Simply Being A Mama

Curated Nursery + Kids Decor

Posted by in Snuggle Me Reviews

 

@Snuggle_Me_Organic was created in 2006/2007 by Mia Carr and her mother-in-law when she was busy caring for her newborn twins and her very active toddler. Mia needed extra help and couldn't find anything on the market that worked for her, so she decided to create it herself. . "The idea was to craft a comforting, portable nest for baby that could be easily moved around the house, would make baby feel as if they were still being held, and could also be used for co-sleeping at night." . In the short span of just 18 months, @Snuggle_Me_Organic has grown by 1328%. "Our goal is to make an organic quality product that parents feel confident using with their little ones, along with being part of the support network mamas need during the 4th trimester. We pride ourselves on giving parents the tools they need to make constructive, informed decisions, including encouraging them to trust their instincts." . This beautiful infant lounger is handcrafted by mamas in Minnesota who know and understand co-sleeping and the need for a little extra help at times. . "We believe in using organic, USA-made materials, supporting moms and babies during the 4th trimester, providing a living wage for everyone on our team, and lending a helping hand for families in need of rest." . Follow their feed at @Snuggle_Me_Organic to see the versatility of this co-sleeping infant lounger (and a whole lotta' adorable baby spam!) . . . [📷: @ecobambino] #snugglemeorganic#cosleeping#cosleepingmama#organicbaby#cosleeper#babybedding#attachmentparenting#madeintheUSA

A photo posted by Curated Nursery + Kids Decor (@nestlingcollective) on

Review of Vancouver’s Executive Hotel Vintage Park – Marcie in Mommyland

Posted by in Snuggle Me Reviews

My husband and I brought our toddler and baby to the Executive Hotel Vintage Park in Vancouver, BC for a weekend getaway. We got a good deal on the rate so we thought we’d check out this hotel. Read my post for our full review.

“Our Snuggle Me was a “must-have” for our hotel stay in Vancouver, BC.” Marcie in Mommyland Check out her review of Vancouver’s Executive Hotel Vintage Park. <3 http://www.marcieinmommyland.com/…/review-of-vancouvers-exe…

 

Source: Review of Vancouver’s Executive Hotel Vintage Park – Marcie in Mommyland

Mamawild Instagram Giveaway

Posted by in Giveaways

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BN5VanPjzHM/?taken-by=karliezaugg

“..GIVEAWAY!!!

We love this bed so much that we have teamed up with Snuggle Me Organic to GIVE-AWAY a Snuggle Me Organic Co-Sleeping Bed to ONE of our followers!

TO ENTER: go to Instagram –follow me, Morganne and Snuggle Me Organic– and like the giveaway posts!

For an EXTRA ENTRY comment on this post telling us which organic products you and your baby would like to try. 

GIVEAWAY WILL START SUNDAY DECEMBER 11th AT 5:00pm MST AND WILL END TUESDAY DECEMBER 13th AT 5:00pm MST. WINNER WILL BE RANDOMLY SELECTED AND ANNOUNCED WITHIN 24 HOURS. GOOD LUCK!..”

Read More At: MamaWild

Giveaway  from the Exclusively Pumping Mom

Posted by in Giveaways

Newborn Sleep Tricks: Snuggle and Swaddle

Posted by in Snuggle Me Reviews

 

“..The best part about the design is that it stops Felix from doing that annoying startle thing that newborns do where you lay them down peacefully and then they fling their arms out all of a sudden, wake themselves up, and glare at you accusingly. He can still move and stretch against the sides but he can’t fling his arms around so easily…”

Read More: Ever Clever Mom; Newborn Sleep Tricks Snuggle and Swaddle.

Rooting Cues

Posted by in Responsive Parenting

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT REALIZATIONS I learned as a new mama was that I wouldn’t automatically know my own baby’s rooting cues for nursing. I’m not talking about crying – nope – that’s way past the time of subtle cues. I’m talking about the almost undetected-to-the-naked-eye rooting cues.

I mistakenly thought, along with a million other things, that understanding his cues were hardwired into mama-hood. Not so fellow mamas, at least not for me. For me the biggest rooting cues that I needed to recognize were the ones which were the most subtle. Where, unless you’re one of the primary caregivers to baby, or have been there with your own little, are so slight they’re easy to miss or pass off as something else. Here’s what I learned from my son;


 

Subtle Rooting Cues to Look For
  • Closed lidded eye movement
  • Eyelids fluttering
  • Head slightly turning to the side
  • Hands coming toward face
  • Mouth movement

 


What I’m about to say sounds insane to me now, but, at the time I was skeptical these things were even cues. I mean seriously, they could be about anything, or they could be absolutely nothing, right? As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the reason I dismissed these cues in the first place was because everyone around me dismissed them too, especially when they were holding the baby. It was almost like they didn’t want to give him up, which is sweet, but not what he needed. I suppose you could say learning his nursing cues was the spring board from which I began my training on how best to advocate for my son and his needs, as well as for me and my needs.

rooting cues

Comfort nursing is as serious and important as nursing to feel full. People would get seriously bent out of shape if I engaged them when I noticed his rooting cues. It was a good lesson to learn early on because I promise you Mama, after 14 years of kids, learning to advocate for your child is a skill that needs to be put in place early, practiced often, and engaged in during times that will be way more uncomfortable than when you have to take baby from ‘great-grandma in-law’ to comfort nurse.

Nursing is not just about a full belly. Nursing is also about connection and feeling safe. It’s about baby checking in with you, his only source of protection that he knows.

I found breastfeeding to be so much more enjoyable, relaxing, and productive when I attended to my son’s needs early on. For us, waiting until he became fussy, or worse, crying, just led us down a frustrating and never ending rabbit hole. I had to learn quite a few skills along the way but it was worth it then and it’s worth it now.

For more information on nursing cues, check out La Leche International & KellyMom – two of my most favorite resources for understanding breastfeeding and so much more.


 

Learning to Parent – 3 Steps

Posted by in Newborn Sleep

Many things can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time. His blood is being formed, his bones are being made, his mind is being developed. To him, we cannot say tomorrow. His name is today.” -Gabriela Mistral

___

Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, what’s more is that every baby is unique. That’s the difficult part of being a parent. There truly isn’t a raising-kids-manual, a how-to, a one-size-fits-all solution, and if there were, it wouldn’t be anything you’d find at your local bookstore, or online for download. That’s because the only so called “manual” worth anything is one you already possess. We like to call it Mama Intuition. Gut instincts. Your best judgement.

So, what does the parental learning curve look like? Learning to parent – 3 steps;

Step 1:
TRUST YOURSELF Be proud of your parenting. Be proud of the loving connection you share with your child.

Learning to Parent 3 steps

Trusting yourself means that no matter who gives you their opinion, or offers their advice, regardless of whether you asked for help or not or if it’s from a book or an ‘expert’, your mom, grandma, or your mother-in-law, if what they’re telling you doesn’t feel good to your heart, DO NOT do it.

Feel free to seek out thoughts and opinions, because let’s face it, parenting is seriously the most challenging experience on the planet and as a result we ALL need support, help, sounding boards, opinions, and advice. However, and again, if what you’re being told doesn’t feel good to your heart, DO NOT do it. Learn to take what you need and discard the rest. Smile, say thank you and move on.

Tracy Cassels from Evolutionary Parenting sums it up perfectly when she says “When you pick up a book by a baby “expert”telling you that their wonderful method will get you all the sleep you desire while having a happy baby, be skeptical. Look through and see how flexible the plan is. If you see schedules and things for you to time, put the book down and walk away. If you’re in need of help, look for the books that speak about child temperament, that acknowledge the uniqueness of all babies, and that offer flexibility in their approach (such as those suggested in the gentle sleep solutions links). Your baby wasn’t made with a cookie cutter and any advice you take shouldn’t assume as much.”¹

Step 2:

BE MINDFUL WHO YOU ALLOW INTO YOUR INNER CIRCLE – This is generally just a good life plan.

There are people who fill us up, who are supportive, and who are a positive, calming energy in our lives. Then there are people who are addicted to drama. Who feed on negativity, doubt, disconnection and fear. Stay away from those people, especially during your 4th trimester when you’ll be extremely sensitive and will need as many soft landing places as you can get while you adjust to motherhood.

Learning to Parent 3 steps

Postpartum can be euphoric. It be hell. It can be everything in-between. One thing though is certain, and that is that going through the 4th trimester, and tending to a newborn specifically, is like climbing Mt. Everest and then running the Boston Marathon (both mentally & physically) every.single.day.

Your main focus needs be healing from birth, getting to know your new little one, adjusting to nursing, new sleep patterns, and moving forward with your partner in your new journey of raising a family. Anyone who adds to that is IN, anyone who distracts from that is OUT. It can be temporary. It can be announced. It can be permanent. It can ebb and flow as you need it to. Put your needs, and your newborn’s needs first, protecting yourselves from the distractors.

Step 3:

PAY ATTENTION TO BABY’S CUES  It may feel all consuming, but the reality is that your baby wants very little.

1. YOU & SAFETY

2. YOU & FOOD

3. YOU & SLEEP

4. YOU & A DRY DIAPER

Remember the trick you learned during the TRUST YOURSELF section? “If it doesn’t feel good to your heart, DO NOT do it. Learn to take what you need and discard the rest. Smile, say thank you and move on”. Same principal applies here. If great-grandma is holding baby and you notice him starting to root, or fidget, or flutter those sweet eyelashes, and you know that means he’s cueing to nurse, go ahead and take care of your baby. Sure, it goes without saying that you might need to practice your “Learn to take what you need and discard the rest. Smile, say thank you and move on” moves, but that’s ok. One of our jobs during our life’s journey is to grow as a person. This is one of those opportunities.

Also, it’s important to say at this point, because it’s part of the same circle, humans do not sleep through the night. Let’s sit with that for a minute. … … … I’ll say it again because it’s that important. Humans do not sleep through the night. Adults don’t. Teenagers definitely don’t. Kids don’t. Babies, especially newborns most certainly do not. As a matter of fact, did you know that the term “sleep through the night” actually only means sleeping for a few hours at a time. It absolutely does not mean anything longer than a 5 hour stretch² which would actually be just about unheard of in the baby world of breastfed newborns. Also, another fact to consider when judging your child’s sleeping ability, is that as a mom you actually WANT your newborn to wake during the night, it’s how they’re biologically wired. It’s part of our evolutionary adaptation. It’s in our DNA. It could be a protection against SIDS.³ We aren’t going to change it, and quite honestly, I don’t think we should.


