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