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Listen up! Do not show up to Christmas/gift exchange and give a new Mama a baby gift! …unless she specifically asked for it. Otherwise follow my lead and get a little something for her. Most Mamas go crazy shopping for a new baby while pregnant. On top of that the baby shower provides tons for baby too. Don’t worry, I gotcha back. Below are 10+ items any new Mama would be happy to receive.Read more…
You see that adorable little face? I never want that little face to not speak to me. I mean I’ll totally get it when she’s a teenager and can’t hang out with her friends because her homework isn’t completed yet but other than that, I need to be in good standing with my daughter.
My Mama and I don’t have the best relationship. It was pretty cool growing up, you know the usual teenage daughter woes. Adulthood though…it’s been a bit rough. The last time we verbally spoke didn’t end well then she had the audacity (yes audacity, this is my story, don’t judge) to show up at the hospital when I had Camille. Needless to say that didn’t end well either and we haven’t spoken since. Camille is pushing 14 months. I’m cool with that though. Trust me, if you knew all the details (don’t ask, I’m not ’bout to air all my dirty laundry online) you would totally understand.
Now having a daughter of my own I would never want our relationship to be in a bad place so I had to think of potential ways to avoid this in the future. Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night. You know I had a ton of free time while I was pregnant so I’ve given this quite a bit of thought.
My Mama was always the cool Mom. Everyone wanted to come to my house. It was nothing to have a house full of girls every weekend, cousins and friends. A few of my friends were there so much they probably should have put in a change of address form with the post office. Actually in high school two of my friends lived with us for a while, at different times. One even had a baby! Yea, my Mama was pretty cool when she wanted to be. Let’s take a look at where things went awry.
Childhood – My Mama was my ace, my bestie, my main girl! She could do no wrong, until I did some wrong and I was in trouble. All was well.
Pre-teen – Of course this is where the drama began on my end. She was all in my business all the time, like she had every right to be. My “I know it all” hormones didn’t agree.
Teen – Still pretty good. I had decent grades, a job and wasn’t really into chores. I was definitely into boys though.
After high school – Things began to go downhill. We argued more. I didn’t like being home so much. At 19 I moved in with a dude (huge mistake!) and ended up moving back home after a few months.
My 20’s – Boy oh boy. $#!@ got real! This is where the problems really started.
My 30’s – I’m currently 31. So far we haven’t had a relationship at this age. We stopped speaking when I was 29 and pregnant.
Looking back at this timeline and really giving our relationship some thought I realized my Mama wasn’t prepared to be my Mama at the different stages of my life. By no means am I saying she was a bad Mama, nope! She was and still is a great Mama, but best for a child, not an adult. I looked at the relationship she and my Grannie had, not as rough as ours but definitely had some rough spots.
I feel like her parenting skills didn’t match what I needed as I got older. I’m not faulting her, we had different personalities growing up so she probably couldn’t relate to what I feeling or going through. She was 100% introvert, hung out with the boys. I was 50% introvert, had girlfriends over all the time. Had we grown up together we probably would have been cool with each other but not besties, our interests were different. All this on top of the fact she was a single Mama. Her village was strong though, I had all four grandparents, two uncles and a host of aunts. My dad wasn’t completely out of the picture but…well I wrote about him here.
My Mama wanted to be my friend which is great but it went too far. When it was time for her to be Mama again I didn’t take her seriously. This caused a lot of friction but she continued wanting to be my friend. She also felt very entitled to all my life’s details which didn’t go well with me in my 20’s. She had no boundaries and no respect for my space and relationships. I’m not gonna bash my Mama all night just pointing out some things I noticed, this also does not mean I did no wrong.
Here’s my plan with Camille – I have to make a conscious effort to be the Mama she needs me to be at all the different stages of her life.
I understand this could be hard because she’s my baby and I want the best for her but I also understand she’ll need her space and to learn some lessons the hard way. I asked B when she was born to promise me he’ll help me with this because I never want Camille to end up like my and my Mama. He promised.
Questions I plan to ask periodically:
What she wants/needs from me
How does she want our relationship to be
Am I giving her what she thinks she needs
What can I do to help her (school, friends, work etc.)
Is she happy with our relationship
Is there anything I can do better
I’m sure this list will change over the years but it’s my starting point for now. When I ask these questions I don’t want to seem interrogative, just like we’re having a casual conversation over lunch. Knowing me I’ll take notes so I don’t forget and so I can later brainstorm on next steps. I’m so determined to have an amazing relationship with Camille and her future siblings.
How are your relationships with your parents and kids? No dirty details needed, I’m not a fan of spilling all the tea over the interwebs but are they good? Great? Could they be better? Any plans to improve? Let me know if the comments.
The bond my daughter and I have from breastfeeding cannot be explained. I read so many blog posts about breastfeeding leading up to delivery but it’s more than I expected. I was hoping and wishing and praying that the process would go smoothly for us and it did! She came out hungry and know exactly where to go.