According to Dr James McKenna, & Dr. Sarah Mosko, “{after}
studying the physiological effects of mothers and infants sleeping apart and together (same bed) over consecutive nights in a sleep lab, our two pilot studies conducted at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, showed that the sleep, breathing, and arousal patterns of co-sleeping mothers and infants are entwined in potentially important ways. Solitary sleeping infants have a very different experience than social sleeping infants – although we do not know yet what our data mean. Funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, this research will help us to evaluate the idea that infant-parent co-sleeping may change the physiological status of the infant in ways that, theoretically, could help some (but not all) SIDS-prone infants resist a SIDS event (McKenna 1986; McKenna et al. 1991; McKenna et al., in press). One of the suspected deficits involved in some SIDS deaths is the apparent inability of the infant to arouse to reinitiate breathing during a prolonged breathing pause. Our preliminary studies show that mothers induce small transient arousals in their co-sleeping infants at times in their sleep when, had the infant been sleeping alone, arousal might not have occurred. We have suggested that perhaps co-sleeping provides the infant with practice in arousing.”4


For all of us, having a baby is life changing. It expands our horizons and challenges our ideas. We find ourselves, almost by default, being thrust into uncomfortable situations on a regular basis. But – as luck would have it – it’s exactly what we need, when we need it. Trust your intuition Mama. Believe in your abilities. Seek out support, sounding boards, and help from people who you trust to fill you up and respect your choices. Listen to what your baby is telling you for they will be your best teacher.

Learning to Parent 3 steps

___

In closing, I’ll leave you with these gentle words of wisdom and guidance;

“When people ask me what to do, I tell them to just give the child all the love that they can. Don’t worry so much about anything else. ~ Ashley Montagu”


References:

1. Evolutionary Parenting | Tracy Cassels | The Problem With The One Size All Fits Solution

2. Parent Infant Sleep Lab | Dr. Helen Ball | https://www.dur.ac.uk/sleep.lab/

3. NeuroAnthropology | Why Human Babies Do Not & Should Not Sleep Alone | Dr. James McKenna and Edmund Joyce C.S.C


4. La Leche League | Rethinking Healthy Infant Sleep | Dr. James McKenna

 

12 Days of Brands We Love

Posted by in Gift Guides, Snuggle Me Reviews

Helping Baby Get To Sleep

Posted by in Newborn Sleep, Responsive Parenting

 Aha Parenting | By Dr. Laura Markham

MOST NEW PARENTS ARE SHOCKED by the constant interruption of their sleep that a newborn brings to the house. But there are ways to be there when your baby needs you, and still get some rest.

newborn sleeping

There are basically three schools of thought on this issue.

The first, made popular by the book authored by pediatrician Richard Ferber, advocates teaching babies over the age of three months to sleep through the night in their own cribs, by letting them “cry it out” for increasingly longer periods of time. While most babies eventually give up and fall asleep, the process is often traumatic for parents (and we can assume for the baby), and frequently needs to be repeated following any disruption in routine. Critics point out that Ferber has no psychology training and question whether letting babies cry it out has permanent, harmful effects. (more on Ferber)

The second school of thought, practiced by advocates of the Family Bed, says that infants are hard-wired to sleep with their mothers, and nurse at night, for many months, probably until toddlerhood. They point out that babies who sleep with their mothers are less likely to die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and that the mothers get much more sleep. My personal experience is that the family bed was heavenly. Critics of this method express concern that parents might inadvertently roll on their babies in the night, and point out that babies who sleep with their mothers and nurse on demand take much longer to sleep through the night. They also wonder why any self-respecting toddler who is accustomed to sleeping with his parents will give that up for a new, lonely, “big-boy-bed.” Dr. James McKenna is one of my favorite resources on safe cosleeping.

The third school, perhaps best represented by No Cry Sleep Solution author Elizabeth Pantley, understands that parents may desperately need some sleep and agrees with Ferber that babies need to learn to fall back asleep on their own, but argues that this can be accomplished without the trauma of letting babies cry it out. (More on Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution.)

Fair disclosure:

I attempted Ferbering once when my son was nine months old and failed, having given him an ear infection from crying (and having nearly given myself a nervous breakdown.) After that, we went back to the family bed, which we all loved. However, once nursing my toddlers no longer helped them fall back asleep for long, I found myself walking the floor with them and spending many long hours in the middle of the night helping them to fall back to sleep. After substantial research, and working with many parents, I’ve come to the conclusion that many little ones who are helped to sleep by parents (nursing or rocking), simply can’t put themselves back to sleep when they re-awaken during the night. If they’re nursing, they may well awaken to nurse, but then will need to nurse again every time they re-awaken a little at night. Eventually, if they don’t figure out how to fall back asleep on their own when they awaken at night, they will need our loving help to learn how to fall asleep without rocking or nursing.

Is this a problem? Not necessarily. Some moms are able to nurse at night as long as their child wants. However, I often speak with moms who are ready to stop night-nursing their toddler, but find the prospect of night-weaning upsetting.

Does that mean we should always put babies down awake so they can learn to put themselves to sleep when tiny, so they won’t develop bad habits? Since almost all newborns fall asleep at the breast (or bottle), that would be impossible. It is completely appropriate to nurse babies to sleep. Nursing to sleep is no more a “bad habit” than peeing in a diaper. As they get older, the time will come when they can easily learn to fall asleep themselves, just as they will eventually give up diapers.

Does that mean that a time will come when to teach our baby or toddler to fall asleep, we can leave him to cry? Never, in my view, if you want an emotionally healthy child.

But then how do kids learn to fall asleep on their own, without nursing back to sleep? They learn in the safe comfort of your arms, once they’re old enough. For more on teaching your child to learn to fall asleep without nursing or rocking, click here.

Sleep is, of course, a very personal decision. I believe that;

There is a sleep solution that fits every unique family, from co-sleeping to baby bunks that attach to the parents’ bed, to baby hammocks, to cribs.

Of course you want your children to know from the earliest age that they can always ask for and get help. That said, we all need sleep to function and be good parents. My recommendations are biased in favor of keeping your baby close so you can get more sleep. But this is a very individual choice. Read as much as you can, and then lose the guilt. Do what works for you and your baby.

How can you get some sleep, when your baby’s still waking up to nurse?
1. Sleep whenever and wherever you can.

Keep your baby near you while he’s still nursing at night, so you don’t have to get out of bed. Breastmilk is designed to be given every few hours. It simply cannot hold a baby for much longer. Rats, on the other hand, give their baby food much higher in fat, so that the mother rat can leave the babies for eight hours while she’s off foraging. Baby humans could not survive predators if they were left for long periods, so nature has designed them to require their mother’s presence fairly constantly. That means your baby needs to be nursed at night, for a minimum of six months and probably until she is a year old.

2. Afraid of rolling over on your baby?

Unlikely, since mothers are designed not to (unless her natural warning system has been interfered with by drugs or alcohol). There is actually evidence that babies who sleep with their mothers are less likely to die of SIDS because the co-sleeping babies’ sleep cycles are in sync with their moms’, and her presence stimulates him not to fall into such a deep sleep. There are experts who say that a father could suffocate a very young baby, especially if he’s had a drink before bed, so most safe co-sleeping checklists say to position the baby between mom and the wall rather than between the parents. However, the fathers I hear from tell me they’re very conscious of their baby, even while asleep. We know that Dads do have a hormonal response to becoming fathers, which includes a natural protectiveness toward the baby, so Paternal Instinct is as real as Maternal Instinct. I personally think that any Dad will be a better father if we honor his paternal instinct and give him the opportunity to sleep snuggled with his baby, but that’s an individual decision. In any case, make sure you set up your bed for safe cosleeping, don’t start without reading this detailed checklist for safe co-sleeping.

3. If you don’t feel comfortable with your baby in bed with you, try a “Moses basket,” cradle or baby bunk within arm’s reach.

Some moms are such light sleepers that they just can’t get any sleep at all if the baby is in their bed. There are wonderful baby bunks that can be anchored to your bed, at the same level, and opened so that the baby has his own space but you can roll him into your bed with you to nurse.

4. Learn to nurse lying down so you can sleep while he feeds.

It may take a week, while you get the hang of nursing, but learn to nurse lying down, so you can doze, and you’ll feel much more rested. Just wedge pillows behind you and between your knees for support, and put a folded blanket under Baby if necessary to raise him to the level of your breast so neither of you is straining to reach. He should be on his side, facing you.

5. Help your baby set her metabolic clock.

She doesn’t know it’s night and she should sleep. She’ll learn, eventually, but you can help your little night-owl adjust faster to the world outside your womb by making sure she doesn’t sleep all day. Take her out in the sun. Go for walks. Let her feast her eyes and ears on the wonders of the world. All humans really do sleep better at night when they’ve been exposed to fresh air and sunshine during the day. Also,you should know that babies who sleep with their moms end up synchronizing their REM sleep cycles, which means she’s more likely to treat night as sleep time and day as waking time. And of course, keep things dark and quiet at night. Nurse her when she wakes, and change her if you must (not all babies are sensitive enough to require changes at night), but don’t make it into playtime.

6. Take a long maternity leave, so you can nap when your baby naps during the day.

This is the golden rule. Forget the shower, who cares? Go for the nap.

6. If your partner can take the baby in the morning to let you sleep in for an hour, it can make all the difference in the world.

Don’t feel guilty about it. Eight hours of sleep with interruptions to feed your baby is not the same as the eight hours you used to get. You need lots more now.

7. Go to bed early.

When you were pregnant you did it. Don’t feel bad about it, this is not the time to resume an active evening life. You have the rest of your life to stay up late.


Dr. Laura MarkhamDr. Laura Markham, founder of AhaParenting.com and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

Asking for Help Doesn’t Make You Less of a Parent – Well Rounded NY

Posted by in 4th Trimester Support for Mama & Baby

 

A mom of twins explains why she said yes to every offer.

“..The longer my not saying “yes” went on, the more miserable I became. I finally realized that I couldn’t keep up at the pace at which I was going. I was tired, unhappy and not enjoying being a mom. Time to make a change, though it was not going to be easy.

I first had to realize that accepting help was ok and that it didn’t make me any less of a parent. I wasn’t failing as a mom, I had infant twins. How could I not have needed help?

