Joanna Anastasia

newborn

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

One of the things that my friends and new moms usually struggle with are baby naps. Adding this to the sleepless nights, the struggles with finding the right way to care for that new baby and finding time to do all the adult things, this can be actually a very big problem! And as a mom of three now, I think I seen it all. From my first born who was a horrible sleeper, to my second who would fall asleep anywhere, and now to my little delicate snowflake baby – I really seen it all.

The thing is, babies have their own instinct, that will wake them up at any time thy might feel abandoned – and for many babies it means waking up the minute you put them down! See,  evolutionary psychology even made research about it, saying that in our past, the only way for a baby to survive would be to stay in an adult arms at all times! That’s why babies sleep best while in movement. You must have heard the stories of parents walking around the house with a stroller, or riding around the block only to keep their baby asleep, did you? Well, I used to be one of those parents with my first baby, and boy I was exhausted!

Well, this time around I have a better solution.I must admit, I never have tried it with my first, “difficult” as I used to think- but now I know completely normal baby. A swing.

I got this Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing from BABIES R US Canada, and it has completely changed my day routine. I can plan things, I can do things, and I have time to finish them – all while being a stay at home mom. Simply because my baby sleeps and stays asleep!


Parmi les chose avec laquelle moi et mes amies nouvelles maman avons eu de la difficulté, on trouve les siestes. Lorsqu’on ajoute cela au manque de sommeil, au défis que présente certains soins du bébé et aux autres tâches ménagères à accomplir, ça peut devenir un véritable problème. En tant que mère de trois enfants, j’ai eu trois à de très différents dormeurs. 
Les bébés ont un instinct qui les réveillera dès qu’ils se sentent abandonnés – et pour plusieurs cela signifie dans la minute après qu’ils aient été déposés! Il y a même eu des recherches en psychologie évolutionnaire qui ont expliqué cela par le fait que par le passé, pour survivre, un bébé devait être dans les bras d’un adulte en tout temps! C’est pour cela que les bébés dorment mieux lorsqu’ils sont en mouvement. Vous avez sûrement entendu ces histoires de parents qui promènent leur bébé en poussette dans la maison ou qui font des tours de voiture pour garder leur enfant endormi, n’est-ce pas? Eh bien j’étais du nombre avec mon premier bébé et mon dieu, j’étais épuisée

How to help your baby nap wellHow to help your baby nap wellHow to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap wellDisclosure – this post was brought to you by Babies R US Canada, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

This swing has 6 speeds and two sitting positions- one for napping and for newborns at all times, and second “sitting & chilling” as I call it. You can also change the position to facing forward or to the sides, and pick the one that your baby prefers. There’s a big choice of calm music AND nature sounds, and to make it all even better there are star lights that will capture their attention when they are fussy plus cute yet contrasting ( so babies can see them) little lambs that move around to look at.


Et bien cette fois, j’ai une meilleure solution. Je dois admettre que je n’avais jamais essayé cela avec mes premiers bébé. J’ai maintenant ce berceau-balancelle mon petit agneau de Babies R Us Canada et cela a complètement changé ma routine quotidienne. Je peu planifier, faire et terminer plus de tâches tout en étant une maman à la maison. Tout simplement parce que mon bébé dort et reste endormi!

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

This swing comes in a box, and is really easy to assemble – took my hubby around 15 minutes, plus you can fold it to store it easier!

I’ve set my Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing in the sunroom, right next to the kitchen, where I can put Julien down for his nap, or sit him (attached of course) while I cook and girls are playing peek-a-boo with him, reading or singing to him.

And while I love snuggling my babies and rocking them to sleep, I must admit that it’s really freeing to have a choice now. Because he doesn’t need me anymore to fall asleep ( and that’s something so new for me, as I used to spend half of my time putting my babies to sleep!)  He’s just perfectly snuggled and happy in his swing!