This doesn’t mean things were all peachy from the get go. At 2 days old Camille had lost about 11% of her weight since birth. Babies are expected to lose about 5% – 8% of their weight buy my baby was losing more than expected. She would latch on and move her little jaws so we assumed all was well. The doctors were testing her for jaundice and monitoring her blood sugar every few hours. I was drinking so much water and trying so hard to digest hospital food. Yet she was still losing weight. Finally a Lactation Consultant came in and after much coaching (which was very helpful) she noticed Camille may be tongue tied. Still not sure why the doctors didn’t pick up on this but they were threatening to admit her to the NICU if she didn’t start gaining. Luckily my pediatrician was able to see her the morning after we were discharged and she confirmed a tongue tie.
Ok, now we know the cause what now? Supplement with formula, you gotta be kidding me! And let someone do a procedure on my 4 day old baby?! This doc was really pushing it! I was SO determined not to give my baby any formula at all whatsoever but I had to do it. I cried, felt horrible, felt guilty but I had to put on my big girl panties and then my new Mama panties and do what was best for my baby.
We supplemented with 1 oz of formula after each nursing. The next day (4 days old) we saw an ENT doc that corrected her tongue tie. I was scared shitless! B said I’ve never held his hand so tight. The doc was awesome though. We didn’t even have to take Camille out her carseat. The procedure was over in about a minute, there was very minimal bleeding and she knew the difference immediately. That little tongue started moving so fast! The next time she nursed was seamless. We saw the pediatrician again that afternoon and Camille had gained 5 ozs over night! She advised to supplement with formula one more day and then we were good to go.
Breastfeeding went pretty well from then. I was pumping some days to build my stash for my return to work. I was leaking all the time so I assumed my supply was all good. I returned to work when Camille was 7 weeks old. I know, so early. Everything was everything for a few months. Her appetite began to outpace my supply. I would leave work some days to nurse. I would have to nurse when I picked her up after work. I was pumping 2-3 times at work and doing all the things I read on Pinterest and in all the literature from the hospital. Nursing on demand wasn’t my problem, I just wasn’t pumping enough. I soon realized my in-laws were feeding Camille for the hell of it. I was lit! They had no clue how I was losing my mind because I wasn’t producing enough milk for my baby. I mean my freezer stash was quickly dwindling and they had the audacity to giving her milk just because. Only a Mama in that same predicament knows the anger I felt.
At 5.5 months I was finally coming to terms with Camille needing formula. The crunchy Mama in me was so upset. No shade – but all I thought was “how can I give my baby this poison?”. I had even called out from work for 2 days to just stay home to pump and nurse on demand. Still no luck. I stopped at Target on my way to work and grabbed some liquid formula. I got a call that afternoon from my MIL saying Camille would not drink the formula. Another early day for me, I had to go feed my baby. I can’t lie, I wasn’t really mad at her. I was tempted to taste it but didn’t want to dislike it and decide Camille couldn’t drink it.
Against my bank account’s better judgement that evening I sprung for organic formula. It was about $35. All I could think is what if she doesn’t like this either. Lucky for us she liked it! She stuck with the organic formula until the end. We tried another brand once because our regular was sold out. She drank it just fine but her appetite decreased and she lost 1.5 pound in 2-3 days. B cut that short REAL QUICK!
From 5.5 months until 12 months Camille continued to drink the organic formula. I was literally counting down the number of containers I had to buy until her first birthday. About a week after Camille’s birthday I began mixing almond milk with the formula. It went rather well. Then the formula was gone and it was all almond milk and she was not happy. Originally we bought unsweetened vanilla almond milk because I didn’t want her drinking sugar all day. It was too bland. B suggested the sweetened vanilla almond milk, it was too sweet. Luckily we found a happy medium with reduced sugar vanilla almond milk. I was happy she liked it but unhappy because this was not the brand I intended for her to drink. I’m still learning I cannot win all the battles.
Now at 13 months she’s still enjoying the reduced sugar milk and we have began weaning. This is hard for us both. I’m really gonna miss it but some days I just don’t want to be touched. She’s so aggressive when she wants boobie milk! It’s borderline Mama abuse. On top of that she wants to nurse ALL. THE. TIME!
I spoke to her pediatrician at her 9 month follow up about weaning and she said not to rush it and do it when I’m ready. She asked on a scale of 1-10 how ready was I. At the time I said 5. She suggested cutting one feeding at a time starting with the morning feed. Today (11/8/16) is the 8th day we have gone without a morning nursing session and it was the toughest yet. She was getting used to it but her top molars are cutting and she just wants to nurse. I almost caved in but I held strong. I feel kinda bad but I know I have to do this, just like sleep training. I plan to cut the evening session (after work) in about a week. I’m not sure when I’ll cut the night session. Part of me wants to soon but the crunchy Mama in me wants to keep some milk flowing for skin rash, diaper rash, possible pink eye or ear infection.
Oh yeah, I didn’t talk about pumping. I quit that job at 10 months! I posted this a breastfeeding group on Facebook:
26 reactions and 40 comments. I felt so relieved knowing I wasn’t the only one. Those Mamas really encouraged me (in a good way) and helped me feel at peace with my decision. I kept a manual pump in the car (as I had for months) just in case. I had to pump a few nights when we got home but for the most part, my pumping journey was over!
