Parenting Advice – Courtesy of the Year 1935

1940's Parenting BooksMy mom visited this past week and brought with her some awesome vintage booklets ranging in date from the 1930s to the 1950s. These sage parenting and pregnancy books reveal such tidbits as, “If the breasts become large and heavy, the should be supported with an uplift type of brassiere.”, and “Today, liver soup is recommended by many doctors for babies three months or less, because of it’s valuable iron content”. That last gem was from the booklet Meat in Your Baby’s Diet, published in 1941. Of course, I have been feeding my infant son liver soup for the past two months – it’s what modern mothers do.

So here for your reading pleasure are some tips you, as an expectant or new mother, should take under consideration:

  • On traveling when pregnant: Many times women wish to know whether or not they may travel to various out-of-town places. The answer is no, and if you go you must be entirely responsible. If an emergency requires that you travel, a trip by train is preferable to one by bus or automobile. Automobile rides on smooth streets and roads are permissible, but you should not make long tours even under the best conditions. (From Instructions for Expectant Mothers)
  • On general habits while pregnant: Drinking alcoholic liquors during pregnancy is not advisable. I suggest you ask me (presumably the doctor) about smoking. Plan to be as quiet as possible during the week which corresponds to each menstrual period (this was obviously written by a man). (From Instructions for Expectant Mothers)
  • Hooey is the Main Ingredient in Infant Food. The old time baby specialists started it. By dint of much algebra and trickonometry they contrived to throw a forbidding mantle of mystery over the business of fixing up the baby’s bottle, and the dumb nineties let them get away with it. Probably the family doctors were so busy attending to their practice in those days that they didn’t give the carryings-on of the pediatrics much attention. (From The Brady Baby Book - in which the front cover quotes, “Babies today are 25% happier than when you and I were younger, Maggie. There are reasons.”)
  • Colic is a quaint concept. Maybe you old timers should renounce your faith in my teachings, if any. I don’t believe cutting teeth ever makes a baby ill; I don’t believe “growing pains” are due to growing; and I don’t believe in “colic”. (From The Brady Baby Book)
  • Dedicated to Modern Mothers…mothers who are alert to new discoveries…mothers who welcome developments in infant feeding that will help them bring up stronger, healthier children. (From Meat in Your Baby’s Diet )
  • Don’t – Feed the baby too often or too much
    Don’t – Urge him to stand on his feet too young, for if you do he will become bow-legged
    Don’t – Give him team and coffee, beer, whiskey, gin, or any drink containing alcohol
    Don’t – Let him stay up all hours of the night, undress and put him to bed promptly at six every night
    Don’t – Handle him too much, it is bad for him
    Don’t – Pin band or diaper around him too tight, as it may cause deformity and often is the cause of vomiting (From The Care of Babies)
  • The Mother’s Clothing: Your own good common sense, dear mother-to-be, will suggest that the essentials of correct clothing during pregnancy are comfort, warmth, looseness and ease of movement. Surely you can not hope to be comfortable and dress in the height of fashion at the same time. (From Motherhood and the Coming Baby)

 

Tummy Tub – Take 2!

If you remember my post a few months ago about the dreaded Tummy Tub then you have surely been sitting on the edge of your seats all these months waiting to hear about the actual first use of said tub. Well, what could be better then telling you about?! Why, showing you of course!

Just a quick note – please forgive the expletive at the beginning of the video – my husband and I had nearly drown our infant son just moments before and were pretty nervous and on edge. Oh, and forgive my terrible video recording skills…

The Big, Bad “C” Word

Bring it up to any parent, parent-to-be, or human being for that matter, and you are sure to get an opinion on it. What am I talking about?? Co-sleeping. First let me tell you what side of the argument I was on before I gave birth. Before I was up 5 times a night to breastfeed. Before I was so sleep deprived I would have done anything to get a little nap here and there.

Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper

Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper

I was definitely on the no-way-Jose, never gonna happen, not in this lifetime, that kid will sleep in a crib dammit, side of it. Then along came a little feeding and pooping MACHINE. This kid eats 12 times a day and because I am committed to breastfeeding him exclusively (i.e. no bottles – not even of expressed breast milk) up until I go back to work in July, that means I am his sole means of food supply. This is exhausting. And we found out fast that the easiest, best way for us to get some sleep was to have him at least in our bedroom with us. We purchased the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper first. This thing is great. We have a platform style bed and the height of this rocker makes it really easy for me to check on him in the night and to give it a good rocking when he gets fussy. The downside? He prefers to be near us. The best we can guess is that we are nice and warm and smell yummy and he loves us soooo much that he can’t stand to be anywhere but right next to us… ok, this is probably a bit of postulating on my part, but I like to think that he can’t stand to be away from me!

