Baby Update| 9 Months, Teething Necklaces & Baby-led Weaning

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Hot damn! Where has the time gone? I cannot believe that my sweet little baby is already 9 months old. His first birthday is only 3 months away! Like, WHAT?!

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I know everyone tells you that it goes by way too fast, but it feels like just yesterday I was beaming with excitement over him rolling over for the first time. Babyhood definitely does not last long enough! I’m trying to soak up as much of it as I can before it’s too late. One day, he won’t want me to hold him for hours day. Part of me (my back!) can’t wait for that day.. but most of me wants him to stay this little forever! However, I do look forward to watching him grow and learn. He is such a smart, sweet, happy, and active baby- I can’t wait to see the kind of person he becomes.

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It wasn’t until recently that I started imagining him as a social being, as a child, as a young adult, etc. I guess I was just focusing on right now- meeting milestones, getting through the very difficult first months. When Ant was in the hospital, everyone told me, “one day he will be five years old, and you won’t even think about this any more.” I think I’m finally starting to get to the point where I don’t think about it frequently. But, it is hard. I still feel some jealousy when I see photos of moms holding their new born babies. We didn’t get the “golden hour” that most moms and babies get. I didn’t even hold Ant until he was days old.

Another difficulty that arises when you have a baby who has had lung problems is that you HAVE to be the smoking police all the damn time. And it sucks. People don’t think about it, because he’s not their baby. And I understand. I just don’t want to make people feel bad when I tell them they can’t hold him when they smell like smoke, or asking them to put up their hair, so he doesn’t chew on something that has been in smoke. But, I have to some times. Fortunately, we have some kick-ass family members (smokers and non-smokers alike) who are willing to do anything for Ant… even if it means they have to wash their hands a billion times a day when he is around.

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Speaking of kick-ass family, our little family will be moving to Maine to be closer to Ant’s Alisi and Nana! We can’t wait! I’m so excited that they will be part of his daily life, and that they will be able to watch him grow IN PERSON.

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Looking back at my 6 month update, I can see how much Ant has grown in just three months!

Those three teeth that I thought he was cutting three months ago turned out to be just one tooth, right next to the one he had already cut. The other two (his top front teeth) didn’t come for another two and a half months. Three weeks later, he cut his third set of teeth. Those are coming in right now. I had been meaning to get him a teething necklace, but was reluctant about the chemicals that some of the common styles are treated with. I recently learned that ones made of unfinished wood beads that are covered in baby-safe fabric are the best option. Although it is possible to find raw Baltic amber teething necklaces, there is really no certification to say that they are not treated with potentially harmful finishes.

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Photo Credit: Getting Sew Crafty

It seems like many people do not like the idea of teething necklaces, because they think it’s something the baby wears, and they assume that it’s dangerous. In all honesty, that is what I thought at first too. I imagined a tiny baby with a necklace of tiny beads around it’s tiny neck and how terrible of an idea that was! Some people do give their babies teething necklaces to wear, but those babies are supervised- and usually toddlers, not infants. However, I think the idea behind most teething necklaces (which is clear when you shop for the style of necklace I found, and see photos of them) is that Momma wears the necklace. When Momma wears the baby, baby can suck and chew on the necklace. And when they are nursing, baby can play with the necklace… instead of scratching and pinching Momma’s boobies! I ordered my jade nursing necklace with wooden teething ring from Getting Sew Crafty. The shop owner, Danielle, was very friendly and helpful when I was trying to figure out if the necklace would arrive before we left for Maine!