I started pushing myself to say “yes:” “yes” to other people feeding the babies; “yes” to someone watching them when I showered, “yes” to babysitting them when I needed to run an errand. The more I said “yes,” the better I started to feel and the more I enjoyed being with my twin babies. I no longer saw accepting help as a weakness. It was now something that was only positive and very much needed…”

Read More At: Asking for Help Doesn’t Make You Less of a Parent – Well Rounded NY

2016 Baby Holiday Gift Guide

Posted by in Gift Guides

“..Snuggle Me Organic: Handcrafted in Minnesota using only USA based materials, Snuggle Me Organic Co-Sleeping Bed Infant Lounger is the gold standard for healthy co-sleeping infant lounging systems. It uses exclusive patented center-sling technology giving baby a safe personal space and ensures baby remains securely in a back-to-sleep position. There are three version to choose from; Snuggle Me Organic – organic cotton fabric with a hypoallergenic poly fill. Snuggle Me Pure – organic cotton fabric with raw organic cotton fill. Snuggle Me Wool – organic cotton & merino wool fabric with organic virgin lamb’s wool fill. Versatile & portable, it’s perfect for tummy time, travel, infant massage, and baby/mama yoga. Woman owned – Family Run…”

Source: 2016 Baby Holiday Gift Guide

Benefits of Using Organic Wool in Your Baby’s Sleep Environment

Posted by in A Natural Lifestyle, Ideas for an Organic Life

Benefits of Using Organic Wool in Your Baby’s Sleep Environment

When deciding which materials to use for your baby, there is nothing that can compare to organic wool.  It has everything you would want for your baby.  It is the ultimate in organic baby care!

How traditional (non-organic) wool is processed:

In traditional wool production, after the sheep have been shorn, the wool is washed with chemicals to remove dirt and grease and to also sanitize the wool.  It is then dipped in a chlorine bath, where the wool absorbs about 1.5% of the chlorine.  It then may be treated for bugs by adding even more chemicals, some of which can cause neurotoxic effects in humans.  It does not stop there because the wool then is turned into yarn and a variety of synthetic dyes are used in that process.

How organic wool is processed:

The production of organic wool begins with the sheep.  In order for wool to be certified organic, the sheep must not be given synthetic hormones, must not be dipped in chemicals (before or after the processing of the wool) and must be fed an organic (grazing) diet.

When making wool into fabrics, organic wool is minimally processed and does not use toxic dyes or toxic chemicals.  The fibers are also weaved using environmentally responsible practices.

Organic wool production is much simpler and safer.  The wool fiber Simply Mommy uses to fill their Snuggle Me Wool is shorn, washed in a mild detergent and sent to the distributor with zero added detergents, chemicals or toxins.  This minimal processing allows the beneficial attributes of wool to shine.

snuggle me organic

Snuggle Me Wool co-sleeping beds & infant loungers for babies; hand-filled with organic virgin lamb’s wool, shorn humanely in the USA.  Comes with removable Merino wool cover, handmade in Minnesota.  Comes packaged in our reusable muslin travel bag.  Perfect for co sleeping, tummy time, play, travel and more.

So what are the benefits of organic wool?

  • Naturally regulates body temperature.  

Sheep have evolved over millions of years and their wool has adapted to ensure the sheep stay cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather.

  • Wicks away moisture.

Sheep wool has adapted to keep the animal not only a perfect temperature, but also to keep the animal dry.  Wool wicks away moisture which is perfect for keeping human skin dry.

  • Naturally fire resistant.  

Wool will not burn, but will only smolder.  It will also not melt or stick to the skin.  This makes it an ideal choice of material to have around babies and children.  It also means that no fire retardants need to be used in organic wool fabrics or fibers.

  • Does not create static.

Wool does not create static like other fibers will, so it does not attract dust or other allergens.  This means that it is a perfect material for people who are affected by allergies.

  • Environmentally safe.

Because organic wool is a natural fiber, it is biodegradable, making it gentle on the earth.

  • Incredibly comfortable. 

Merino wool, in particular, is incredibly comfortable against the skin, making the perfect material for baby clothes, blankets and other bedding. Simply Mommy uses an organic Merino wool fabric for their Snuggle Me Wool co-sleeping bed for babies.

snuggle me organic cosleeping beds and infant loungers for babies

Your Snuggle Me Organic Questions Answered

Posted by in Product Spotlight

Your Snuggle Me Organic Questions Answered

Up to what age, or size, can babies use this product? Is it intended only for newborns?

The Snuggle Me is intended for babies 0-6 months of age. When they are small, their whole body will fit into the center sling area of the cushion. As they grow, their legs will drape over the bottom edge, which is actually great for circulation. Babies even past the 6 month mark can use the cushion, but we have found that on average, parents stop using them around the 6 month growth cycle.
 

Can baby roll out of the Snuggle Me Organic?

Baby cannot roll out of the snuggle me organic until they are well practiced at crawling at which point they will be naturally transitioning out of their Snuggle Me. Our patented center sling, as well as the length, depth, and shape of the Snuggle Me was designed to create a safe sleeping environment that supports and snuggles them. All of these factors keep baby in the safer supine position, with a neutral spine, making it highly unlikely they will be able to roll out of the pod.

How breathable is the Snuggle Me Organic?

The cushion is breathable using only the best materials from the USA. It’s unique design will also prevent a baby from rolling or turning into the cushion’s sides. The center sling of the Snuggle Me Organic gently comes in around baby’s body, forming a hammock. This makes it very difficult for baby to roll or turn against their own weight while in the cushion. This is a function that we have patented, making it completely unique to our product. A few other key points; when baby is laid in the center of the cushion, their entire profile can be seen from the side since the cushion is only a few inches deep. Also, their shoulders will naturally pull the sides of the cushion away from their face.

My daughter is 7 weeks old and almost 24” long, will she be able to use this for awhile still? Or is she just too long?Snuggle Me Organic Position/Age Guide

Snuggle Me Organic is designed to fit baby’s head and torso with their legs draped over the bottom end. As a 7 week old, they should still be able to fit for quite some time. A baby has truly outgrown the cushion when their bottom comes up against the furthest inside edge of the cushion, not when their legs drape over the baffle – this is an intentional design choice specifically engineered for comfort and safety. Having this ensures that baby stays safely positioned on their back as it prevents them from rolling or turning within the cushion. Some people misunderstand this concept and so incorrectly believe their little one has out grown their nest sooner than they actually have. Typically, babies will truly have outgrown their Snuggle Me somewhere between 5 & 6 months, depending on baby’s size, disposition, and growth cycle.

 

What are the dimensions of the Snuggle Me?

The dimensions are 26 x 17 x 4. The inside sling is approx. 19 x 8. It is meant to fit baby’s torso, so to see if they fit, measure from the top of their head to their bottom. Their legs will drape over the bottom edge which is a great safety feature since it will naturally keep them on their back and will also help them feel as if they are resting in a set of arms.

How is this different from the Boppy Pillow Lounger

Snuggle Me Organic

Snuggle Me Organic

Boppy Pillow

Boppy Pillow

 

The Boppy is a nursing pillow designed to fit the space between a mom’s lap and her breast and was not designed to hold a baby for lounging or sleep. For this reason, it is not ideal to hold a baby for lounging, sleep or for tummy time. The angles can be too steep for them, making it uncomfortable, and also putting strain on their back. They are also able to slide down when used this way.

The Snuggle Me is designed with a center sling, made to ensure baby stay safely on the back the way doctor’s recommend for safe sleep. Our product is used and recommended by chiropractors because it allows a gentle angle for tummy time, it does not have a that same sharp incline that the Boppy does. Our long, un-padded center allows baby to lay flat and would not contort their back or airway the way a boppy would if used in the same way.

 

How is this different from the Dock-A-Tot?

Snuggle Me Organic with Standard Cover

Snuggle Me Organic with Cover

 

 

DockATot

DockATot

 

The differences between us and Dock-A-Tot are many. We are the original co-sleeping bed for babies. Our exclusive patented center-sling & our unique closed bottom keep baby in the safer supine (back to sleep) position, this also ensures your baby stays securely in their safe sleep space. Another difference is we use soft organic cotton fleece fabric for our covers & you also have options for the filling of your choice; hypoallergenic & ethylene glycol free poly, raw organic cotton, or organic virgin lamb’s wool. We proudly create all of our products in the Midwest. We are a locally run Minnesota business using only materials from the USA. You can read about all the distinctions here; The Original, The Best Co-sleeping Bed for Babies; Snuggle Me Organic

Is this too soft for SIDS prevention?

Some day we will hopefully know, and understand, the inner workings of SIDS, however, presently preventing SIDS isn’t possible, we can only work to lessen the risk. When co-sleeping always follow the safe co-sleeping standards put forth by renowned sleep expert Dr. James McKenna. Always place baby to sleep in the safer supine position. As far as your question regarding the firmness of the Snuggle Me Organic.. the baffles are filled to a firm-to-the-touch density, the materials used are breathable and are free from off-gassing toxins, including ethylene glycol & flame retardants. The patented center-sling technology allows baby to be supported & snuggled, with her face at a safe distance from the sides and with her head rising just above the baffles themselves, creating the safest co-sleeping bed for your little one.

How do I use the Snuggle Me Organic? How do I position my baby in it?


The Snuggle Me Organic is versatile and portable and so can be easily adapted to your needs, and the needs of your baby. It’s used for co-sleeping, tummy time, infant lounging, a changing station, travel, & much more. Move it around your home as a safe space for baby to rest or play while you prepare dinner, play with your older children, or take a quick shower. Bring it with you when you are on holiday so baby has a familiar and safe space to sleep and lounge. Light weight enough for grandma and grandpa to move into their space while babysitting instead of leaving baby in a room apart from them. Great for tummy time, and as a gentle but effective barrier when co-sleeping, and sharing space with others. Positioning is simple and easy, read more about how to position your growing baby in their Snuggle Me here; Snuggle Me Organic Position Guide

MommyCon DC, Mindful Healthy Life, & Snuggle Me Organic

Posted by in Snuggle Me Reviews

MommyCon DC, Mindful Healthy Life, & Snuggle Me Organic

snuggle me organic

Snuggle Me Organic at MommyCon DC

Mindful Healthy Life was thrilled to be a part of MommyCon DC 2016 at the DC Convention Center on July 23. With more than a thousand attendees and more than 50 awesome exhibitors, it was an amazing and inspiring day full of workshops, discussions and terrific shopping with brands and businesses moms can feel great about!

It was also a treat to walk away with a giveaway item that we fell in love with. The cozy Snuggle Me Organic premium infant lounging and bed sharing cushion has to be just about the comfiest thing ever invented!  I’m so jealous it wasn’t around when my kids were babies! We are so excited to be able to a giveaway for it coming soon!

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Mindful Healthy Life was founded by writer Jessica Claire Haney.

 

Sept 2014 headshot navy w glassesJessica Claire Haney is a mother of two, a leader of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network, and a volunteer at her children’s school for its Outdoor Classroom and on wellness issues in the school and the wider school district. She was an advisory board member of 2014 DC Birth and Babies Fair. A writer working on her first novel, she blogs at TheDCMoms.com and on her personal blog, Crunchy-Chewy Mama: Living naturally, most of the time.

