Breastfeeding Series: Kira of Rain or Shine

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 


The Experience of Breastfeeding: Kira & Pearl

by Kira of Rain OR Shine
I met Kira online over a year ago when she and I were both pregnant. Her blog, Rain OR Shine, was such fun to read while pregnant with my son (she was just a month behind me in her pregnancy). It is even more fun to read now that she posts the most adorable photos of Pearl and her Portlander Problems series (SO FUNNY!) I have been lucky enough to also meet this lovely lady and her daughter in real life. (And, yes… she is really that beautiful and ridiculously sweet to boot!)


1. Why did you decide to breast feed? 

I decided to breast feed for two reasons. The main reason was because it’s an undisputed fact that breast milk is just better for your baby than formula.  She gets the antibodies from my milk that she wouldn’t get from formula to help keep her from getting sick.  It is also easier for babies to digest.  The second reason is that it’s free and babies are expensive!  You have to buy so much for those tiny little people so it’s nice to not spend all of that money on formula as well.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

My biggest challenge was during the first four months of Pearl’s life.  She would often eat for an entire hour and was eating every two hours during the day.  That meant I was feeding her for an hour, I had an hour break, and then it started all over again.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

I didn’t have a specific moment, but we had a week where things finally started to click. Pearl started eating more efficiently and I realized that I was really figuring out how best to help her eat when she was having reflux issues.  I noticed that we were working together and that we were finally at a point where breast feeding had become “easy.”  In my birthing class, the instructor said that would happen when Pearl was around 6 weeks.  For us it really didn’t happen until she was four months, but I was so glad we stuck it through once we got to that point!

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

Pearl was exclusively breast fed until she was six months old.  At that point I started making baby food to incorporate into her diet.  She started taking a lot more bottles of pumped milk at that point because she hated the cover I used when I tried to feed her in public.  She would refuse to eat, cry, and pull on it until she exposed me to everyone nearby.  I’m a pretty modest person and I just couldn’t deal with that.  So, when I didn’t have the opportunity to feed her behind a closed door or in the car, I made sure to always have a bottle with me.  By the time she was eight months old, I was so tired of pumping so I stopped.  We used up the rest of the milk in our freezer and I started supplementing with formula on occasion.  Between that point and the time she was a year old, I think I bought three containers of formula so she was still mostly breast fed.  By the time she was a year, I switched from supplementing with formula to organic whole milk.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

I waited until six months to introduce solids.  We never had any issues.  Pearl absolutely loves food and was willing to eat just about anything.  She only refused peas, but was willing to eat them mixed with other foods.  I don’t have many tips because we didn’t really have challenges there to overcome.  I used the Baby Bullet to make her food.  Pretty much any food processor would work, but I really love all of the little food storage containers that came with it.

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

I wanted to breast feed until she was a year old.  I didn’t have any strict rules on what that meant, and I wouldn’t have been super disappointed if it hadn’t worked out for that long.  I am glad that it did though.

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Pearl is almost 13 months and she only nurses first thing in the morning now.  She doesn’t seem to have a preference between the boob and a bottle so I recently gave up the evening feeding and just give her whole milk before bed.  I don’t think she would care if I stopped nursing tomorrow, but breast feeding first thing in the morning is just so much more convenient than making a bottle.  I pull her out of her crib and nurse her while I am in bed.  It gives me time to wake up and she often falls back to sleep when she nurses in the morning so that is pretty nice too.  I’m not sure how I am ever going to give up the morning feeding.

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

It might be hard at first.  In fact, it probably will be.  You will consider giving up so many times.  But it gets so much easier.  It feels great to know that you are doing what is best for your child even if it is a little more work at the beginning.  You and your baby will figure it out together.  So I guess my tip would be to give it more time than you probably want to.  Stick it out and you will be glad that you did.


Thank you so much to Kira for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Kira your love in the comments section! 

Linking up to these parties:
  Eco Kidsparents as teachers
YAY! This post was featured:
Organic Aspirations

Breastfeeding Series: Adi from Garden of Edlen

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Adi & Jack

by Adi Edlen of Garden of Edlen and Oddly Even Edlen
I met Adi (pronounced Oddy) through the a Portland Bloggers’ meet-up. I was thrilled to find out that she had a son just a bit younger than mine. She is one of the most kind people I’ve ever met and her smile seriously lights up a room. Adi’s son Jack is a happy little guy with the face of a baby model! They are both such a treat to know. Adi is an Interior Designer, a mom, and a blogger. She blogs about home design over at Garden of Edlen. She just began a personal blog as well, check it out at Oddly Even Edlen.