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As for solid foods… Anthony Sr. and I have decided to do mostly baby-led weaning. It’s just easier that way. We love our Cuisinart Baby food processor, and purees were definitely great for introducing Ant to solids for the first couple months. But, it was too difficult for us to feed him while we tried to eat. And there was no way I would have been able to feed him purees while I was working as a sitter for another baby. I’m really glad we decided to go with baby-led weaning. Ant is able to feed himself while we eat (yay, hot meals!), and he gets to eat what we eat- for the most part- so, hopefully, he will have a taste for spices when he gets older. One of the biggest misconceptions about baby-led weaning is that your baby will choke on food that is not pureed. This leads parents to think gagging is a sign of choking (it’s not… not breathing is a sign of choking), and they quickly dismiss BLW. But really, the gag reflex is a normal and necessary part of development. Misconceptions also lead parents to cut baby’s food into tiny “bite-sized” pieces, which are easier to choke on. Obviously, as baby gets older and is better at eating, you don’t have to worry as much about them choking on tiny pieces (like cereal!). But to start, you should cut fruits and veggies into long, rectangular pieces. You can read more about BLW here. And definitely take a look at the photo gallery if you need a good laugh! Our food processor will not be used as frequently to make purees… it has now graduated to salsa and smoothie making!

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I’m also proud to say that we have been nursing for 9 months strong! Many people have expressed their surprise to me about the fact that I am still breastfeeding Ant. I guess maybe people don’t know that the AAP recommends that babies be nursed or formula-fed until at least 12 months? Many people also think- thanks to the sexualization of breasts in our society- that breast fed babies should begin to drink breast milk from sippy cups around 6 months. A pediatrician suggested that I pump, and give Ant my milk in a cup, otherwise he would be “on the breast till college”. And let me tell you- aint nobody got time for that! I plan to let Ant self-wean. And I hope that in the future breastfeeding will be normalized. When it is, maybe moms like me won’t have to face such criticism.

As far as cloth diapering goes- now that I won’t be working as a nanny any more, I will have time to review our cloth diapers. Since I will have more time on my hands, you can also look for a future post about my experience with no-pooing and Deva Curl!

My No-Poo Journey

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My hair after its last regular shampoo and style!

For the past month or so, I have had this ongoing internal debate about whether or not I should stop washing my hair with traditional shampoo. It seems like the most logical next step in my re-wilding journey. I have read so many positive testimonials from people who have stopped shampooing their hair. Women talk about how their hair is the most luscious, healthy, and beautiful it has ever been since they stopped shampooing. But is it really worth having to pin my hair back when it gets so greasy that it sticks to my forehead? Is it worth the dirty looks when I’m that woman in the super market with hairy pits (GASP) and oily hair (GASP)?

As you can see, my hair is pretty healthy. However, I do have a lot of frizz and some parts of my hair are a little dry and brittle. A lot of my hair falls out in the shower and when I brush it (my boyfriend says it looks like Chewbacca just used our shower when I get out), but over all it is much healthier than it was two years ago.

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My routine until now has been to wash my hair every 2-4 days with whatever inexpensive shampoo I had at the time, to brush it daily, and to style it every once in a while with some gel (like the one pictured above, which I received in my Birchbox).

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This is a ridiculous photo of me, so of course I had to include it! Two years ago my hair was totally fried from all the beaching and straightening I did to it. Shortly after this photo was taken, I realized I was in need of clean slate… so I decided to chop off my hair.

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Getting a pixie cut was probably the best decision I have ever made for my hair! In the year following this hair cut I didn’t style my hair with heat or products at all, I didn’t cut my hair, and I only washed it every 2-4 days. My hair greatly benefited from that dramatic hair cut and I am so glad I did it! But, there is definitely room for improvement.

So, I decided to go for it! I went one week without shampoo! Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Here is what my hair looked like after one week of no-pooing:

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Instead of shampooing, while I was in the shower, I rinsed my hair with very warm water and massaged my scalp to stimulate oil secretion. Then, when I got out of the shower, I combed my hair and towel dried it. I realized half-way through my no-poo week that I probably should have been using separate towels for my hair and body to prevent breakouts.

I have to say, I did break out quite a bit this past week, mostly just on the back of my neck, behind my ears, along my hair line, and under my chin. This is to be expected if you go an extended period of time without washing your hair, but it still sucks a lot!