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Snuggle Time with Project Motherhood

Posted by in Snuggle Me Reviews

Snuggle Time with Project Motherhood

This little girl of ours has a serious case of FOMO every single day and is such a social little baby, so as we travel from room to room throughout the day, she wants to be where we are. A great way to have her always join us – sleeping or awake – is in our Snuggle Me Organic. Whether you are a co-sleeping family or not, it really doesn’t matter – this is a must-have piece of baby gear that you will start to use and enjoy as soon as your little bundle comes home from the hospital. – Allison, Project Motherhood

Read More..

http://projectmotherhoodnyc.com/snuggle-me-organic/

 


Meet Allison from Project Motherhood

http://projectmotherhoodnyc.com/snuggle-me-organic/“Project Motherhood is a lifestyle blog focusing on fashion, kid style, motherhood, and New York City living! The Goal of Project Motherhood: to be the best possible mother, while maintaining a personal sense of style, grace and dignity.”  – Allison

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Reasons to use organic cotton for your newborn

Posted by in A Natural Lifestyle, Ideas for an Organic Life

Why use organic cotton for your newborn?  

When you buy organic cotton, you are buying the cotton in a form that has not been touched with toxic chemicals during the growth or manufacturing process. In the normal cotton growing process, pesticides and poisonous fertilizers are used, which is not only harmful to the soil, but to the farmers who grow it, the workers who pick it and to the end consumer. Infants and children are at a greater risk to the effects of pesticide and synthetic chemical exposure.  Pesticide and synthetic chemical exposure has been linked to developmental issues in babies and toddlers and a wide range of other negative effects. In non-organic cotton, these chemicals will actually stay and be present in the finished cotton fabric.  These chemicals and pesticides are then transferred to your baby through the respiratory system and also through the skin, which is the largest and most absorbent organ in the body.  

organic cotton, snuggle me organic, cosleeping beds There are also studies being conducted on the link between synthetic materials in crib mattresses and SIDS deaths in the UK as I write this.  

On the other hand, when you purchase organic cotton products, none of these chemicals are used and natural methods of repelling pests and nourishing the plants are used instead.  Choosing organic cotton not only protects your own family, but also the farmer’s and the field workers and the ground it’s grown on.

Why use organic cotton for your baby?  Using organic cotton keeps baby’s environment safe and non-toxic during their most crucial developmental years. Organic cotton is a fantastic material to have around your baby!  Organic cotton is comfortable, warm, breathable and very rarely the cause of allergies.  It also protects your baby against all of the harmful effects of synthetic materials or chemically treated cotton. It is biodegradable and when used in it’s raw form, it is also compostable. To limit baby’s exposure to these harmful chemicals, make sure that your baby’s clothing, bedding, play/sleep surfaces, and also skin care products are organic. Organic cotton makes a fantastic material for these items.  

Using organic cotton with your baby is safe and creates a healthy environment for baby!  Choose wisely!

The Brilliance of the Center-Sling; Co-Sleeping at its Best.

Posted by in Product Spotlight

Snuggle Me Organic stands above all others in safety, quality, and design. Co-sleeping at its best, we bring you the brilliance of our center-sling design.


Engineered to cradle baby’s torso with her legs gently draping over the edge, our co-sleeping bed allows for a neutral, and comfortable spine while reinventing a womb-like environment. Additionally, baby cannot roll out of the Snuggle Me Organic until they are well practiced at crawling at which point they will be naturally transitioning out of their Snuggle Me.
Our patented center-sling, as well as the length, depth, and shape of the Snuggle Me, was designed to create a supportive sleeping environment.
brilliance of the center-sling, co-sleeping at its best. Furthermore, Snuggle Me Organic is breathable using only the best materials from the USA. It’s unique design will also prevent a baby from rolling or turning into the cushion’s sides. The center-sling of the Snuggle Me Organic gently comes in around baby’s body, forming a hammock. This ensures baby won’t roll or turn against their own weight while in the cushion. The center-sling is unique to Snuggle Me Organic.
A few other key points; when baby is laid in the center of the cushion, their entire profile can be seen from the side since the cushion is only a few inches deep. Also, their shoulders will naturally pull the sides of the cushion away from their face.
brilliance of the center-sling, co-sleeping at its best
The center-sling was created just wide enough so that baby’s shoulders rest inside this area which means that while the sling is releasing slightly, it is also holding baby up so their face is segregated from the edges of the baffles. Because of the way we’ve designed the Snuggle Me co-sleeping bed for babies, baby fits securely, laying in the safer supine position. There is no room for baby to roll over, or scoot down getting themselves in an unsafe position.
Another uniqueness to Snuggle Me is that we purposefully omitted creating it with any padding under the center-sling so that when it’s is placed in the family bed, or on the floor, it takes on the firmness of the surface it rests upon. Our un-padded bottom is the final piece to the safety of the Snuggle Me co-sleeping bed for babies.
brilliance of the center-sling, co-sleeping at its bestSnuggle Me Organic is designed to fit baby’s head and torso with their legs draped over the bottom end.  A baby has truly outgrown the cushion when their bottom comes up against the furthest inside edge of the cushion, not when their legs drape over the baffle. It’s worth noting this is an intentional design choice specifically engineered for comfort and safety. Having this ensures that baby stays safely positioned on their back as it prevents them from rolling or turning within the cushion. Some people misunderstand this concept and so incorrectly believe their little one has out grown their nest sooner than they actually have. Typically, babies will truly have outgrown their Snuggle Me somewhere between 5 & 6 months, depending on baby’s size, disposition, and growth cycle.

See more at Snuggle Me Organic

The Best Organic Co-sleeping Bed – USA Made

Posted by in Product Spotlight

Snuggle Me Organic; the Original Co-sleeping Bed & Infant Lounger for Babies.

  • Snuggle Me Organic the only 100% USA made organic co-sleeping bed on the market. Exclusively handcrafted in the USA, with materials sourced only from the USA. Our co-sleeping bed is handcrafted, and exclusively features our patented center-sling technology.

We use only USA made, organic, ethically sourced, all natural materials in our co-sleeping beds. Our hypo-allergenic poly filling is free from flame retardants and ethylene glycol (as are all of our organic natural fibers).

I have been so happy to have such a comfortable infant sleeper pillow for my baby. It cradles her in such a supported yet not restricted way which seems to really comfort her and make her feel safe, especially in the early days, when being out of the womb is a brand new experience…And it being made of 100% natural and breathable materials is a must for me. The wool cover is so incredibly soft it must feel like laying on a cloud! I’m quite jealous!Emilie De Ravin, Actor

Snuggle Me Organic Infant Lounger’s design is cutting edge, modern, and beautifully straight forward. Our closed system (not open at the bottom or closed with clasps) is an important safety feature. The closed system doesn’t allow baby to scoot himself out of his safe sleeping space. Similarly, our exclusive patented center-sling guarantees several essential and important functions you want in a co-sleeper.

  • Reinvents the womb; Releasing just enough with the weight of baby to gently pull in the sides of the sleeper to perfectly cradle your baby.Reminding them of being in the womb, baby feels secure and soothes their Moro (startle) reflex.
  • Safe & Secure; Releasing gently to cradle baby, it continues to support his head keeping it above and away from the sides of the lounger.
  • Ensures the safer ‘back-to-sleep’ sleeping position; Because of the width & length of the Snuggle Me, and because of our center-sling, baby isn’t able to roll over, or roll into its sides. In other words, he is safely and securely kept on his back for sleeping and lounging – the agreed upon safest way for an infant to rest.
  • Ergonomic Infant Lounger; An importantly distinctive feature of Snuggle Me Organic is unlike other co-sleeping beds on the market ours was created to cradle baby’s torso, not the entire baby. This means as he grows, he will be able to utilize the full features of the cushion as it was designed – with their legs gently draping over the bottom of the cushion.

This last feature has two benefits. First – it continues to keep budding crawlers safely nestled within the snuggle me (they can’t get enough momentum to push themselves out of their lounger), Second – it creates a neutral spine for baby, which is healthiest during their growth spurts.

www.snugglemeorganic.com co-sleeping beds for babies

  • Firm sleep surface; Snuggle Me Organic has an un-padded bottom so that it mimics the firmness of the surface it is placed upon. This is the safest for baby.
  • Organic Cotton Fleece; Snuggle Me Organic has a velvety feel to it that babies and mamas love.
  • Made in the USA; Our Snuggle Me Organic with hypoallergenic poly fill is fully machine washable. Our PURE and Wool Snuggle Me Organic’s are easily and simply spot-cleaned, with a fully washable cover.

Other important features of Snuggle Me Organic is it uses breathable materials. It’s portable, versatile, & easy to move around the house. It can be used for tummy time, bonding, sleep transitions, and helps with ‘flat-head’ syndrome. Snuggle Me Organic also provides a complete ‘micro-climate’, helps with reflux, as well as colic. We comply with safety & manufacturing requirements. And, of course, most importantly, we believe in helping mamas & babies.

Do you have questions about Snuggle Me Organic? Post them below and we’ll answer them for you.

Snuggle Me Organic: My Personal Review

Posted by in Snuggle Me Reviews

 

“..I wanted a solution and knew the bed cushions/ co-sleeping cushions were popular. I took my way-too-tired self and did some research/ asking around for the brands people recommended. I was told I had to try a Snuggle Me Organic. I loved that the product was organic, safe, and they were even close by where I live in Minnesota. I contacted the company and had one shipped to our house. I was so excited to give it a try, but also a little nervous to see if Tava actually liked it or not. I’m going to give you a little spoiler alert here–She LOVES this thing! It goes on our top 5 baby items list we have! I’ve posted a lot on Instagram about the Snuggle Me…”

drmeghanbirt1

Source: Dr. Meghan Birt

How to position your baby in a Snuggle Me Organic cosleeping bed

Posted by in Product Spotlight

Snuggle Me Organic™ Position Guide

Snuggle me Organic’s™ modern, versatile, and sleek design allows families to provide a safe space for their little one. No matter where you need their safe space to be, Snuggle Me is on the job. Use it for co-sleeping, naps, lounging, play time with big brother or sister, tummy time, bathroom break for mama, dinner prep for daddy, visiting at Grandma’s, or going on holiday – the uses are as vast and diverse as families themselves. Get yours at Snuggle Me Organic.™

Position Guide

Position-Guide-Snuggle-Me-Organic-Cosleeping-Bed

 

 Definitely one of the top few must have baby items! We’ve used it extensively for 3 babies. – Molly B.