1. Why did you decide to breast feed?

I decided to breast feed because with a new baby I wanted to have the peace of mind knowing that I was doing something right. As a new mom there are so many unknowns with a newborn; how to diaper, how/where they should be sleeping etc. But I knew that breast feeding would be a clear and easy decision to make, and it would be one that the people around me would support without question.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

It was excruciating for the first month. From beginning to end of each feeding I had to grit my teeth and ask my husband NOT to speak to me until I was done. It took some serious determination to keep doing it after 4 months at around Christmas time I finally weaned Jack and went to formula. I had exhausted myself from worrying about doing it perfectly and breast feeding was all I could ever think about. I had to make the difficult decision to either be a neurotic and tired momma or a sane and rested momma.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

My greatest moment was when nursing no longer hurt and it finally became easy. I was so happy to be giving Jack the best nutrition I possibly could while also not resenting the pain it was putting me through.

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

I solely breast fed until Jack was 4 months old. After that he went straight to formula.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

Jack started solids at 6 months. My advice for mommies is to go with your gut about when your baby is ready. Jack didn’t have any teeth and despite seeing younger babies eating solids Jack wasn’t curious at all about food and was very happy with his bottle.

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

My goal was 6 months but I felt satisfied with his growth and health after 3 months of breast feeding. I’m proud I nursed for that additional month and don’t regret not meeting my original goal.

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Yes. Jack was already familiar with bottles because I would pump and his daddy would feed him at night so I wasn’t worried about the transition from bottle to breast. Luckily he didn’t mind the difference in taste so after seeing his positive reaction to formula I stopped nursing immediately.

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

When I was struggling I went to a lactation specialist. Even after I felt like I was getting the hang of things I went again and I’m so glad I did. I was reassured and felt supported – I loved it!



Thank you so much to Adi for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Adi your love in the comments section! 

Linking up to these parties: 

BabyLinkUp500px





Breastfeeding Series: Sarah from Serendipitous Life

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

 

 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Sarah & Isaac


When my breastfeeding journey began on September 9, 2011 around 8 am with an 8lb 9oz new born I never dreamed I’d still be doing a year later with a 25lb toddler. Feeding my son from my body is like nothing I ever imagined it would be. It has been difficult, yes, but rewarding in so many ways. 
I honestly didn’t consider any other path for feeding my son. I know that my mom nursed my sisters and me and that my husband’s mom nursed all four of her kids. My husband was all for it too. Two things that really helped solidify my desire and make me excited for breastfeeding were the book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and my Bradley Method Childbirth classes (which I very highly recommend if you’re interested in natural childbirth). Both the book and the classes stressed not only the nutritional value of breastfeeding for the child but the relationship/bond that a positive breastfeeding experience can be for both mother and child.  But there is really nothing that can prepare you for the actuality of breastfeeding. When my son was finally on my chest, cuddled up under warm towels I wasn’t thinking about feeding him, then when the nurses started to tell me he needed to nurse I tried, but he was so tiny and wobbly. I didn’t know how to position him, what a latch should look like, how it should feel when he did start eating. It took a few weeks to really feel like we had a hang of it and a few months to feel like we were really good at it.

The first three weeks were the absolute hardest of our breastfeeding experience. It HURT. Everyone said it wouldn’t. Everyone that is, except my mom, whose advice when I asked her was “Don’t give up. The first month it really hurts and you want to quit, but don’t give up.” There were times in the first three weeks of nursing that I would cry because I knew my son needed to eat, but I was in pain (I had mastitis on my left side) and I WANTED to feed him, knew it was the best thing for us both (lots of rest, empty breast!) and my husband would hand him to me and tears would stream down my face as he suckled. But, the mastitis did heal (and even the sore went away eventually) and I was SO glad I listened to my mom and to my instinct.
When my son was about 7 months old and he giggled while nursing. I accidently blew on his face and he thought it was funny. He started giggling but didn’t stop nursing. We played like that for a few minutes. Moments like that came more often as he got older. He wasn’t always falling asleep at the breast and sometimes he wanted to play a little bit too. He loves stroking my hair while he nurses. It isn’t all love and giggles, though. He gets rowdy sometimes, kicking me in the face, pinching, biting. That’s when it was really important for me to set boundaries. When he kicks, bites, etc. I usually say “Ouch!” really loudly and sometime I have to put him down. He might cry, but if he really needs to nurse he’ll settle down and listen to me. It’s amazing how much he can learn about interacting with me just through our breastfeeding relationship.
 