La balançoire a 6 vitesses et deux positions – une pour dormir (ou en tout temps pour les nouveaux nés) et une assise. Le siège peut aussi être tournée d’un côté ou de l’autre selon la préférence de bébé. Il y a un grand choix de musique et de sons de la nature, et aussi un ciel étoilé lumineux pour attirer l’attention des bébés de mauvais poil. Il y a aussi de jolis petits agneaux à regarder tourner et sauter.
La balançoire est facile à assembler (15 minutes ont suffit à mon mari) et se plie pour le rangement.  J’ai installé la mienne dans notre solarium près de la cuisine où je peux installer Julien pour sa sieste ou l’asseoir (attaché bien sûr) pendant que je cuisine et que ses sœurs lui font des coucous ou de la lecture. Et bien que j’adore cajoler mes bébés et les endormir dans mes bras, je dois avouer que c’est libérateur d’avoir le choix. Maintenant il n’a plus besoin de moi pour s’endormir. Il est confortable et heureux dans sa balançoire!

I got this Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing from BABIES R US Canada, and it has completely changed my day routine. I can plan things, I can do things, and I have time to finish them - all while being a stay at home mom. Simply because my baby sleeps and stays asleep!How to help your baby nap well

I got this Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing from BABIES R US Canada, and it has completely changed my day routine. I can plan things, I can do things, and I have time to finish them - all while being a stay at home mom. Simply because my baby sleeps and stays asleep!

How to help your baby nap well How to help your baby nap well

Disclosure – this post was brought to you by Babies R US Canada, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

 

 

 

 

10 tips for a better postpartum time and surviving first weeks with a newborn

10 tips for a better postpartum time (1)

As a mom of three now, I had all sorts of postpartums  – there was the first one, when I was exhausted and in shock over my life changing so drastically, the second one, with a postpartum depression, and lately the third one, definitely the calmest of all. Even though my third baby had colics, and even though I already had two older kids around. And I think that it all went so much better this time around thanks to of some things I learned over time.

So If you are pregnant now and trying to imagine and plan how this new chapter in your life will pass, or if you just had a baby and feel overwhelmed, here are some things that may help to have a better postpartum time and survive these first weeks with a newborn :

  1. Give yourself grace. Your body just went through truly amazing transformation and  it’s normal that it takes time to heal. It’s perfectly normal that it looks different now. And yes, once you give birth you still look pregnant for a while! Take these first weeks very slowly. Both with expectations of what you’ll accomplish, as physically.  For some woman it may be a month and more, for some only a week or two but all woman in postpartum need time to physically heal and emotionally adjust.
  2. Don’t fight with your baby’s instincts. While our society may tell us to go out, put the baby in a crib in a nursery and sleep train, these first three months are actually a baby’s fourth trimester – a time when they need to be close to us, feel our presence and be cuddled, nursed and reassured as much as they want. So using a baby carrier ( even at home) , having a little bassinet next to your bed ( or even co sleeping) and not planning too much, might be actually the best things you can do for your baby and your sanity!Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time
  3. Ask for help. Especially if you have older kids. Ask for help while healing and ask for help while being sleep deprived after a month or two with a newborn. It doesn’t make you less of an independent woman to ask and accept help. Remember, it takes a village to raise a kid. And every child is different, so even if you have older kids, you can still feel lost and powerless. Find a breastfeeding consultant as soon as you feel you’re struggling and don’t wait to the last minute to call your health care provider – google search might make you feel just more nervous when in doubd!
  4. Prioritize you and your baby, because everything else can wait. Yes, even the older kids, even the laundry, even the dishes. And there’s no harm in feeding your older kids with sandwiches and cereal for a month or two – if you’re alone and there’s nobody to help you around, it’s totally fine to lower your standards and switch to a survival mode!Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time
  5. Don’t ever talk negatively to yourself. Every time you think : I got nothing done today; I look fat, my belly is to big – you depreciate yourself and the amazing and important work you did and are still doing ! Embrace your postpartum body as it is. Soft, squishy, larger than before. No, you don’t need to “get your body back” you have the same body but more amazing! A body that grew life, gave birth and is maybe even feeding a baby! If you do exercise or try to eat healthy, do it for your well being. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself now.
  6. Do what works best for you and your baby – even if it’s something that you never thought you would do as a mother. And by that I mean whether it’s breastfeeding on demand or bottle feeding, co sleeping and baby wearing all the time, or feeling like you need to leave the house for a just little bit and introducing the bottle and a pacifier earlier than you thought – do what you feel works for you, and don’t let other people’s expectations guide your parenting.Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time
  7. Invest in pretty postpartum wardrobe. Sometimes it means that for a while you’ll be wearing a larger size then you youse to. Don’t ever wait for ” after I lose the weight” to dress pretty and appreciate your body for what it does. Go and get yourself couple of pieces that will fit you in your 4th trimester, with the squishy belly and all.
  8. Repeat to yourself : ” it’s just a phase, it will pass”. Every time your baby has colics, every time you’ll wake up as tired just as much as you where the night before, every time you”ll feel like crying. It will all pass. I promise. Research shows that when we look at challenges as something that will eventually pass, rather then a never ending obstacle, we gain perspective and we’re less stressed in the end!10 tips for a better postpartum time
  9. Find yourself a mama that has been there and that you can call anytime: when you are unsure of your choices, worried and feeling down. Someone that can listen. A real person, and not a google search bar!  Sharing your thoughts with someone who has been there will make you feel less alone.
  10. And lastly, don’t let the mom guilt creep in: whether you’re ” not enjoying every minute of it’ as you thought you would, or you feel that actually you would have it another way. Whether you feel like you’re not doing it right, or fear you’re making a lot of mistakes. It’s normal. You’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.