  • Snuggle Me™ Original: Materials; covers – certified organic cotton fleece and certified organic cotton twill | ZERO ethylene glycol & ZERO flame retardants, hypoallergenic poly fill.
  • Snuggle Me™ Pure: Materials; covers – certified organic cotton fleece & certified organic cotton twill | 100% certified raw organic cotton fill
  • Snuggle Me™ Wool: Materials: covers – certified organic cotton twill & 100% organic MERINO wool | 100% certified organic virgin lamb’s wool fill.
All components used in the creation of Snuggle Me Organic™ are breathable, of the highest quality available, made in the USA, and are FREE from lead, flame retardants, latex, ethylene glycol, BPA’S, & phthalates. All organic components used in the creation of Snuggle Me Organic™ are third party certified organic, ethically sourced, and chemical free.
All cushions arrive in their beautiful organic cotton muslin travel bag
 cosleeping, snuggle me organic position guide, best cosleeping bed, best baby gift,

Helping Your Baby Get To Sleep | Aha Parenting

Posted by in Newborn Sleep

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Aha Parenting | By Dr. Laura Markham

MOST NEW PARENTS ARE SHOCKED by the constant interruption of their sleep that a newborn brings to the house. But there are ways to be there when your baby needs you, and still get some rest.

newborn sleeping

There are basically three schools of thought on this issue.

The first, made popular by the book authored by pediatrician Richard Ferber, advocates teaching babies over the age of three months to sleep through the night in their own cribs, by letting them “cry it out” for increasingly longer periods of time. While most babies eventually give up and fall asleep, the process is often traumatic for parents (and we can assume for the baby), and frequently needs to be repeated following any disruption in routine. Critics point out that Ferber has no psychology training and question whether letting babies cry it out has permanent, harmful effects. (more on Ferber)

The second school of thought, practiced by advocates of the Family Bed, says that infants are hard-wired to sleep with their mothers, and nurse at night, for many months, probably until toddlerhood. They point out that babies who sleep with their mothers are less likely to die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and that the mothers get much more sleep. My personal experience is that the family bed was heavenly. Critics of this method express concern that parents might inadvertently roll on their babies in the night, and point out that babies who sleep with their mothers and nurse on demand take much longer to sleep through the night. They also wonder why any self-respecting toddler who is accustomed to sleeping with his parents will give that up for a new, lonely, “big-boy-bed.” Dr. James McKenna is one of my favorite resources on safe cosleeping.

The third school, perhaps best represented by No Cry Sleep Solution author Elizabeth Pantley, understands that parents may desperately need some sleep and agrees with Ferber that babies need to learn to fall back asleep on their own, but argues that this can be accomplished without the trauma of letting babies cry it out. (More on Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution.)

Fair disclosure:

I attempted Ferbering once when my son was nine months old and failed, having given him an ear infection from crying (and having nearly given myself a nervous breakdown.) After that, we went back to the family bed, which we all loved. However, once nursing my toddlers no longer helped them fall back asleep for long, I found myself walking the floor with them and spending many long hours in the middle of the night helping them to fall back to sleep. After substantial research, and working with many parents, I’ve come to the conclusion that many little ones who are helped to sleep by parents (nursing or rocking), simply can’t put themselves back to sleep when they re-awaken during the night. If they’re nursing, they may well awaken to nurse, but then will need to nurse again every time they re-awaken a little at night. Eventually, if they don’t figure out how to fall back asleep on their own when they awaken at night, they will need our loving help to learn how to fall asleep without rocking or nursing.

Is this a problem? Not necessarily. Some moms are able to nurse at night as long as their child wants. However, I often speak with moms who are ready to stop night-nursing their toddler, but find the prospect of night-weaning upsetting.

Does that mean we should always put babies down awake so they can learn to put themselves to sleep when tiny, so they won’t develop bad habits? Since almost all newborns fall asleep at the breast (or bottle), that would be impossible. It is completely appropriate to nurse babies to sleep. Nursing to sleep is no more a “bad habit” than peeing in a diaper. As they get older, the time will come when they can easily learn to fall asleep themselves, just as they will eventually give up diapers.

Does that mean that a time will come when to teach our baby or toddler to fall asleep, we can leave him to cry? Never, in my view, if you want an emotionally healthy child.

But then how do kids learn to fall asleep on their own, without nursing back to sleep? They learn in the safe comfort of your arms, once they’re old enough. For more on teaching your child to learn to fall asleep without nursing or rocking, click here.

Sleep is, of course, a very personal decision. I believe that;

There is a sleep solution that fits every unique family, from co-sleeping to baby bunks that attach to the parents’ bed, to baby hammocks, to cribs.

Of course you want your children to know from the earliest age that they can always ask for and get help. That said, we all need sleep to function and be good parents. My recommendations are biased in favor of keeping your baby close so you can get more sleep. But this is a very individual choice. Read as much as you can, and then lose the guilt. Do what works for you and your baby.

How can you get some sleep, when your baby’s still waking up to nurse?
1. Sleep whenever and wherever you can.

Keep your baby near you while he’s still nursing at night, so you don’t have to get out of bed. Breastmilk is designed to be given every few hours. It simply cannot hold a baby for much longer. Rats, on the other hand, give their baby food much higher in fat, so that the mother rat can leave the babies for eight hours while she’s off foraging. Baby humans could not survive predators if they were left for long periods, so nature has designed them to require their mother’s presence fairly constantly. That means your baby needs to be nursed at night, for a minimum of six months and probably until she is a year old.

2. Afraid of rolling over on your baby?

Unlikely, since mothers are designed not to (unless her natural warning system has been interfered with by drugs or alcohol). There is actually evidence that babies who sleep with their mothers are less likely to die of SIDS because the co-sleeping babies’ sleep cycles are in sync with their moms’, and her presence stimulates him not to fall into such a deep sleep. There are experts who say that a father could suffocate a very young baby, especially if he’s had a drink before bed, so most safe co-sleeping checklists say to position the baby between mom and the wall rather than between the parents. However, the fathers I hear from tell me they’re very conscious of their baby, even while asleep. We know that Dads do have a hormonal response to becoming fathers, which includes a natural protectiveness toward the baby, so Paternal Instinct is as real as Maternal Instinct. I personally think that any Dad will be a better father if we honor his paternal instinct and give him the opportunity to sleep snuggled with his baby, but that’s an individual decision. In any case, make sure you set up your bed for safe cosleeping, don’t start without reading this detailed checklist for safe co-sleeping.

3. If you don’t feel comfortable with your baby in bed with you, try a “Moses basket,” cradle or baby bunk within arm’s reach.

Some moms are such light sleepers that they just can’t get any sleep at all if the baby is in their bed. There are wonderful baby bunks that can be anchored to your bed, at the same level, and opened so that the baby has his own space but you can roll him into your bed with you to nurse.

4. Learn to nurse lying down so you can sleep while he feeds.

It may take a week, while you get the hang of nursing, but learn to nurse lying down, so you can doze, and you’ll feel much more rested. Just wedge pillows behind you and between your knees for support, and put a folded blanket under Baby if necessary to raise him to the level of your breast so neither of you is straining to reach. He should be on his side, facing you.

5. Help your baby set her metabolic clock.

She doesn’t know it’s night and she should sleep. She’ll learn, eventually, but you can help your little night-owl adjust faster to the world outside your womb by making sure she doesn’t sleep all day. Take her out in the sun. Go for walks. Let her feast her eyes and ears on the wonders of the world. All humans really do sleep better at night when they’ve been exposed to fresh air and sunshine during the day. Also,you should know that babies who sleep with their moms end up synchronizing their REM sleep cycles, which means she’s more likely to treat night as sleep time and day as waking time. And of course, keep things dark and quiet at night. Nurse her when she wakes, and change her if you must (not all babies are sensitive enough to require changes at night), but don’t make it into playtime.

6. Take a long maternity leave, so you can nap when your baby naps during the day.

This is the golden rule. Forget the shower, who cares? Go for the nap.

6. If your partner can take the baby in the morning to let you sleep in for an hour, it can make all the difference in the world.

Don’t feel guilty about it. Eight hours of sleep with interruptions to feed your baby is not the same as the eight hours you used to get. You need lots more now.

7. Go to bed early.

When you were pregnant you did it. Don’t feel bad about it, this is not the time to resume an active evening life. You have the rest of your life to stay up late.

Originally created and shared for/on Aha Parenting by Dr. Laura Markham



Dr. Laura MarkhamDr. Laura Markham, founder of AhaParenting.com and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

4 ideas.. Holding Space for Wabi-Sabi

Posted by in Newborn Sleep


I’M THE FIRST BORN. First born grand child, first born girl, first born sibling. My job in the family was to be the leader, to be the most outgoing. I was the one who was supposed to have the answers, who knew what to do, and get it right the first time every time. Is it no wonder I grew up believing perfectionism was just something I was born with. It was engrained in my DNA. “Get used to it.” – was my mantra for decades. Fast forward 45 years and I’ve finally figured out the meaning of life, well – my life anyway: Holding space for wabi-sabi.

So what is wabi-sabi? According to Robyn Griggs Lawrence; “Broadly, wabi-sabi is everything that today’s sleek, mass-produced, technology-saturated culture isn’t. It’s flea markets, not shopping malls; aged wood, not swank floor coverings; one single morning glory, not a dozen red roses..”

“..Wabi-sabi understands the tender, raw beauty of a gray December landscape and the aching elegance of an abandoned building or shed. It celebrates cracks and crevices and rot and all the other marks that time and weather and use leave behind. To discover wabi-sabi is to see the singular beauty in something that may first look decrepit and ugly..”

“..Wabi-sabi reminds us that we are all transient beings on this planet – that our bodies, as well as the material world around us, are in the process of returning to dust. Nature’s cycles of growth, decay, and erosion are embodied in frayed edges, rust, liver spots. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace both the glory and the melancholy found in these marks of passing time.”¹

In other words, exactly opposite from the perfectionistic ideal I’ve tried to create my entire life.

For me, holding space for wabi sabiwabi-sabi gives me permission to celebrate imperfection. It allows me to honor my mistakes. To find joy and beauty in what I would otherwise categorize as broken, damaged, or disfigured, and instead simply allow it to be as it is – finding it complete, unblemished, and pure in its own unique way.

Practicing wabi-sabi – holding space for the beauty and purity of imperfection – has given me the gift of freedom. Freedom from outside pressure to perform to status quo standards, freedom from internal pressure to be perfect. It’s given me the gift of permission. Permission of acceptance. Permission of allowing. Permission to be still and absorb the positive energies around me instead of running to and fro trying to make everything perfect, making myself unhappy as I do so.

