Sunday, 1 February 2015

Secured in car seat properly every-single-time

For the past 16 months we have secured Brody in his car seat what must be thousands of times. It's a lot of work, especially during the winter months. Maybe it is because I'm dealing with a car seat daily that I often have car seat safety on my mind, but it really concerns me how often I see babies and children incorrectly in their car seats. As I said...I know, it's a lot of work and takes what feels like a lot of time placing your little one into the car seat properly every single time. It's extremely important to secure your child correctly every single time...don't let yourself get lazy with this one. It's a daily task that is not much fun, I agree. All it takes is one car accident, just one. Here's how we ensure Brody is safely secured in his car seat for each short and long car trip:

1) No bulky clothing (yes, this means we take his winter coat off every single time)
2) Straps are not twisted and they lay flat against him (you shouldn't be able to pinch the strap)
3) Rear facing!!!
4) Chest clip is placed at armpit level (think about how ineffective that clip becomes when it sits low)
5) Car seat is properly installed (you shouldn't be able to wiggle it around)

There are a few facebook groups/pages I follow that have great reminders of how to make sure your baby/child is safe in their car seat every-single-time.

Please comment with any other car safety tips!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

30 Random Acts of Kindness - A Memorable Birthday

        This year I had my 30th birthday. Typically, my husband and I don't fuss much over birthdays and simply plan for a nice dinner out at a favourite restaurant. This birthday was different because we had our five month old son. While I wanted to do something to celebrate turning 30, I wanted to celebrate with the family which now included my baby boy. A typical nice dinner out wasn't the best idea this year for us. I had thought of doing random acts of kindness for a birthday awhile back when pins started showing up on Pinterest of other's celebrating in this fantastic way. Thankfully, I remembered and thought it was a perfect way to spend my birthday with my two favourite guys in a way I won't soon forget. We documented the day by taking photos, and now by blogging about the random acts I will complete my recording of the day to look back on and one day share with our son. A huge thank you to my husband for spending his day off helping me complete these acts!!

My 30 Random Acts of Kindness for my 30th Birthday!

1 - 3: Posted positive online reviews for family dentist, family doctor and a local restaurant
4: Brushed off husband's car
5: Left chocolate for boys next door
6: Sent a text message to a friend I had not seen in quite some time
7 - 9: Left treats for our dog's best buddy, Jett and two other dogs
10: Donated books to our local library
11: Paid for the person behind us at Tim Hortons
12: Dropped off timbits at our bank
13: Left a clean diaper and wipes at a public change station
14 & 15: Mailed handwritten letters to two dear friends
16: Left change at a payphone
17: Left change for a wash and dry at the Laundromat
18: Left change at a vending machine
19: Donated supplies to the local nursery
20: Donated supplies to the local elementary school
21: Dropped off dogs treats to our local dog groomer
22: Dropped off dog treats to our dog's vet clinic
23: Gave the lady at the post office a lottery ticket
24: Donated clothes
25: Gave a stranger a (wrapped) box of chocolates
26: Donated supplies for the after-school program at United Way
27: Returned shopping carts at the grocery store
28: Left water in change room at local arena for the next hockey team
29: Left random inspiration notes around town for others to find
30: Provided candy dish for visitors at the bank

Hope to see more people doing random acts of kindness in their community!!

Here are some photos from the day!
Note: I will not be sharing any photos of my son as we have decide for the time being to keep his photos offline. 




Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A return to blogging

My explanation

It's been months since I even looked at my blog!! When I first started this blog, my little baby was spending hours nursing and sleeping in my arms, which gave me time to write and post. Once baby hit four months and became more active, I wasn't tied down in one spot quite as often and here I am 5 months later without any new blog posts! Oops!

Baby comes first

As much as I wanted to be writing, my boy needed me and deserved my attention. I knew I would get back to blogging a bit later.  I decided I was going to spend my maternity leave focusing on him. I'm having the best time soaking up as much time with him as possible. Now with only a couple months of mat leave left, I only wish I could extend my full days left with him. It's also summer time, so we're out and about even more these days.

I'm back at it (for now)

I'm posting this and working on my next exciting post because baby is sleeping in my arms now while he's teething. We'll see what I can accomplish.

Up next

This next post includes numerous photos which means I need to find computer time to add the photos (I typically write on my ipad while baby's asleep on my lap) so I'll see what I can do! I'm writing about the 30 random acts of kindness I did with hubby and baby on the day I turned 30, back in March!

Thanks for visiting the blog!

Monday, 13 January 2014

My new Mama fears

Brody is just about 4 months old and while I don't want my baby growing up too quickly, one of the positives to him getting older is it feels as if he becomes less and less vulnerable the bigger he gets.

When we first brought our newborn home he was 7 lbs. and to us was a very tiny little delicate person we were responsible for. I wasn't prepared for the fear I'd feel for his well being. He was just so little, fragile and vulnerable. Thankfully I knew infants were not as physically vulnerable as we think so moving him around, working him into various breastfeeding positions was challenging, but didn't stress me out. I want to share with you the fears I had during Brody's first month with us. Thankfully after some time, I don't worry about all this stuff quite as much.

