Confidence = Injuries

Let this be a warning, mainly to myself.. but when things start to feel calm, a storm is brewing!

Two days ago, I distinctly remember putting away the last of the clean, folded and ironed clothes.  My kids were quietly playing with puzzles, and dolls.  They were well dressed and had eaten a healthy dinner.  The dishes were done.  Homework was taken care of.  The floors clean and toys picked up.

Man I was feeling that if prizes were handed out for moms who had it all together, this is the day I’d win.

Then came yesterday.  I got up early to make everyone scrambled eggs, and Isabelle woke up as I snuck past her door, so she became my volunteer helper.  I put her up on a chair, and cooked the eggs on the furthest burner.  Of course, she somehow reached the pan with a finger and burned herself!  It was a very small and mild burn, but I felt so bad for her.

Later in the day, when all was bandaged up and kissed.  The girls were playing on the couch and of course Elise falls off it and hits her head.  Really Really hard.  As she was walking towards me she was doing a drunk sailor walk.  She keeled right over, hit a drawer and our hard wood floor, with you guessed it, her head.

As I went to pick her up, her eyes wouldn’t focus and she was limp like a rag doll.  I hope she’ll forgive me for mentioning it, but she then wet herself and me.  Seeing her like this really scared me.  She clearly had at least a concussion.  So I started thinking about what I needed to grab to go to the hospital.  As I started getting ready to take everyone to the hospital, Elise started to come around.  Once she was changed into dry clothes she was 100% fine.  I forced her to do every neurological test that seemed age appropriate, and she was fine.  No blood or bumps or bruises.  I woke her up every couple hours to walk her around and slept right next to her.  She was fine, but wow, that scared me!

The next morning, I decided to give Belle a quick bath in the kitchen sink.  As a side note: I may only have a couple more weeks that I can get away with this, she is getting so big!  Within a minute or two of her splashing in the water, she stood up quickly.  She slipped and smashed the top of her nose on the very sharp corner of the steel divider between our two sinks.  Acccch!  This time, there was a good deal of blood and swelling!  After cleaning her up and giving her hundreds of kisses, she seemed fine.  And today, her nose looks just a bit swollen and the cut looks much better.

20160218_094120

It has been a painful couple of days.  But I am hoping that this big injection of humility will decrease the ouches around here.

 

Breastfeeding Bites!

20160126_111832

You thought you had the hang of nursing, you’ve been comfortably nursing for 9 months, then WhaM!  Baby bites!

You’re not alone.  Not all babies bite, but all of mine have.  Some were more persistent biters.  But I got all 3 to stop, and I was able to continue nursing to around 18 months for each.

With my first it was a big surprise.  With my second… it was a big surprise.  And with the third, guess what?  It was still a big surprise.

Once your baby has bitten, it feels like every time the baby wants some milk, you’re about to stick your nipple into an alligator’s mouth… or a bear trap… or a stapler… you pick the metaphor.

If this is happening, first you should congratulate yourself, very few babies are exclusively breastfed until they get their first teeth!  Between 35-40% of babies are still breastfed at 6 months according to the CDC.

The two most effective strategies I have used are startling and negative reinforcement.

The first strategy does not take a genius to figure out, as soon as the baby bites, scream!  Let it all out mama!  The baby will let go, and probably cry.  Comfort your baby, because they’re scared, but you’ve got they’re attention.

Some babies are more persistent biters, my third baby went through a longer biting phase and what worked with the other two, a couple big screams, didn’t phase her.  If anything, she thought it was funny.  After speaking with my network of longer term nursing mothers, I decided to discontinue any nursing session where biting occured.  When she bit, I would say “No” firmly, remove her and her teeth, and put her down on the ground, or to bed if it was bedtime.  I would then get up and walk away.  I would not let her nurse again for a couple of hours.  For the more persistent biter, I have found they are the babies that frequently nurse for comfort and are not necessarily for hungry.  If they are biting, they are most likely not hungry, but looking for comfort, which can be given with a hug, kisses, tickles or reading a book together.

This is a really tough stage, that can result in blood and tears.  Don’t despair.  If one nipple is damaged, apply breastmilk and allow your nipple to air dry.  Optionally, you could pump 2-3 x a day for 1 to 2 days to allow for more healing.

This too shall pass.  Your baby will learn in a day or two that biting is not tolerated, and you’ll be back to your happy nursing.

Feel free to email me if you have any more specific questions about biting or nursing at DrKatherine@MommyCoach.ca.

If you give my mouse his cookie…

IMG_5258

He will ask for Books! Books! Books! We love books! ….and cookies. And if you can combine them, around here, that’s a winner.  We’ve been reading If you give a mouse a cookie, and my little guy just loves it.  He now references the book in his every day play, “if you give me a peanut butter sandwich, I might ask for some jam… and if you give me some jam.  I might ask for some chocolate”.  (because in his mind, everything leads to chocolate).  If you aren’t familiar with the book, a mouse asks for milk, which leads to asking for a cookie, which leads to a mirror, which leads to a haircut, and on and on.

I know I’ve already mentioned our love for Sonlight’s preschool program. But I must say it one more time. How many programs include baking and eating cookies as part of the curriculum??  Cookies are not the only benefit we’ve been seeing.  Even though Caleb can’t read yet, you’ll often find him snuggling in a corner with a book and his little sister has been copying him.  She carries around books she likes, and will ask us to read at every opportunity.

Elise has also recently decided she doesn’t want to miss out on story time, and instead of wandering off to play with other toys, she’ll get up on the couch to hear the stories.  We’ve started reading her some of the simpler stories from the beginning of Caleb’s curriculum, like Goodnight moon, which she almost knows by heart.

 

discovering PB and J

20141027_122936 20141027_122920

This little thing can out eat big brother on most meals… but since she’s quite allergic to dairy, we’ve held out a little longer on peanut butter.  This week though, I’ve decided it’s time to give organic natural peanut butter a try.  She loved it!!  As you can see.  After a couple bites, she flung open her sandwich and started licking the good stuff on the inside.  So most of it got on her face and her bottom…. how did she get it on her bottom?  Her favourite trick is standing up on her high chair and sitting on her plate…. I wonder if she’d still sit on her sandwich if I used crunchy peanut butter instead.