methamidophos and dimethoate (three neurotoxic OPs), and endosulfan, an endocrine-disrupting insecticide, which showed up in baby food, too. Acephate disorients migrating birds, throwing them off course.
  6. Grapes - U.S. grapes contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor; imports may contain dimethoate.
  7. Strawberries - The enhanced red color of strawberries comes from the fungicide captan, a probable human carcinogen that can irritate skin and eyes, and is highly toxic to fish. While the lethal soil fumigant methyl bromide doesn’t show up on the fruit, it has harmed California farm workers, and depletes the ozone layer.
  8. Raspberries - Watch out for more than thorns! These berries can contain captan, iprodione and carbaryl, a suspected endocrine disruptor that has also been found in plum baby food
  9. Spinach - Permethrin, a possible human carcinogen, and dimethoate dominate spinach’s toxicity ratings, but CU notes that residue levels have been declining as U.S. farmers reduce use of these insecticides. DDT has been found in spinach, which leads all foods in exceeding safety tolerances.
  10. Potatoes - Pesticide use on potatoes is growing, CU warns. They may contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and children eating potatoes risk getting a very high dose of aldicarb, CU says.
  11. Tomatoes - high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues
  12. Cantaloupe - high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues

Mimi is wearing size 6 months clothes and shoes. She can roll over from back to tummy very well, but only from tummy to back occasionally. She sleeps 11-12 hours a night without waking to eat. I know that the books say that at 6 months, they should only sleep 6 hours without eating--but if you have seen photos of her you know she's not starving! Plus the dr. said that was fine. She takes 1 long nap (2 hours) and 1-2 short 40-minute naps a day. When she is awake she wants to be entertained so I get very little done. I gave up on that awhile ago. Mimi loves to go out. When we take her anyway she behaves better than at home. She looks around at everything and interacts with people. One issue we are dealing with is her hating the carseat and riding in the car. She fusses and cries most of the time unless she is full and warm, then she fall asleeps. I installed the Britax Marthon carseat rear-facing in my car, but we still use the infant carseat in my husband's car.

I am doing awesome. I am 5 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight and one pants size smaller than my pre-pregnancy size--so the saggy belly does subside EVENTUALLY!! I hurt my knee two weeks ago so I haven't been able to walk much and I still lost weight! Breastfeeding ROCKS!

Today we are going to buy our Christmas tree and put is up. We're going to try to take a nice family photo in front of it for our Christmas/Holiday cards. Our Christmas shopping is almost done. I have had more fun buying stuff for my friends baby than anything else. Mimi doesn't need anything, so I only bought her some books and a jacket. We'll see what the grandparents send--I'm sure she'll have some wrapping paper to eat.

Good luck to all those pregnant ladies about to pop and good tidings to all those with little ones. Post cute santa photos!

Oh--I turned 28 yesterday---my twenties are almost over! Yikes.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who do you take advice from?

Be careful who you take advice from when it comes to your child. I just watched this girl's vlog--and she is throwing out all kinds of incorrect information.


"Buy Soy milk, most babies can't handle the proteins in cow's milk. Babies aren't supposed to have cow's milk period."--that's quite a statement considering you have no factual information to support this statement.

First off, there are milk allergies and lactose intolerance. See the difference:

Milk allergy
is when your baby's immune system reacts to proteins in milk. This only effects between two per cent and seven per cent of babies.

Lactose intolerance is when your baby has difficulty digesting the lactose, or the sugar, found in milk. This is much rarer than milk allergy.

"If I were you I would just go out and buy soymilk.."
WHY? The Department of Health and the British Dietetic Association do not recommend soy formula for babies under six months.

Studies have shown that the aluminum contamination in soy formula's are 3 times as high as cow's milk formulas.
Cadmium was 6 times higher in soy formulas than cow's milk formulas.
Eklund G and Oskarsson A. Exposure of cadmium from infant formulas and weaning foods. Food Addit Contam 16(12):509-19 (1999).

The widespread use of soy-based formula, beginning in the 1970s, is a likely explanation for the increase in early maturation in girls.
Herman-Giddens ME and others. Secondary Sexual Characteristics and Menses in Young Girls Seen in Office Practice: A Study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network. Pediatrics, 1997 Apr;99:(4):505-512.

There are hundreds of other studies like these---Not to mention soybeans as an agricultural crop are sprayed with a lot of pesticides. A large % of soy is genetically modified and it also has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any our our foods (followed closely by apples and tomatoes).

I'm not saying soymilk is bad for babies, I'm just saying do some research before you switch your baby to it. Talk to your doctor--

"If your baby is contipated, has diarhea, or acts like she doesn't want to eat...switch to soy formula..."

These are also all symptoms of gas in infants:

• Burping/belching
• Flatulence (passing gas)
• Abdominal bloating or distension
• Abdominal pain or cramps
• Vomiting or spitting up (posseting)
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Crying
• Sleep disturbances

Don't just run out and switch to soy if your baby is overly fussy one night. If you see blood or mucus in your babie's stool--call your doctor--this is a symptom of an allergy to milk protein.

I think the only thing I agreed with her on is using the liquid formula when possible instead of powder--but not for the reason she mentioned--but because the FDA pointed out that powdered infant formulas are not commercially sterile products. Powdered milk-based infant formulas are heat-treated during processing, but unlike liquid formula products they are not subjected to high temperatures for sufficient time to make the final packaged product commercially sterile.

To top this blog off--I have never used formula, so I'm not speaking from experience, I'm posting information from scientific research.

Just because you throw up a disclaimer saying "i'm not a doctor but here's my advice" doesn't mean your information couldn't hurt people.

I would post a response directly to her, but she doesn't post any comments that are in any way negative to her--which I also think is counter productive. Also, she tends to take advice that is opposite as hers as a personal attack--which is not the case at all. Friendly debate is a healthy and informative way to exchange information.