After going a week without shampoo, I definitely felt a little grody and wanted to wash my hair with some thing, so I used some apple cider vinegar and baking soda.

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First, I put baking soda along my hair line and in the part of my hair. I made sure to massage the baking soda into all of my scalp. Next, I mixed one part ACV and two parts water in the bottle pictured above. Then, I stood in the tub and rinsed the ACV through my hair. Of course, I got some in my eyes 😦 But other than that, it felt pretty nice! Finally, I rinsed my hair out with cool water and blow dried it with a diffuser.

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After blow drying my hair, it was much less frizzy than it was last week. It also looks a lot less greasy… but it did feel kind of oily. It also had this kind of weird grittiness to it. I’m not sure if that is from the baking soda? As of today it has been three days since my baking soda/ACV wash and my hair feels pretty normal.

I haven’t decided yet how long I will go without washing my hair again. I’m going to try really hard not to use shampoo, but it will be there if I can’t stand the greasiness any more! Since my hair didn’t get that greasy at all, I’m kind of hoping that my oil production regulates itself pretty quickly. We shall see!

In the mean time, I need to find some cute updos to keep my hair off my skin! I’ve just been using a head band and throwing my hair in a clip or bun. But, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’d like to do something cute with my hair!

I would really appreciate it if our readers could suggest some updos for me 🙂 Please head over to our Facebook page and share with us a photo of your cutest updo and a brief description of how it’s done. I will share the updos I like in my next no-poo post!

SBSGG | Trinkets by Dana & a Giveaway!

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For this week’s installment of our Small Business Saturday Gift Guide I got to know Dana, a jack-of-all-trades and owner of Trinkets by Dana! Dana has kindly offered to give away one of her hand made necklaces and an original photography print.

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One of Dana’s many beautiful pieces!

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Baby Update | 2 Months!

Its crazy to think that I have known my sweet Ant for only two months and I already love him more than I ever thought possible. I love every thing about him. I love his big grin. I love the lint between his chubby toes. I love his Buddha belly. I love his big cheeks and his wide eyes. He’s perfect. Don’t you think?

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If you have been following my baby updates, you know that Ant was sick for a while. I am happy to share that he is doing MUCH better. While he was re-admitted to Tulane hospital he had an ultrasound of his liver, kidneys and gallbladder as well as a liver biopsy. These procedures were to figure out why his bilirubin was still so high. Neither showed us a cause for it. Ant was discharged after 5 days in the hospital. Continue reading

SBSGG | Anchored Archer

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This week’s addition to the Small Business Saturday Gift Guide is a beautiful Etsy shop called Anchored Archer, specializing in Victorian-, Edwardian-, and Art Nouveau-inspired wire-wrapped and beaded jewelry. Continue reading

SBSGG | Barefoot Wild & Free

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Baby Ant in his new holiday vest from Barefoot Wild & Free

For this week’s Small Business Saturday Gift Guide I will be introducing you to Barefoot Wild & Free! We seem to be on a fashion trend so far with our reviews and, since I am a new momma of a beautiful baby boy, I thought it would be appropriate to include some baby fashion for my fellow mommies 🙂 Continue reading

SBSGG | Accessodium & ANOTHER Giveaway!

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Our second installment to our Small Business Saturday Gift Guide is here! Last Saturday we featured Fun and Baubles, and this week we’re featuring Accessodium – another great Etsy shop with handmade and uniquely designed accessories and clothing.  Continue reading

SBSGG | Fun and Baubles & a Giveaway!

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We’re so excited to start our Small Business Saturday Gift Guide with none other than the lovely Fun and Baubles, an Etsy shop specializing in handmade and vintage treasures, from jewelry to home goods. Continue reading

Prima Donna Goodies & a Beauty Giveaway!

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So, a few weeks ago, I totally lucked out and won a contest. The prize was a $25 gift card to Prima Donna (a shop I hadn’t previously heard of) and one of their necklaces! Score!  Continue reading