And know that most women feel the same, but socially we’re expected to express only joy and gratefulness over motherhood. But while it is the most beautiful thing that can happen in life, both rewarding and fulfilling, it’s also a big source of stress and frustration. And it’s only human to feel all the mixed emotions. The love, the gratefulness, the joy. The fear, frustration, and despair. Even in the same day, even all at once. 

And if you’re still pregnant and trying to prepare for the future or if it’s your first baby, just try to take one day at a time. Before you’ll know it, your newborn will turn in to a toddler, and then it’s a whole different story altogether !

 

Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time

 

5 worst baby advice

Worst baby advice

People are usually well intended, and family and friends usually would like to help out, but sometimes the advice that they give are far from adequate. And if it’s your first baby then every one jumps in to a conclusion that you’re totally lost and you need advice. Even if you don’t ask for any, you’ll get it anyway :).

I didn’t ask for it, most of the time. I didn’t have to, because my Polish mom would give me advices before I even had the time to think :). But her solutions where mostly good, unlike my childless friends (also very well intended, I’m sure).

So well intentioned aunts, cousins and childless friends started giving me all sorts of advices, some good and some really, really bad. There where also total strangers approaching me at the groceries and sharing some of these parenting advices with me. Also nurses, who admitted that they never had any psychology classes, but they still suggested the following.

Here is my top 5 of the worst baby advice that I received :

1.Your baby is manipulating you.
Especially older generation sees babies as these sneaky manipulative creatures that would do anything to spend a night in a parents bed.

  1. Let your baby cry it out ( because it’s only manipulation, right ?)
    Surprisingly, this advice comes equally from older generation as childless people. Since babies can’t talk, they cry, but surly only to manipulate you, to be taken in your arms (and then it to your bed !) so it’s better to just ignore as long as you can (assuming baby was fed and changed).

3. You should detach yourself from your baby!
Co sleeping, nursing and baby wearing at 6 months? Your kid will never move out and will be totally dependant!

4. You need to buy everything before you give birth.
Nursing pillows, breast pomps, educative toys , sleeping blankets, bath accessories and car toys.

5. You should stop nursing when your baby starts having teeth.
Otherwise your baby will bite you! And you’ll bleed !

5 worst baby advice

So guess what ? Babies don’t manipulate, they communicate. Being close and cuddled is essential for babies brain development.

If a baby cries a lot, without being calmed by anyone, than he’s body is producing cortisol, the stress hormone. High levels of stress hormone are correlated with anxiety and numerous illness. You can read more about effects of the cry-it-out here.

Being close and attached in early years gives kids strength and good self esteem so they can get independent and fearless as adults.

You don’t need all that baby gear. Some of these products you might never use. I never used a breast pump with my second one, or a nursing pillow, and I used a baby bath twice.