So that’s out breastfeeding journey so far. I’ll keep you updated on weaning. I know I’m taking it slow but I think that’s what’s best for Camille and I. Please feel free to ask any questions and let me know how breastfeeding went for you and your babies.
Woo! It’s almost over! Keep reading to see who won the battle.
Still not 100% herself I didn’t push the crying at nap time. She dozed off while nursing. I held her for about 20 minutes, layed her down and she wasn’t having it. I desperately needed to wash my hair so I handed her off to B. He held her for a while and put her down.
(Doing night 5 timing)
Bath time was ok then she nursed until her eyelids got heavy. I laid her down, she wasn’t happy. Cue the years. I’m sitting in the next room and I can hear her jumping up and down. She fell asleep in about 13 minutes.
Tonight I put Camille in the shower with me. Bath time has been quite challenging lately. She was calm and relaxed when I got out the shower. After pajamas, books and nursing B put her in the crib. She cried but the cries sounded sleepy.
After 20 minutes I went in the room, gave her a kiss, turned on her night time music and she laid down. I tried something different a turned out the nightlight. She was sleep 2-3 minutes later. I’m winning. In tired AF but I’m winning.
Using night 7 timing.
Y’all, let’s discuss how relaxed she had to be. Let’s just say she pooped so much after her dinner we considered throwing the highchair in the trash. Ok, moving on. Bath, nursed, pajamas, daddy kisses, 2 short books, night time music, all lights out = sleep within 10 minutes! 10 minutes! I feel so relieved. The stress and heartache paid off. This was tough but by night 3 or 4 I was better able to handle the crying.
The Ferber Method is officially over and we won! Tonight she was really sleepy. I laid her in the crib, turned on her nighttime music, covered her up and she was out in about 2 minutes!!!! Yeesssssss!!!!!!!!!
Overall thoughts – The Cry It Out Method does work but your heartstrings have to be able to handle it. It’s not east but I can assure you it’s worth it.
Update – It’s been about two weeks and things are still going good. Camille will lay down after out night time routine, I turn on her music, turn off the lights and close the door. She goes to sleep! Yes! She’s gotten so good at this that now if she cries I know something is wrong. I’m so proud of her and myself.
Because I stuck with it I’m gaining back some me time. I can shower alone and take my time, read, actually eat dinner, spend more time with B and get better rest. Camille still wakes at night around 4. She nurses and I sometimes doze off. When I feel those little feet on my chest I put her back in the crib and she sleeps ’til about 8.
After the 12 minute session I went to check in her and she was wearing down. Still standing, less jumping, less crying. I turned on her night time music and she laid down. I rubbed her back for and said night night. She gave a few weak cries as I left the room but stayed lying down. She was sleep within 2 minutes. We’re winning! Then we realized we’ll have to do it all over when we move the crib to her room.
I nursed, put her in the crib, read two stories and turned on the night time music. After 12 minutes I went in to run her back and give a kiss on the forehead. She laid down. I rubbed her back a few seconds more, restarted the music (it has 15 minute intervals) and left the room. She cried intermittently for about 5 minutes.
My in-laws keep Camille during the day and don’t enforce a schedule whatsoever. I have no idea of a nap time or meal times. I saw signs of sleepiness and laid her in the crib with nighttime music. She cried for a few, stood up and jumped a bit. After 15 minutes I went in to check on her. I screwed up and picked her up out the crib because I thought she pooped, it was gas. I laid her down, turned the music back on and left the room. She cried and cried and cried. Time was up and I went back to check on her. I smelled poop again so I did a better diaper check this time and she had pooped. I changed her and she rolled over to lay on our bed. Sorry kid, back to your crib. I turned the music on again, laid her down and left the room. She screamed! After 20 minutes she was still crying! I honestly didn’t think it would last this long. I remembered one of B’s co-workers telling him to put a pillow in the crib so she can feel like she up against a body. Hesitantly I tried it. Finally! After 62 minutes of on & off crying she finally gave in and went to sleep. I’m hoping tonight is better.
She only slept for 45 minutes. I gave in because she did get vaccines today and probably wasn’t feeling her best. She nursed and slept and I held her the whole time.
Camille still wasn’t quite herself. The effect from the vaccines had definitely set in. After dinner I gave her Tylenol and went up for bath time. This was a tough night. She didn’t want to participate or play in the tub. She kept getting soap in her eyes. She was trying to get out and hit her head on the tub. This shot my nerves into overdrive! Our house was built in the 50’s and I’m pretty sure the tub is original, like hard as hell, metal original. Luckily she already had pain medicine in her because I’m sure that would have produced a headache.
After all that she nursed and dozed off. I put her in the crib sleep and without a fight and against the rules. She woke around 4 as usual. She nursed and I put her back. She woke again about 4:45, I rubbed her back, she went back to sleep. She woke again around 5:15, B picked her up but she continued crying. Assuming the Tylenol had worn off I just nursed her back to sleep.
Only two more nights to go! Check back to see who won the sleep training battle!