Holding space for wabi-sabi has allowed me to quiet my mind and let go. It’s made space for forgiveness. Forgiveness to myself for being imperfect, forgiveness to others who’ve hurt me, and finally created the room I needed to embrace imperfection as a quality rather than flaw. The practice of holding space for wabi-sabi works in my material world, but more importantly, in my relationships. It’s improved how I communicate with my spouse, it has broadened the ways I show empathy to my children, and it has welcomed the room for me to not have all the answers all the time. Now I feel comfortable saying “I don’t know”, “I don’t understand”. I don’t have to be that “all seeing, all knowing” mom, wife, friend, daughter, and in doing so, the unintended consequences have been deeper, more meaningful connections with people I love, including myself.

holding space for wabi sabiIn Brené Brown’s timeless TED talk on the power of vulnerability, she describes the links between imperfection, fear, blame, empathy, and vulnerability. She says “This is what I have found: To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen, to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee – and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult – to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ Just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive..’

“..And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough”, then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”²Ι³

I believe that to be true. So how do we hold space for wabi-sabi? How do we embrace vulnerability and imperfection? I think it is different for everyone, but this is what works for me;

Notice

Pay attention to the slight changes in your body. Do you tense your jaw, rub your temple, sigh more? Or maybe you being to chew on your lip, or feel less comfortable? When this happens it’s your cue to remind yourself to notice, embrace and allow the imperfections around you. To actively look for its beauty.

Breathe

At those moments, stop. Maybe even say it out loud. “Stop”, and then breathe. Close your eyes. Breathe in calm and peace, breath out tension and anxiety. Repeat. Repeat again. This will help you open your mind to wabi-sabi and to let go of what’s triggering you.

Let Go

Begin trying on letting go of control, fear, expectation, perfection. Fill the space instead with acceptance, with gratitude. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and to be seen. Slow down. Become introspective. Allow.

Practice

Spend time for a few minutes each day noticing the beauty of the imperfection around you. Of seeing the ordinary in a new & lovely way, this includes yourself. Love what you find. Embrace it.

Holding space for wabi-sabi is an idea I stumbled into, but I believe it happened for a reason. I’m a more content person having found it. If you’re reading this then maybe you’ve stumbled into it for a reason too.

And so Mamas, I’ll leave you with these final words from Brené Brown; “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”

Namaste ♥


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(1) Robyn Griggs Lawrence from Natural Home | UTNE Article 

(2) Brené Brown | TED Transcript

(3) Brené Brown | TED talk on Vulnerability

 

Normal Infant Sleep Development | ISIS

Posted by in Newborn Sleep

SOURCE: Infant Sleep Information Source

Normal Infant Sleep DevelopmentSLEEP IS A DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS, and our sleep needs change throughout our lifetimes.

Newborn babies may sleep for 18 or so hours a day, but often for only for 2-3 hours at a time. During the first year overall sleep duration falls to around 15 hours, and the majority of sleep becomes concentrated during night-time as circadian rhythms develop.

A recent systematic review? drew together data from 34 studies relating to normal infant sleep duration. The chart below shows part of this data for babies aged up to one year. Data from each study & age range are represented by a dot which shows the average total sleep experienced. The dotted line shows the amount of variation around that average. It is clear that younger babies sleep longest overall, but there is also most variation among individual babies, and within studies, for this group.

Night-waking is normal during early infancy and healthy babies experience several awakenings per night at the end of sleep cycles.

Newborn babies have very small stomachs, and need to feed often, so they wake at least every 2-3 hours in order to do so, sometimes more often. As babies grow they are able to last slightly longer between feeds, however human milk is quickly digested, and babies commonly need to feed frequently throughout the day and night-time.

By the time babies are 3 months old some (but not all) begin to start settling (sleeping through a night-time feed for a stretch of up to 5 hours). By the time they are 5 months old half of them may have started to sleep for an eight-hour stretch on some nights. Generally, though, babies do not sleep all night-every night until they are close to a year old. One study investigating infant sleep duration found that 27% of babies had not regularly slept from 10pm to 6am by the age of 1 year. 13% of babies had not regularly slept through for 5 hours or more by the age of 1 year.?

Popular beliefs about when babies should be ‘sleeping through the night’ are based on studies conducted in the 1950s and 1960s on groups of formula-fed babies. However it is normal for babies – especially breastfed babies – to wake and feed at night throughout at least the first year.? Encouraging babies to ‘sleep through’ before they are ready to do so makes it difficult to keep on breastfeeding, and may encourage babies to develop mature sleep patterns out of sequence with their other circadian patterns such as those controlling the regulation of temperature, hormone production, and the genes that control our biological rhythms.

More detailed information about normal sleep for babies can be found here.


ISIS Infant Sleep Information Source

Originally created and shared on/for/by ISIS (Infant Sleep Information Source)

Adjusting to Your Postpartum Body

Posted by in 4th Trimester Support for Mama & Baby

 

Originally Posted on New Mama Project By: Fiona Griffin, MS

 

ONE THING MANY WOMEN WORRY about is what will happen to their body during pregnancy, birth, and after baby.  It would be easy for me to say, “don’t worry about this, focus on the new baby and don’t make your body image such a priority,” but actually following my own advice would be hard.  The reality of our society is that women are constantly judged for their appearance. In some ways it may be empowering to see your body used with such profound purpose – creating and sustaining life.  In other ways it can be very difficult to physically care for a new baby, recover from birth, and adjust to a new postpartum body size and shape.

Beginning right after my daughter’s birth my biggest focus, regarding my body, was physical recovery. The impact that birth had on my body was quite shocking.  I had no idea that I would be so fatigued, bleeding so much,  very sore, having difficulty with incontinence for several weeks, and be out of breath and dizzy for the first few days if I stood up too long.  All of these physical challenges caught me off guard. I don’t like being caught off guard.  This made the postpartum period that much harder for me.  Everyone is different though, some women breeze through the physical recovery. I had a hard time knowing if my experience was normal during the first few days postpartum.  I remember googling frantically to learn about physical recovery after birth.

 

Becoming a mom meant shifting how I thought about the purpose of my body.  Now it was clearly meant to be used to nourish and care for baby.  When I thought of my body this way it didn’t seem to matter so much how it looked.

 

In addition to physically recovering from birth (and freaking out about said physical recovery), breastfeeding was a huge part of my new mom routine. From the moment the baby came I was nursing around the clock – I felt like the baby was attached to me at least 20 hours a day (warning: this may be an exaggeration). I felt like I no longer owned my body and that it’s purpose in the world was now to serve this baby.  Previously, I had thought of my body as sort of an outward expression of my personality and worth.  I knew that people judged me on my appearance.  But, the baby didn’t care about how sexy I was, what I was wearing or whether my legs were shaved.  She just wanted to be warm, comforted, and nursed.  It’s actually hard to express how much of a fundamental shift this was in my identity.

Becoming a mom meant shifting how I thought about the purpose of my body.  Now it was clearly meant to be used to nourish and care for baby.  When I thought of my body this way it didn’t seem to matter so much how it looked.  What mattered most was whether it worked to do its job of feeding baby. But I also knew people would still be assessing my outward appearance. On the one end of the spectrum I felt empowered by my maternal capacities, but on the other I felt like a frumpy middle aged woman in an airbrushed swimsuit spread. I am still working on how to find a balance between these two aspects of my identity, but wrestling with these ideas in the first few days of motherhood was really hard.

There are a few things that I did or wish I did that I believe can help ease the mental turmoil and physical discomfort that comes with the postpartum period. So what can we do when we’re adjusting to our postpartum body?

1. I learned what typically happens to a woman’s body after birth.  I wish I had familiarized my self with this info beforehand, but better late than never.  I found a good timeline of what to expect and checked it daily.  I also called my midwife with lots of questions.

Educate yourself about what is going on with your body during the postpartum period. I appreciated the info presented on the blog The Alpha Parent in this post

2. I tried to take care of my body during the postpartum period.  It was really hard to stay in bed all day for several days, but I found that my body let me know when I pushed it too far. I also took herbal sits bath for the first few day and used pads coated in witch hazel to soothe my bottom.  I sat on lots of pillows or laid down in comfy positions. I tried really hard to focus on taking it easy and allowing my body to recover from the 12+ hours of work it did to birth the baby.

Allow for lots of rest, take herbal baths to soothe wounds, and eat lots of healthy nourishing food.  We also recommend making a postpartum wellness plan -Taylor offers a great Postpartum Wellness Toolkit on her website http://www.taylordavisdoula.com

3. As soon as my baby was born I told my husband to call my parents and tell them to get to our house as soon as they could.  I knew I was facing a challenge that I couldn’t get through without a lot of help. For a week straight my parents and husband cooked, cleaned, helped care for baby, and comforted me however I needed it.  At times I felt guilty that I wasn’t helping out more or felt ashamed that I needed so much support, but I really could not have gotten through that first week without them.  My mom was especially great at normalizing my experience and assuring me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me.

Use your support network to get the help you need to recover from birth and adjust to your new role.  Not sure what kind of help you need?  Consider signing up for our newsletter to get a copy of our Social Supports Guide. 

4. I found it really helpful to talk with supportive friends and family during the first week or two.  I found being a new mom really isolating (even with family around).  It helped me to talk to Taylor every day and share what was going on.  It also really helped to text with a cousin who had had her daughter 4 days before me.  Knowing I had someone going through just about the same thing was reassuring.  I also watched a lot of TV episodes while nursing.  Having something to entertain me for the endless hours on the couch or in bed helped me feel a little more like my old self in this strange new world.

Find self-care practices that help you feel good about your body.  Maybe this is relaxation, gentle exercise, or spending time with mothers who can relate to your experience.  Check out our Self-Care Quiz to get great ideas for self-care activities. 

5. I wasn’t sure what size clothes I would fit into or what I would want to wear after the baby was born.  So, I didn’t really have much ready.  I thought I might fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes right away  – this was not the case. I wore sweatpants and yoga pants a lot in the first few days.  I also had difficulty finding tops that fit. I had bought some nursing bras but they didn’t fit and I didn’t have any good tops.  My parents made an emergency run for nursing bras (sorry dad) and I made due with a few nursing tank tops.

It’s a good idea to plan on wearing some of your maternity clothes for a while after baby comes. You’ll probably want loose clothes that you don’t mind getting stained with various bodily fluids (yours and baby’s).  You could also consider some nursing specific apparel if you plan to breastfeed.

We want to hear from YOU!  What were some of the challenging physical changes you experienced after baby was born?  How did you manage physical recovery?  Share your story with us in the comments section. 

Please share to help us reach more mamas!

