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!

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Baby Update | 5 Months, Growth Spurts & Teething

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Wow! Happy five months to my beautiful baby boy! I cannot believe he is already five months old. Time has flown by, but at the same time, I feel like I have known him my entire life. Like we were two souls just waiting to be united. At JoAnna’s birthday party a few weeks ago, I was telling her how I feel like I have been waiting for him my entire life. Since about age ten, I have had baby fever. I remember thinking how I wanted to have babies as soon as I became an “adult”. Of course, by the time I turned 18, babies were not on my agenda. But, I always felt like there was something missing in my life. My son completes me. My cup is overflowing and I could not be more grateful to have such a joyful little baby in my life. Continue reading

My Awkward Mommy Moments

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Here are some of my #awkwardmommymoments for you to gawk and laugh at (and maybe nod in agreement). Hey, its not the catchiest hashtag, but I’m sure some of you can relate! Please tell me you can relate… Continue reading

Baby Update | 4 Months, Baby Gas & Elimination Diets

Tubby Time!

Tubby Time!

OH HAAAAY. I want to start this baby update by saying thank you to our readers. Thank you for your support, for your encouraging words, and for taking time to read about Ant’s journey and my experience as a new mom. Continue reading

A Thrifty Bitch New Year’s Resolution

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Across the nation people are buying new gym memberships and tossing out their Christmas candy. We all know what this means, as we roll over the day after December 31st, hung over, covered in confetti, and parched –  It’s resolution time. Happy New Year!

We Thrifty Bitches would love to share our New Year’s resolutions with you all in hopes that you’ll share yours, too!  Continue reading

Feeding Wars| 6 Brawl-Worthy Things NO Mother Wants to Hear

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Mama, Mama, Mama… we need to have a talk. And since the subject of feeding our babies is so touchy for most of us, maybe you should make a cup of chamomile tea, grab a seat, and take a few deep breaths. Continue reading

Baby Update| 3 Months!

Hi everyone! Baby Ant is now 3 months old! He turned 3 months yesterday, on Christmas 🙂

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Ant in his holiday vest from Barefoot Wild & Free- check out my review of BW&F from last month!

This Christmas was so special for our little family. We just moved into our new home in Norfolk, Virginia and my mom and brother drove down here from Maine with their dog Fergie. The six of us spent the day eating, chatting, walking on the beach and watching Bob’s Burgers and Wayne’s World- not your typical Christmas, but it was one to remember. My little brother, the thoughtful dude he is, brought gifts for Anthony Sr. and I. If my little sister and her family came, it would have been the most perfect Christmas ever. Continue reading

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

The Dangle Position and Other Breastfeeding Resources

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Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful natural occurrences in the world. It is among the many amazing things that the female body can do. When I think about the fact that I MADE a human and am now feeding him with my own body, I am in awe. The first time I nursed my son, I cried. I had to wait almost a week to have the joy of holding him for the first time, and waited over a week to have the experience of feeding him (see Baby Update | Home From The NICU). So my tears were mostly tears of joy for finally doing what every mother normally does in the first hour of her child’s life. They were also tears of relief, because it was not easy to get Ant to latch. It was really, really hard. From that day we have had ups and downs- from having to switch to a special formula, to returning to breast feeding, to growth spurts, and blocked ducts. Fortunately, I have many knowledgeable friends and access to some really great lactation consultants. Because I know how difficult breastfeeding truly can be, I would like to share what I’ve learned with you. I hope if you are having hard times that this will help. Don’t give up, Mama!

Continue reading

Baby Update | Re-admit Day 4

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Today baby Ant had his liver biopsy. The cat scan that they used to insert the needle didn’t show any irregularities, but we won’t have the results of the biopsy until probably Wednesday. Unfortunately, they were unable to draw labs during the procedure because they had difficulty getting the IV in. The whole point of drawing labs during the procedure was that he would be asleep and the IV would make it easier to get blood out. Now we have to wait until Monday to get most of blood work done and the genetics tests won’t be drawn until the 19th of November. This is REALLY frustrating and its looking more and more like we need to get to Boston and have Ant treated by the most experienced liver doctors.

Right now Ant is in the PICU for recovery. Because of his history with lung problems, he was put on a high-flow oxygen tube when he first arrived in the PICU. They just switched him to a regular oxygen tube and hopefully soon he will be completely off the oxygen. He has had nothing but an IV with dextrose since 8 AM, so I really want to be able to feed him soon. Most likely he will stay in the PICU over night so they can monitor him, but we can go home some time tomorrow. On Monday, Ant will have an appointment with his pediatrician. In the mean time his dad and I will be discussing if we will take him to Boston Children’s Hospital, and we will be in contact with them to see what they can do for Ant that isn’t being done here at Tulane.

Please, every one, continue sending love our way. It is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to donate to help Baby Ant get the care he needs, we started a GoFundMe account for him. You can find it here at GoFundMe.com. Thank you all!