Anyway… so we started bringing him into bed with us. Now, let me just say how very extremely nervous this makes me. I have nightmares that I will roll over on to him and smother him. Or that my husband will roll over on to him or smother him. Or that the cats will smother him. I guess I am a bit fixated on the smothering issue. And to my point this seems to be the biggest reason against co-sleeping. That you might be so out of it, so tired or relaxed or in a deep sleep that you will crush your baby unknowingly. When we sleep with him I make sure to cradle him in my arms while on my side so that he is against my skin. I have never (up until this point) rolled over him or smothered him while he was this close to me. In fact, I feel that I am extra aware of his presence. He is a bit of a “talker” while he sleeps, so his noises tend to keep me more aware of him. I am more in tune with when he needs to eat and most often feed him before he ever gets fussy or cries.

So here I am. I have done such a 360 turnaround in my views on co-sleeping it’s hard to believe I was ever against it. But let me tell you, we get to sleep faster after feedings, everyone seems more well rested, and we are even on a bit of a schedule – and he’s only 2 weeks old. Therefore – 2 thumbs up for the family bed!

On the Other Side…

Hayden SmilingWell here we are – my little man is nearly 12 days old! And, as cliched as it all sounds, I can not believe how fundamentally my life has changed. Everything around me looks different. My home feels different. My body feels different. Even my pets feel different to me. Time seems to stand still, yet everyday and every moment he is growing – getting bigger, making new faces, learning new tricks. I never thought I could just sit and stare at someone forever and love him as much as I do. He is already the light of my life and I have only known him less than 2 weeks!

I’ll be keeping up with the blog as much as possible in the next few months. Hopefully once we start to get a routine going I’ll be able to plan my day better. But for now we are settling into our new lives and learning how to be a family!

 

And Baby… *OFFICIALLY* Makes Three!

I’ve been a bit absent lately because our little man made his grand entrance exactly 2 weeks early! On April 7th at 8:45 pm, Hayden Xavier was born here in Chicago. He weighed in at 7.13 lbs and was 19.5″ long. The labor and birth went really fast – my water broke at 8am, contractions started at 2pm and along he came by 8:45.

We are already in love…

Hayden Xavier

Tick Tock… Tick Tock…

I have to admit I am starting to get a bit nervous. With only 2 weeks left until the official due date – April 21st – my mindset has changed from “Not yet! I need more time!” to “Get this baby outta me!”. Everything seems to be getting harder to accomplish – from doing laundry to getting to work in the morning – and my body is definitely letting me know when I am doing too much (which is most of the time). I had a few things I wanted to accomplish before the big day, and after getting everything done this past weekend it seems odd to not have a full schedule of events coming up. It’s WIDE OPEN. And I never ever have a wide open schedule. There is always a friend to have dinner with, a movie to see with the hubby, or a bike to be ridden somewhere.

This whole sit and wait situation is starting to take it’s toll mentally. I can only watch so much Netflix and feel like a big puffy, water-retaining version of myself. I am trying to relax, take it all in – these are our last few weeks alone as a couple – but I am starting to get ants in my pants about the big day. I find myself sitting in the nursery trying to imagine, just wrap my head around it, that sometime soon, very very soon, there will be another person in our lives. It’s like trying to imagine the ends of the universe – I have no benchmark to measure what our lives will look like on the other side of pregnancy.

So, for now, I sit. I wait. I imagine.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering

We knew when we got pregnant that we wanted to cloth diaper. We had both been cloth diapered as babies and felt it was the right choice for us when we had our own kid. I did a lot of research about the different types of cloth diapering options and prices and in the end we decided to go with the “pocket” style one size diaper. These actually look a lot different then the diapers your mom might have used in the 70′s. They are basically a “newborn to potty training” diaper that uses snaps (or velcro) and a microfiber inserts that slide into a pocket in the actual diaper.

FuzziBunz One Size Diaper

FuzziBunz One Size Diaper

Rump•a•rooz One Size Diaper

Rump•a•rooz One Size Diaper

We originally were going to go only with the Rump•a•rooz brand, but after consulting a local shop here in Chicago that specializes in cloth diapering (Be By Baby – if your interested) we decided to go with a mix of two brands – Rump•a•rooz and FuzziBunz. The woman who helped us mentioned she loved both brands, and since they tend to fit differently we might end up liking one brand over the other.