What stressed me out the most was SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Now, the very word itself sounds scary to me. I had done my reading on SIDS during my pregnancy. I learned the steps to take to lessen the risks such as placing Brody on his back to sleep on a firm surface, nothing in the bassinet with him, don't sleep with baby in arm chair or on sofa, don't overheat, have his bassinet next to our bed and so on (see resources listed below to learn more). However, it wasn't until Brody was home with us that I realized how scary nighttime was to me. During the first week (thanks to my post-pregnancy hormones and recovering from Brody's birth) I had a couple meltdowns once darkness fell. I sobbed in my supportive husbands arms as I felt like I couldn't protect our son well enough at night (because I needed to sleep as well). That first week I couldn't sleep unless I knew someone was awake watching Brody sleep. Sounds crazy, right? Maybe it was, but at the time my thoughts consumed making sure his little body kept breathing day and night. If something were to happen someone needed to be there by his side to quickly help. Thank goodness for my Mother-in-law staying with us that first week!!

With time I became more comfortable at night, but was still very thankful Brody digested his breast milk in a couple hours so was awake and nursing in my arms every 2-3 hours. Sure, some nights this was (and still can be) very exhausting, but with a true partner who gives me no grief when I poke him awake to go change a diaper so I can get some rest before the next nursing session, I'm more than happy to have the chance to see our little guy is doing well while we've been asleep.

I still can't imagine when I'll ever want to put Brody to sleep in his crib in his own room. That crib may end up being added to my list of unnecessary pre-baby purchases! It just seems so lonely! When you think about it, us adults don't choose to sleep alone, but rather next to our partner. I've read that children started sleeping in separate spaces once families had more money and could afford more rooms in a house. Therefore, I can see how co-sleeping feels natural. So far, Brody doesn't co-sleep (same bed) with my husband and I because of the risk of SIDS, but some mornings when it's just me and Brody I'll have him lay next to me because there's so much room in our king size bed that I don't have to worry about rolling onto him. Here's a piece on co-sleeping that was recently shared with me that supports co-sleeping:

Another thing that kept me worried was Brody's soother. Not that it would fall out (as it did ALL the time) but that the piece he sucked on would break off and he'd choke. Again, this was another thought that stressed me out most at night. What if this happened while we were all asleep and couldn't hear Brody struggling. I constantly give a little tug on his soothers to make sure they're still secure. I really wish I had come across the one piece soothers when Brody was first introduced to a soother seeing as now he won't take one.

Every single time my husband would take Brody upstairs to change his diaper I was grateful and fearful. I was extremely worried that my (exhausted) husband would slip and fall while carrying Brody on the stairs. I just thought, all it takes is one little slip and he could drop or land on the baby. The only thing that makes me stress slightly less now is that Brody is bigger and I assume he would have a better chance of surviving such an accident. Every once and awhile I say to my husband, 'you're still really careful on the stairs (watching him on the change table, carrying the car seat...), right?' and the understanding man that he is, replies with a simple 'yes'.

Another fear I had early on was that something would happen to me. The first little while, when breastfeeding was so new to me, I found it so extraordinary that what kept my son nourished came only from me. I love that I can provide my son with all the nourishment that he needs (minus the d-drops he gets daily), but at the very beginning I couldn't help but worry that my milk supply would decrease or that I'd get sick or even worse just die...and how would Brody eat?! Of course...he'd be taken care of and given formula. I never said these fears were all rational fears.

I'm happy to end by reporting that Brody is a very happy, healthy, lovely 4 month baby who seems more and more like a little boy than a baby at times. He's reaching the developmental milestones and moving along very nicely. Thankfully he gives his Mama little reason to worry.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Breastfeeding - 10 things you need to know

I was just in the middle of working on another blog post, when out of nowhere I decided this post had to be written and published ASAP. Maybe it's because a friend of mine just had a baby a couple days ago and I so badly want to provide breastfeeding support (as I found it very helpful from others during the first 8 weeks) but it's not my place as I'm not close with this person. Therefore, I'm thinking it's something I can quickly blog about now to share a few things I learned, and  return to the topic to provide a longer post when I have some more time.
Here's my top 10 things new breastfeeding Mama's need to know!

1) Breastfeeding is natural, but it's a skill to be learned by both you and baby: unless you're one of the lucky few, breastfeeding is far from an easy skill! I often say next to labour and delivery it was the hardest thing I've gone through. Those first 6 - 8 weeks (8 weeks for me and Brody) were brutal in many ways. 6 - 8 weeks is a long time, but be patient and remember how beneficial breastfeeding is for your little one as well as yourself (i.e. crazy post-baby weight lost!)

It really does get better and having exclusively breastfed for the last 15 weeks I can say it's one of the proudest things I've accomplished and I thoroughly enjoy that time with Brody.