Fiona Griffin MS New Mama Project

Fiona Griffin is a mental health counselor and the co-founder of New Mama Project, an online community offering support for postpartum mothers and space for real talk about the transition into motherhood.  The site offers a social supports guide and self-care quiz for new mamas that can be found

Fiona works with youth and families in Vermont where she lives with  her husband and daughter. You can learn more about Fiona at Fiona Griffin Counseling.

New Mama Project is an online community offeringnew mama project support for postpartum mothers and a space for real talk about the transition into motherhood. In addition to a weekly blog and newsletter, the site offers a social supports guide and self-care quiz for new mamas that can be found here: New Mama Project .  


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The Big 3 | Organic Living and Why It’s Important

Posted by in Guest Posts, Ideas for an Organic Life

The Big 3

Katy Lytal | Ethical Infant

So there I was, every bit of 12 months pregnant with my first child. Ok, a bit hyperbolic, but really, you should have seen me. After parking the car at my 7th stop of the morning, I breathlessly race-waddled into our local, groovy, world market and found the first customer service person that I could. As I approached him, I tried to muster up a pleasant smile, but I’m sure that the look I gave this young man was more like deranged and desperate.

Excuse me,” I said. “I’m having a bit of an emergency, do you happen to carry organic welcome mats here? I’ll take anything. Hemp… Wool… Bamboo… I’ve looked everywhere, and I really need to get one before the baby gets here.” I tried harder to squeeze my face into a smile, but I’m pretty sure that I just looked extra crazy.

Um, no.” said the young man. I could tell from his puzzled look, and the sound of his almost laugh, that he was doing his best to take me seriously. “Actually, I’ve never seen an organic welcome mat.” Defeat. “ But we do carry a number of organic items that might have a bigger impact on the health of your baby. You know, clothes, bedding, food… Do you have all of the important things already taken care of?” Genius. Leave it to the customer service guy to talk me out of my hysteria. With a sigh of relief, I paused. He was right. I needed to be focusing my mama energy on the things that were going to have the greatest impact on my little one.

the big 3Of course, in the perfect world, all things would be safely, sustainably, and organically produced. Needless to say though, our world is a work in progress. So, until we attain perfection, thoughtfulness will be key in maintaining ones sanity. As we strive to provide our kiddos with the absolute best, a good mama mantra to keep in mind is, “do your best, as often as you can, and remember what’s important.”

When it comes to buying organic products, lets remember what’s important. We mentioned in the last article, Pesticides Dirty Little Secret, that there are two avenues by which we can provide protections for little ones, against harmful toxins and chemicals; what goes on them, and what goes in them. Pretty simple right?

Let’s agree that foods, regardless of type, are important to buy in their cleanest form. You (and your baby) are what you eat. If you must pick and choose, or have limited organic availability, checking out a lists like, The Dirty Dozen”, can help you to decide which foods are must buy organic and which ones may contain fewer pesticides than others. This takes care of the “what goes in them” aspect of protection.

But what about what goes on them? When it comes to prioritizing which products are must buy organic for your little one, let’s break things down a little further. In order to make things simple, we have to first answer a few questions.

  1. What will your baby have the greatest skin contact with?
  2. Were will your baby spend most of their time?

By answering these two questions, we are able to determine which items in your home are organic “MUST HAVES”.

the big 3We like to call the Must Haves, “The Big Three”.

  • Clothing – Your little one will spend roughly 97% of their day in some form of clothing. If you’re like me however, you dream that this number would be more like 70% – I’m sort of a skin to skin junky.
  • Bedding – If you hit the mama lottery, and have a good sleeper, your baby could spend up to 75 % of their day in contact with some form of bedding.
  • Diapers – Just like clothing, your little one will spend the vast majority of their time with their skin in contact with their diaper.

Because of the unique way in which little ones interact with the world, and the length of time that they are in contact with particular items, we are presented with a distinct opportunity to do a great deal of good for them, with just a few decisions. Yes, of course, things like organic car seat covers are cool, but proportionate to the amount of time that they will be spending in contact with them, it is far more important to consider “splurging” on (VALUING), organic bedding, clothing, and diapers.

Here’s why:

We should think again about skin contact. In the same way that we think about their little systems processing nourishment, we too should think about what touches their skin. Remember, their skin is their body’s largest organ, and it too must process what it comes in contact with. This processing includes harmful chemicals that are present in non-organic textiles. Not that I am at all into scare tactics, but I am sure that you are familiar with horror stories that have been in the news; seen the pictures of terrible chemical burns that were left on babies who were exposed to harmful chemicals that were present in the tags of their clothing. So very sad.

Even though non-organic cotton only accounts for 3% of the world’s crops, it uses 25% of the world’s pesticides (Hae Now, 2010). It is the dirtiest crop on the planet! To put this into different terms, this means that proportionate to other crops, non-organic cotton contains 6 times the amount of chemicals per unit of volume. Eek! Even after multiple washes, petroleum based chemicals can be found in our little one’s garments.

the big 3All too often the, the ethics of textile production go unnoticed. For so many, it’s an “outa sight, outa mind”, kind of topic. After all, who the heck knows where, let alone how the garment they are wearing was made. The blankets on your bed? Your underpants? Yep, outa sight, outa mind. But tides are turning. There is a movement afoot. Rather than seeking out, “the best bargain” in town, mamas like you and I are seeking out the highest level of safety and quality. A gentle and holistic approach to purchasing is thankfully leading to a greater availability of organic goods.

As a young mother I remember feeling almost frozen by the decisions that I was making for the little person that I already loved so much. Buy a black and white mobile, or colored mobile? Sing to them, or play them classic music? Take a walk, or do prenatal yoga? Thinking back on it now, I am slightly amused. Yes, I have relaxed a bit, and have come have fully embraced the wisdom of the young salesman that I met those years ago. I have decided to focus my energy on that which will have the greatest impact on my child; on that which will make the biggest difference in their wellbeing. I know that I cannot protect them from every thing, but I also know that I can protect them from many things.

Although I would still love to find an organic doormat, for now, I will stick with buying organic for, “The Big Three”. Knowing that we have the power to protect is an amazing thought, and sometimes a seemingly daunting responsibility. But a few deep breaths, an evaluation of priorities, and sometimes the wisdom of a stranger can help us to restore the spirit of joy to our souls when it comes to providing protections to our little ones.

Be well. -Katy


 

ethical infant

Katy Lytal is a Mompreneur, and Co-founder of Ethical Infant: Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan Fashion for Infants. She’s inspired by thoughtful, crunchy living.

I adore every minute with my little loves. I truly believe that joy and health go hand in had. Most of the time I try not to drive my hubby crazy with crafts, creations, and chaos- he’s a good sport.”

Follow Katy on Twitter.

 

 


 

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Reference

Simply Being a Mama – http://www.simplybeingamama.com/pesticides-dirty-little-secret/?v=7516fd43adaa

Organic.Org – http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214

Parenting Science –“Baby Sleep Patterns” http://www.parentingscience.com/baby-sleep-patterns.html

Hae Now – www.haenow.com

 

Using Mindfulness to Overcome Postpartum Challenges

Posted by in 4th Trimester Support for Mama & Baby, Guest Posts

mindfulness to overcome postpartum challengesMindfulness & Postpartum 

Originally Posted on New Mama Project By: Fiona Griffin, MS

THE BIRTH OF MY DAUGHTER WAS A SHOCK.  Yes, I knew I was pregnant, and went into the experience as prepared as anyone could be, but it was still a surprising and, frankly, unsettling experience. Things didn’t go better or worse than I imagined, just different.

The postpartum period for me was also a shock.  It was much more challenging than I thought it would be, and I struggled to feel like a competent mother.  I had so many ideas in my head about what I should be doing and what was best for my baby.  I wasn’t sure what to do, and I was also working hard to recover from the strain of childbirth. Every day was full of ups and downs.  Each new day brought an opportunity to try to do things differently or better. After a series of perceivedusing mindfulness postpartum successes and failures throughout the day, I would reflect internally or process with my partner about how to make the next day better. Sometimes it would be better and sometimes it would be more challenging. During the immediate postpartum period I often felt like I was in a repetitive cycle of trying to be in the moment, becoming frustrated with how things were going, and resolving to do better next time.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

After several days stuck in my own cycle. Replaying an inner monologue over and over. Feeling defeated that things aren’t the way that I want them to be I began thinking on a deeper level that sounded like this: “So what is the key to breaking out of this cycle?  How can I measure success differently so that each day feels positive.  Or, should I change the game completely?  How could I exist in a way that allows me to escape a need to categorize moments or days as good or bad?”

Sometimes when I am stuck I think about what I would counsel a client to do.  I am not a practitioner of mindfulness, but it is impossible to ignore the mindfulness movement if you work in the mental health field.  And for good reason. For me, using just a few mindfulness concepts helps me break out of my cycle. Countless others find mindfulness to be key in managing a variety of mental health issue. Even scientific research supports mindfulness.  So, if you haven’t discovered mindfulness, maybe now is the time to try.

Here are my top three practical mindfulness tools.

1. Be aware of what is happening around you, in the moment. Be present. As a new mom it is really challenging to be at ease with what is happening in the moment.  New mothers are often wondering if they’re doing the right thing, or worrying about how the rest of the day will go. It can also be difficult to adjust to the pace and schedule (or lack of schedule) of a newborn.  Finding a way to settle into the uncertainty of the moment and drink up those special moments with your newborn may help you enjoy the postpartum experience a little more. Read our blog post about the secret to unlocking postpartum wellness for some ideas on how to be in the moment with baby.

using mindfulness postpartum2. Let go of expectations and attachment to outcomes.  This is always a big challenge for me.  Since the day I got pregnant I’ve struggled to accept the unknowable about birth and parenting.  During the postpartum period, managing my expectations was a huge challenge. Letting go of how I expected things to go was something I really struggled with. There’s little chance things are going to go exactly as you expect, so the more you can allow yourself to go with the flow, the happier you will be.

3. Avoid judgement. You can’t control other people’s judgements – though they’re probably not judging you as much as you think they are. You can stop judging yourself though.  If you have a negative thought, notice it and let it go. If you use harsh words towards your baby, give her an extra hug and move on.  If your house is a mess, forgive yourself and pick up when you can.  It is often said that we are our harshest critics.  How can you be a little less harsh to yourself today?

You may be wondering where the pictures of babies and mamas are.  Given that our theme this week is mindfulness I wanted to post simple and beautiful pictures that represent peace, calm, and a quiet mind. I hope they have a soothing effect on you. Maybe they will even serve as a focal point for some deep breathing or meditation. Check out Mindful Motherhood for some ideas on guided meditation.