Partial Collection of Cloth Diapers

Our Partial Collection of Cloth Diapers

We purchased 7 of each style and so last night I divvied up the group and washed 4 of the FuzziBunz and 3 of the Rump•a•rooz. I kept aside about half the group in case we didn’t like a certain brand so I could return them to the store. But, I should note, that there is a huge resale market out there for cloth diapers! We spent, on average, about $23 per diaper and they resell – used mind you – for around $15-20 a piece! So I feel pretty confident that even if we prefer one brand over the other that we will be able to sell the others we don’t like.

We also picked up 2 wet sacks – a large on for at home and a small travel-sized one, as well as some Charlie’s Laundry soap. The soap is one of the highest rated for cloth diapers, as well as being an all around great soap for baby. It contains no dyes, perfumes, ect. so it’s safe for use right away!

Also I would like to mention that even though both diaper brands are labeled for use for a newborn we most likely won’t begin to use them until 1 month in. They aren’t really set up to handle the area for the umbilical cord to heal, and at the store it was suggested that we use prefolds for the first month or so. Well, in one of my nesting fits about a month ago I picked up some newborn diapers from Whole Foods to have on hand – just in case the baby came early. I’m glad now that I picked them up. So, while we will technically be using disposables until the cord area is healed, I feel pretty good about choosing a brand that is a little better for the environment then say, Huggies.

All-in-all we spent a little over $400 on 14 cloth pocket style one size diapers, 2 wet sacks and the laundry soap. The up front cost might seem a little overwhelming – but in the long run we will be saving thousands – especially if we have more than one child.

I would love to hear from you if you currently cloth diaper (or have in the past) and if you have any suggestions!

Oh Uterus, you think your soooo funny. Don’t you?

“April Fools! Your not really going into labor!” Damn you uterus.

With less than 3 weeks to go I thought yesterday was “the day”. But alas, ’twas not. My uterus played a big fat trick on me. Friday night I just felt what can only be described as off. What is referred to as “lightening” had occurred earlier in the day (this is when the baby drops down further into the pelvis) and with it came an odd sensation. It was fatigue mixed with a heavy feeling in my pelvic floor – also known as “you have a baby’s head pressing on your vagina. literally.”

By the time I got home and took my usual position on the couch and demanded to be fed I was exhausted. I was also starting to get crampy, which isn’t an altogether new feeling, but this time something just felt different. I was still having Braxton-Hicks contractions, sometimes painful – sometimes not, and they started to kick up when I headed to bed. I fell asleep pretty quickly, but noticed I was waking up at regular intervals with painful contractions as well as back pain. They started happening about 15 minutes apart and lasted until 2 or 3 in the morning. I would fall back asleep, and then be up several minutes later with pain. Well I guess eventually they tapered off and I slept until the morning after they ended. I did wake up on Friday completely and utterly exhausted and called in sick to work. I spent the day on the couch trying to find another TV series to get hooked on via Netfix streaming (Californication anyone?) or in bed taking naps. And whaddaya know? No contractions yesterday at all. I guess it was all a big false alarm. Dammit.

Uterus Cakes via Cake Wrecks

Here's to you uterus. Your doing a shitty job.

See all the uterus cakes your system can handle here.

Bad Blogger!

I am such a bad blogger! I have been extremely exhausted this week and super busy on top of it all. I hope to get my mojo back by this weekend and post those pics of the finished nursery I have been promising!

Crazy Busy Week!

Hello all! I am sorry I have been a bit absent from the blog, but it’s been a crazy busy week! On Monday I started having really painful contractions – although not close enough or regular enough to be the real deal. But it really wiped me out. My doula explained that about 10% of women actually have painful Braxton-Hicks (warm up contractions) – so lucky me! I had my weekly checkup on Tuesday and they did a – ahem – exam and although I haven’t stated dilating yet my cervix has softened. Which is a good sign that things are falling into place for the big day – which technically speaking is still 4 weeks away. Anyway! I had my last band practice (for a while anyway) on Wednesday and the big last gig is tomorrow night. Wow, I can’t believe it’s already here.

Have a good weekend and I will try to post some pics of the completed nursery on Sunday!

I leave you with a little bit of Baby V (look at that cute profile!) :

Baby Vasquez

Baby Vasquez