2) Breastfeeding at night: if you have a newborn that likes to sleep 7 hours straight...wake him up to nurse every 2 - 3 hours for the first little while (forget what the baby boomers tell you about not waking a sleeping baby). He will be hungry as breast milk digests in a of couple hours. Your body needs to learn how much milk to produce for your baby. After 6 weeks your milk supply will be established. Not too mention you'll wake up with leaky boobs and they will certainly be engorged (NOT what you want).
Remember, your baby won't always need you this much at night and eventually you'll be able to sleep more than a few hours straight at a time, but in the mean time try to embrace these snuggling moments.

Tip: Take this time to research new baby questions you have on your phone to keep you awake! Also, bring water with you to'll be thirsty!

3) Spousal support: don't underestimate your partner's support. This is crucial to you successfully breastfeeding. Let him/her know how they can best support you.

My husband knew how badly I wanted to breastfeed Brody, so he was a tremendous support. As an example, I really didn't want him casually suggesting switching to formula or supplementing when he saw my struggling because I considered it often enough myself as it was.

4) Sticking with it: tell others how important it is for you to breastfeed your baby and it will make it that much harder for you to quit only to tell those same people you couldn't do it.
This really helped me stick with it.

5) VERY sore nipples: express breast milk on your nipples after each feeding it really, really helps sooth because you will be really, really sore!
Lanolin helps a lot too (I still put it on after each nursing session).

6) Position: try different positions and know that as your baby grows and gets better at nursing it becomes a lot easier. I LOVE nursing my three month old now that his mouth is bigger and he can support his head.

7) A good latch: while it's important to have a decent latch, don't stress out about it all the time.
Just do your best.

8) I found it really frustrating while I was going through all the pain of learning how to breastfeed when other woman would say 'Oh, I couldn't breastfeed' when really they meant, 'I stopped breastfeeding'. Don't get be wrong, I get why many woman quit I said, it's one of the hardest things I have done. But boy would this comment bother me even more if I was one of the few Mama's who really couldn't breastfeed and desperately wanted to. My response to this comment is, 'yes, it was really hard at first'. Come to think of it...this comment still annoys me!

9) Engorgement: it is uncomfortable, but warm showers, warm compresses and simply hand expressing milk helps a lot. Don't pump to get rid of the engorgement as your body will think your baby needs that much more milk and your supply will increase to keep up. Just be patient.

Pumping: don't pump until your milk supply is established. Let your body learn how much milk your baby requires and on what schedule for the first 6 weeks (minimum) then pump away!

10) Pacifiers: we had been told it's best not to give new breastfeeding infants a soother as they can have nipple confusion and make breastfeeding that much more difficult. After speaking with Brody's paediatrician who said not to worry about it, we gave him a soother (which certainly soothed him and still does) and I don't think it made a difference with the breastfeeding in our experience.

Our hope now is that Brody continues to enjoy his soother and avoids sucking his thumb (bad for his teeth and much easier to take a soother away).

Some studies suggest that using a soother helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

As always, remember this phrase...'this too shall past', because the excruciating pain will end, I promise.

I will certainly continue to blog about breastfeeding, but I hope this is useful to some new Mama's and Daddy's out there. If you have tips from your experience please add them in the comment section.

Just a few online resources:

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Bloglovin - what it is!

I just learned of Bloglovin very recently so I'm far from an expert! However, I thought since I managed to figure out how to add the bloglovin button to my blog and also to claim my blog on bloglovin I would let you know what it is.

If you enjoy reading certain blogs you may know its a pain in the butt keeping up with all of them! Bloglovin simplifies the life of a blog reader by allowing you to follow your fav blogs, and receive reminders of updated blogs. Personally I've found it to be a great tool that saves me time and helps me avoid missing blog posts I don't want to miss!

Do you use bloglovin? Feel free to share your own bloglovin thoughts in the comment section.
And of course please follow Raising Kindness on bloglovin today!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Broderick's Nursery

As many first time parent's do we started Brody's room while I was pregnant. We didn't have the room 100% complete prior to his arrival and we didn't let ourselves stress over it. We had the crib (not that he's spent more than 5 minutes in it as he sleeps in our room) and change table (ALWAYS on it) set up, the armoir painted, shelves up and glider ready to be used.
Paint colour: Benjamin Moore: Woodlawn blue

Change table is a dresser from Sears with our own hardware to match armoire.
Maternity and newborn shots by Creative Clicks Photography

Crib from Sears
Decal off Etsy
Basket has been replaced with a more suitable laundry hamper that's still small enough to carry to laundry room.

Glider purchased off Kijiji

Armoire was a piece from our bedroom set that we didn't use. Husband painted and replaced hardware (Benjamin Moore: van court land blue).
Lamp from IKEA 

Please do not use these images without giving credit, thank you!

What we love having:
- diaper genie (room never smells)
- armoire for storage
- change pad on dresser rather than an actual change table (top drawer holds all changing necessities).

What we could have gone without:
- crib (at this point we're not sure it will be used)
- glider (any comfy chair would have worked)