I have to admit I don’t usually set aside time to meditate, and my experience with mindfulness is pretty elementary, but I do use these three strategies often.  To me they lend themselves so well to parenting. Things are always popping up that I don’t expect.  I am constantly wishing I was doing stuff just a little better, and I struggle to settle into the simple activities of parenting without my mind wandering.  Every day is an opportunity to breathe deep and expand my heart to love myself and my baby a little more. When I take time to breathe and reflect I am sometimes able to be more at ease with what is. I hope you can find space in your life for some simple mindfulness practices to improve your postpartum experience.

 


 

Fiona Griffin MS New Mama Project

Fiona Griffin is a mental health counselor and the co-founder of New Mama Project, an online community offering support for postpartum mothers and space for real talk about the transition into motherhood.  The site offers a social supports guide and self-care quiz for new mamas that can be found here.  Fiona works with youth and families in Vermont where she lives with  her husband and daughter. You can learn more about Fiona at Fiona Griffin Counseling.

New Mama Project is an online community offeringnew mama project support for postpartum mothers and a space for real talk about the transition into motherhood. In addition to a weekly blog and newsletter, the site offers a social supports guide and self-care quiz for new mamas that can be found here: New Mama Project .  

Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns

Posted by in Newborn Sleep

 

Survival Guide for New Parents 

by: Madeline Blom | Mommas Organics

 

IT IS AN EXCITING AND SCARY TIME to bring home your newborn baby, especially if you don’t have much experience with children. Most parents have idealistic goals to have their child sleeping through the night before long, but they are disappointed to find that the baby’s sleep patterns are irregular and unpredictable.

Don’t stress if you feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep! There are several things you need to understand about newborn sleep patterns.

Eat and Sleep… and Repeat!

Understanding your Newborn's Sleep PatternsThe average newborn spends most of their day alternating between eating and sleeping, and this pattern continues throughout the night. Newborns need to eat frequently, and they will often sleep between feedings and wake up every few hours to eat again.

Many times, sleep happens in short intervals, and it can be hard to predict when the baby will wake up again. The baby might sleep for 30 minutes or 4 hours, making it hard for a parent to set a schedule based on the baby’s sleep time. Generally, newborns sleep between 16 – 18 hours a day, and that time decreases to about 14 hours a day by the time they are one month old.

Differences between Baby and Adult Sleep Patterns

Just because you are ready to go to bed at the end of the day, doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby is also ready to sleep. Adult sleep is impacted by circadian rhythms, which are changes that occur in the body within a 24 hour period of time. These circadian rhythms are affected by light. Light in the morning helps an adult to wake up, and the decreased light in the evening help you to feel more relaxed and ready to sleep. The impact of light actually changes the hormones that regulate your sleeping patterns.

Newborns don’t necessarily have these same sleeping patterns though. As a fetus, the baby naturally responds to the mothers’ cues about the time of day. But, the hormone connection is broken after the baby is born, and it takes time for them to develop their own circadian rhythms.

How to Improve Your Baby’s Sleep Patterns

Even though your baby might be having a hard time with regular sleep patterns, there are a few thingsUnderstanding your Newborn's Sleep Patterns that you can do to help them regulate. Here are a few tips to consider for your newborn:

  • Create a Daily Routine: Setup a schedule and stick to it. Make sure that your baby is with you throughout the day, to keep them active during the daylight hours. The daytime activity helps the baby to adapt to the schedule so they are more prone to sleeping through the night.
  • Reduce Light Exposure at Night: Make sure that your child has a dark, quiet space to sleep at night. Newborns often wake up to even the smallest sound, and it can be beneficial to create a space that will support restful sleep throughout the night.
  • Minimize Nighttime Activity: It is inevitable that the baby will need to eat during the night, but try to minimize the activity. Keep the lights low, stay quiet, and avoid moving the baby too much. Allowing the baby to eat while they are drowsy makes it easier for the child to quickly fall asleep again.
  • Establish a Bedtime Routine: Create the same routine or pattern of activities that you follow before the baby goes to bed. For example, if you like to bathe the baby in the evening, then try to keep the timing the same so that you can follow the same steps right before bedtime.Understanding your Newborn's Sleep Patterns
  • Watch for Signs of Sleep Readiness: Understanding sleep readiness signs can help you put the baby to bed at the right time. When these signs are present at night, avoid keeping the baby awake because the delayed bedtime might disrupt newly forming sleep patterns. Common signs include yawning, fussing, rubbing eyes, or looking away.
  • Consider Feeding Habits: If you are breastfeeding your baby, keep in mind that breast milk contains tryptophan, which impacts a baby’s sleep cycle. If you pumped the breast milk at night and then fed it to the baby during the day, then it is possible that the higher tryptophan levels from the milk will make them sleepier during the day.

You will learn your babies cues. Trust your instincts, moms. They won’t fail you. Sleep patterns are an adjustment for both the family and the newborn.


mommasorganicsMadeline Blom is a Special Education teacher in Brentwood, NY. She is also a wellness blogger, and the Founder of MommasOrganics, dedicated to the organic lifestyle. Her other passions are in health, fitness, and overall wellness. In 2015, Madeline became a Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. Madeline is an educator at heart and her mission in life is to inspire, teach and enlighten all those in her path. Her goal is to bring awareness, educate, and coach moms and consumers, just like YOU, on the benefits and core principles of an organic and toxic-free lifestyle. As a new mother, her motto is “Healthy mothers raise healthy children.”

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Resources:

http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=newborn-sleep-patterns-90-P02632

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a7654/establishing-good-sleep-habits-newborn-to-three-months

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P02632

Opportunities for Ethical Giving

Posted by in Ideas for an Organic Life

IT IS QUIET FOR NOW

Katy Lytal | Ethical Infant

THIS IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR. The world is quiet for now. Yes, I did just put on my first sweatshirt. Perfection. Part of me loves a good sweatshirt because no one can tell if I’m wearing a bra underneath it or not (tee-hee). But the other part of me realizes that putting on a sweatshirt represents a little bit more. The air is cooling, and season is changing. My thoughts are minimally jumbled as I survey them on my paper. There is a familiar rumble about. I am sure that you are familiar with it. There is the low murmur of excitement, the buzz of impending joy, and possibly a hint of tension. So begins the list making. I look back down at my paper. I examine potential candidates and write a few notes next to each name. Yes, it is that season again- voting season. Of course I am not referring to anything remotely political. I am referring to something potentially much larger.

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”

I close my journal for a moment and read the quote on the front. The quote is from 17th century French dramatist, Pierre Corneille; it says, “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” Beautiful, right? But where am I going with this? (At this point you may be questioning my previous statement about my, “minimally jumbled thoughts”, but stick with me.) So, what does a 17th century playwright have to do with the changing of the season? A lot, I hope.

You see, the season that we are rapidly approaching is the gift-giving season. And yes, you are right, I already said that it was also voting season. Could these two seemingly different activities be one in the same? I say, yes. Momentarily it may seem a bit coarse to discuss these two topics, gift giving and voting, in the same arena. However I assure you that it is not. How do these two relate to one another? Let’s take a closer look.

hand-683909_1920I love the holidays. I love the time with family; wrapping gifts, eating holiday treats and taking part in family traditions. But, I need to confess something to you. Almost every year, around this time, I have a very narrow view of life. I worry about little things. Did I get my mom something that she’s going to like? Did I buy enough for the kids? What should I get the teacher? First-world problems, right? As could be said of many things in my life over the years, my thinking has been completely wrong during the holidays.

I have failed to step back. I have failed to see the greater impact that my gift giving has, or could have. Purchasing is power. There is an opportunity here. There is a voice, or should I say vote. With every purchase that I make, I am reaffirming that which I wish to perpetuate. It’s all well and good for me to wish and hope for the conditions of others to improve. Wishes and hopes are lovely thoughts, but that is all, just thoughts. In a place of such unmatched affluence, isn’t there more that I can do beyond wishing and hoping? Yes, there most certainly is. Gift giving however is an action. When I step back, when I look at what I can do, I am astounded by the possibilities.

Opportunities for ethical giving are all around (thank you internet), and my ability to do something meaningful is real. What do I mean you ask? Well, with every holiday purchase that I make, what if I took a big step back? What if I thought about loving more than just the recipient of the gift that I am giving? What if I thought about giving to others as well? Really, I won’t just be well wishing and sending good thought this year. I will be taking action. It’s truly exciting. Pick a cause, condition, plight, whatever you’re passionate about, and I assure you that you can find a company that is making a positive change that you can support.

On a local level, take companies like Mitscoots. They make beautiful socks and employ those transitioning out of homelessness. For every pair of socks that you purchase, they donate a pair to someone in need.earth-587827_1920

On a global level, there are companies like Jewel and Lotus. They have created an ethical, global market place. The goods that they offer make it possible for folks around the world to do everything from accessing education, to overcoming poverty and human trafficking.

If you are concerned with the environment, there are companies like Snuggle Me Organic that produce infant sleep solutions using only organic materials.

Really, name a cause. There is someone out there paving way, and making it possible for us to support that which we are passionate about. As I think forward to giving gifts this year, I am inspired to find out about what is important to those that I will be giving gifts to. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could give someone a lovely gift that also supported a cause that they were passionate about?

Yes, it may take a little bit more time to do my shopping this year; so I will start now. My mom has said to me so many times, “Show me where you spend your money, and I’ll show you what’s important to you.” Good old mom. It’s true though. If I am concerned with the availability of organic products for my family, then I should be purchasing them. If I am concerned with animal cruelty, then I should be buying vegan products. So, getting back to where we began. Every purchase IS a vote. Corneille was right, the manner of giving is more important than the gift.


“How then, keeping this new mantra in mind, would our gift buying be different?”

 

Itree-990856_1280 do love a good Gandhi quote, but from time to time they seem overused. I am sure that you’ve heard, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Maybe it’s time for an update to this quote. Maybe it’s time for something more tangible, something more direct. What if our mantra this year became, “Buy the change you want to see in the world.”  How then, keeping this new mantra in mind, would our gift buying be different? In addition to making well wishes and sending good thoughts this year, lets make thoughtful purchases, and lets send gifts that make a positive difference.

Peace be with you this holiday.

 


 

ethical infant

 

Katy Lytal is a Mompreneur, and Co-founder of Ethical Infant: Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan Fashion
for Infants. She’s inspired by thoughtful, crunchy living.

I adore every minute with my little loves. I truly believe that joy and health go hand in had. Most of the time I try not to drive my hubby crazy with crafts, creations, and chaos- he’s a good sport.”

Follow Katy on Twitter.


 

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Notes:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Ethicalinfant?ref=hdr_shop_menu

http://www.mitscoots.com

https://jewelandlotus.com

http://www.snugglemeorganic.com