Parenting “Tips and Tricks”

My Top Tips for Tummy Time

aiming for august lorena canal

Most babies HATE tummy time or so I hear. Both of my children surprisingly had/have no problem with it. I like to start tummy time as soon as possible to really strengthen my babies’ neck muscles. I also want to motivate their development! In today’s post, I want to share a few pieces of advice that helped us make tummy time a fun time. I also want to share some details about the new rug that helps make our time more comfortable!

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Let’s Talk About Sleep, Baby (Part 1)

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Baby 1:

  • Started life by being nursed to sleep
  • Continued to be nursed to sleep throughout infancy (my bad)
  • Needed to be motivated (rocked, swung, bounced) until she was even sleepy
  • Had non-diagnosed reflux type issues
  • Would ONLY sleep on an incline until she learned to roll over
  • Mama didn’t read ONE BOOK on infant sleep until it was way too late
  • Finally had to cry it out
  • Didn’t officially sleep through the night until 11 months

Baby 2:

  • TBD but I’m definitely not repeating last time!

Sleep is so precious and valuable. After dealing with Baby E’s sleep situation, I told myself I wouldn’t let that happen again (if I could have any control over it). So I’ve made it my goal to give Baby J positive sleep habits and I’m going to share what has helped us so far!

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Postpartum Essentials

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It’s almost been a month since Baby J was born and I’m feeling so much better than I was initially! Surprisingly to me, the healing process has been very different this time around. The first time, I didn’t really feel that I needed anything to take care of myself. I now realize that there are certain postpartum essentials that are absolutely necessary for self-care. In today’s post, I’m going to share some affiliate links of products that made this healing process so smooth!

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What’s in My Bag: Hospital Bag Edition

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“This ain’t my first rodeo!”

No, it really isn’t! I had my first baby less than 2 years ago AND I’ve worked as a postpartum nurse for 3 years.With that being said, I feel a little knowledgeable on what is needed and not needed in the hospital setting. Although I do consider myself to be “experienced” in this particular area of motherhood, I definitely made some mistakes when packing my bag both times. I decided to write this post AFTER I had Baby J to focus on what I brought, what I wish I would have brought, and what I should have left at home! 

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5 Easy Ways to Support a New Mom

5 Easy Ways to Support a New Mom

I am due with baby number 2 any day now! The waiting game is exciting but also a little scary. I know that life is about to change in an innumerable amount of ways but I think I’m ready for it! With Baby E, we were fortunate enough to have family nearby to help us ease into the transition. Between all the women in both of our families, Baby E and I were completely taken care of. The help and support that they delivered contributed to my confidence and success as a new mother. Having any type of help from friends or family is an amazing way to give support to the new mother. Here are the 5 ways that I want to motivate you all to support a new mother!

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Adventures in Avoiding Screen Time: 20 Screen Free Activities for a Toddler

screen free toddler activities

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen-time should be very limited for all children. They believe that children under 2 years of age shouldn’t have ANY screen time unless it’s videochatting. From ages 2 to 5, they say to limit it to one hour of “educational” television per day. Though the rules and regulations have been addressed, I personally find this to be an unrealistic expectation in today’s society.

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All About Baby Led Weaning: Frequently Asked Questions and an Update

Baby Led Weaning

At about 6 months of age, we started “Baby Led Weaning (BLW)” with Baby E. I wrote a post about it but it was unfortunately deleted. I talked a lot about what we were going to do with BLW, why we were doing it, and how it all works. After initiating this method for quite a while, I learned a lot about infant eating habits. I’ve also been asked a few questions by people and I’m going to share all of that with you!

When did we start Baby Led Weaning?

We started when Baby E was 6 months. Most websites and books recommended that we start feeding the baby when she was:

  • able to sit up
  • hold up her head
  • showed interest in food

E was able to do these things confidently around 6 months so we figured it was a good time to start. She also had the craziest interest in food. Like crazy, to the point where taking her out to eat was annoying because she would cry if she wasn’t eating too, haha.

Why we started Baby Led Weaning?