Yes, a baby with teeth might bite you by accident, but after your strong reaction, they most likely won’t do it again. Babies also scratch, hit and kick, and they might also throw up on you. These are all normal work hazards of a caregiver ;).

That being said, I understand that we all might have different parenting approaches, but there are some things that are beyond any approach. Ignorance of basic human needs, like feeling safe and being taken care of ( in the cry it out advice) is just beyond any parenting approach. The saddest part is that this was one of the advices I got from a nurse..

How to prepare a toddler for a new baby

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I’ve heard some horror stories about toddlers and new siblings. I’ve heard a story about this girl that even though she was potty trained she started to poop her pants. Every day. For weeks. I heard a story about this toddler that asked her mom if the baby can be taken back to the hospital. And another one about a little girl asking if the baby could go back to mummy’s belly. So many people have been telling me about the jealousy and tantrums that are a part of becoming a sister/brother.

So I was scared. I didn’t want to break my little girl’s heart, I wished for her to love her sister and to feel equally loved by me. And now that our baby Rose is four months old, I really don’t see any jealousy in the soul of my two and a half Lili. She really loves her sister, she tells her friends with proudness that it’s her baby. She tells anyone who is willing (or not) to listen what’s her sister’s name, and what she likes (milk). Honestly that poor baby is literally licked by her sister! I really need to stop her from cuddling the baby all the time.

And Lili never told me she wanted the baby to go back to the hospital, in my belly or anywhere. I’m pretty sure she understands that the baby’s place is home with us. And of course, she does have tantrums, she’s a toddler right? But she’s not jealous and she loves her new sibling :). So here are the things I’ve been doing to prepare her for a new baby :

1. Explain the pregnancy.
No, no need to go into details of how it started ;). But explaining that babies come from love of adults, that they slowly grow in mommies belly, that they can hear you, and smile at you even when they are still inside of mommy is ok. Don’t forget to explain that once the baby leaves the belly, there is no way back!

2. Talk about the differences between a big girl/boy and a baby.
Babies can’t eat chocolate, ice cream, bananas or whatever your toddler loves. Babies can have only milk. Can babies watch cartoons? No, but a big girl/boy can. Can a baby play with toys, go to the park or have friends over? No. As you see it’s all about making them understand that it’s cool being a big girl/boy and really boring being a baby ;).

3. Talk about changes.
If you plan to sleep in the same room with your newborn, explain it to your child, and repeat it often. Explain that when the baby comes mommy will do certain things, but won’t be doing others. Sometimes while feeding the baby she won’t be able to play. Maybe it will be daddy who will be picking you up from daycare or making breakfast. Your toddler might be small, but if you repeat often what changes are going to happen it will be less surprised and shocked by the change.

4.Help them visualize what’s happening.
It’s great for a toddler to imagine a baby growing in mommy’s belly. There are many books that illustrate pregnancy to children. My daughter had one and she loved it.

5. Involve them in baby preparation.
Let them help you choose whatever you need to buy. They can choose the colours.
They can help you set the nursery, or just the crib by choosing a stuffy that will be waiting for the baby.

6 Let them feel important and excited.
By involving toddlers in the baby preparation, by explaining the difference between the big girl / boy and a baby, they will start to feel important and excited.

7 Make them feel involved.
Before the baby comes plan with your toddler what you’ll be doing together with the baby. Can they help with bath time ( pass the towel ) or diaper change ( pass the diaper) ? Can they sing to the baby and hand the pacifier ? We planned all that she would be doing with the baby, and she was really exited to take part in all of the above!

8. Don’t lie that the newborn sister/brother will play with them !
Not at the beginning, that’s for sure. It’s better to tell them there will be a lot of crying. And explain that by crying, babies communicate because they can’t talk .

9. Show them other pregnant woman and other tiny babies.
If there aren’t any around you, stalk people at the grocery or at the shopping mall ;).

10. Show your toddler pictures of you being pregnant with them.
Tell them stories about them when they where babies. Tell them that they cried, they drank only milk, and they liked gentle signing.

I wander what are your tips for preparing toddlers for new siblings ?

And here are some books that I recommend, to help you prepare your child for a new sibling
(just click on the image to see more):

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