  • Honestly, it was sort of laziness on my part. I figured that I wouldn’t have to spoon feed her all the time and I could eat while she ate. I also read a lot of interesting blogs about the topic.
  • Funny thing, BLW is actually a lot messier than spoon feeding your baby. So being lazy wasn’t an option when I had to pick up tons of pieces of broccoli off of the floor

Did you find Baby Led Weaning helpful for your family?

  • Absolutely.
    Baby E is a PRO with all foods now. She has been exposed to several foods and their different textures. She eats with such confidence. She only has 8 teeth but will take a bite of a burger and chew it with ease.

What were the benefits for Baby E?

  • She became more skillful with her hand-eye coordination. Her pincer grasp is on point. She even uses a spoon and fork now at 14 months. She’s not the most graceful yet but she knows how it works.
  • She is very independent when it comes to eating. I’m so glad that we didn’t feed her with a spoon very often because I know that once we have another baby, she will feed herself confidently.
  • She knows when she’s done eating. She eats and asks for more when she wants more. She also passes us her plate or each piece of food and will say “thank you” or “no” until each piece of food is off of her plate, haha. She’s a ham.
  • She ate what we ate. Y’all I don’t have the energy to make her her own little baby meals… So she ate the foods that we ate (with some exception, that I’ll go into later).
  • After handling her sippy cup for some time, she now knows when to drink water. It’s really cute. She’ll eat too much or something a little spicy and she’ll reach for her sippy cup like she knows that fluids will help!

What is your advice for Baby Led Weaning?

  • First and foremost, always talk to a doctor before doing anything food related. Wait until you get the “okay” from them before starting a new food venture.
  • Always do BLW in the high chair- sitting up, with no recline.
  • Obviously, never leave your child unattended!
  • Don’t put food in their mouths! The whole point in doing this is for them to learn their limits and to explore food at their own pace. If the baby isn’t interested, then don’t stress it. Your baby technically can survive off of formula or breast milk until 1 years old, I’ve heard. “Food before one is just for fun!” Keep that silly little saying in your mind, haha.
  • Have an emergency plan, just in case. This includes knowing what to do if your baby is choking or if your baby is having an allergic or anaphylactic reaction.

What type of foods do you feed your baby?

  • Soft foods that are easy for someone with almost no coordination or muscle control to grasp
  • If you are able to squish the food between the roof of your mouth and your tongue, then that’s a good sign
  • We basically followed the typical order of foods to give your baby (with the exception of the time my husband gave her eggs, strawberries, and peanut butter all in the same day… I died a little inside when he told me about this, of course. Thankfully, she was okay and had no reactions to any food (so far).
  • Puffs. I’ve actually eaten some of them and my favorite brand is the Happy Baby brand. (Not sponsored, haha. I just really like them)
  • Teethers. Again, Happy Family brand.
  • Pouches! She learned to hold them herself and drink them so that was cool.
  • Her favorite foods in the beginning were: sweet potato, avocado, bananas, zucchini, 2 ingredient pancakes!
  • For recipes: I just typed in “Baby Led Weaning” on Pinterest to learn new things.
  • She now loves green beans, sausage, blueberries, grapes (makes sure you cut them, the’re a choking hazard), turkey sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,

Where are you now with feeding Baby E?

  • She loves to eat.
  • She eats everything (except for milk so far because it was possibly a trigger for her eczema).
  • She snacks and roams which isn’t the best situation in the world but she’s happy and thriving so I’m not mad at it.
  • She’s using utensils frequently and barely making an accidental mess (she intentionally throws her food when she’s done eating though… we need to work on that).
  • She likes to dip her food, which is hilarious.
  • We sometimes eat breakfast on the couch and snuggle and it’s my favorite!

Baby Led Weaning is a really cool, interesting, and sort of fun way to introduce foods to your little one. Although some people prefer doing the purees, it is fun to attempt BLW to see how your infant likes it. We definitely did a lot of purees but ultimately knew that we wanted to strengthen her skills in eating. Overall, it’s been great for our family and I highly recommend everyone try it with their baby!

– Erica

baby led weaning aiming for august