We tried solids around 6 months and he wasn’t ready. He just spit out the banana we had mashed up for him. Around 8 months we tried again and he was tentative; I had made a whole batch of pureed sweet potato and he spit it all out. Next we tried rice cereal. I hadn’t wanted to start with that since I had heard and read about the benefits of just starting straight in on fruits and veggies. It really works great for some kids but not for mine. He really started gobbling cereal down when my parents came and my dad would feed him warm rice cereal at dinnertime. He thought it was great fun to have Papa feed him! So, rice cereal at 8 months, phased in pureed veggies around 9 months, and went quickly to table food. Now he eats just about everything. I can never believe how much he eats! My advice for solids is: don’t worry! When your kiddo is ready he or she will switch over. Keep trying, even if he or she spits out the first bite, try again. But, don’t stress if they don’t seem to be getting much or liking what you offer…if they are still BFing (or eating formula) they are getting ALL the nutrition they need from you. Also, it’s great if you can make your own baby food, but buying something doesn’t make you a failure or a bad mom. Do your best, but don’t push yourself so hard that you don’t have any joy in spending time with your little one.
My son is nearly 14 months old and we haven’t weaned yet. My goal was 12 months but when he turned 1 it wasn’t like a magical switch flipped and he was just done. We are now in what I consider the bonus phase of nursing. And, honestly, I love nursing him! But I’m starting to see signs of self-weaning. We started offering cow’s milk around 1 and he wasn’t really interested. About a week ago I offered it again and he liked it! Then, the other day he didn’t even ask to nurse for about 7 hours (a long time for my little one). As I see the frequency of his nursing going down I see the intake of table food and cow’s milk increasing. It’s an interesting transition.  My guess is that he will be weaned without a whole lot of work or thought by about 18 months, which is just fine by me! I just want to be emotionally ready for the change in our relationship. For me, nursing is such a great tool. Not only does it nourish my little one, it can put him to sleep, soothe ouchies (lots of those with toddlers), help him calm down, stop bad behavior, or give him a moment of peace. 
 
 
 

A few tips for breastfeeding:

  1. Have a good support system around you! My husband was my number one supporter. He was never weird or awkward about me breastfeeding our son and he was such an encouragement in those first few weeks. He always let me turn on the light to get situated during the middle-of-the-night feedings when I had to sit up and prop up pillows, and get a tiny newborn to latch. He gave me space when I needed it and reminded me that my new role as a mom was beautiful to him. Our doula was also wonderful and was able to give me lots of advice about breastfeeding positions, my son’s latch, proper nutrition for breastfeeding, etc. I had many friends who were/had also breastfeeding and both my mom and mom-in-law offered support and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it is from your mom (or mom-in-law), a friend, or a lactation consultant. While we were at the hospital I literally asked every nurse who came in to check out our latch!
  2. Get some really good nipple cream (I LOVE Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter, it doesn’t stain like lanolin). It’s little things, like taking care of sore nipples, that will help the transition go better. USE your Boppy pillow. I didn’t use it for a while (not sure why) but when I started it really helped me not be so tired from supporting my little one. 
  3. Read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. At times it might seem unrealistic; and, in my experience, there were things that got left out. But, every time I read it I felt empowered, part of a community of women, trust in my body, and joy in the relationship I have with my child.
  4. Take care of you. If you can, get a nice long hot shower while your partner watches the baby. Go on walks (even if you have to strap you little one to you or push a stroller). Listen to music you enjoy while nursing. Invest in an Ereader—they are perfect for nursing! Go out to dinner with your partner, the baby will be fine with a sitter for a couple of hours. Let people help you with dishes, laundry, shopping, cooking (especially if you get those offers when the baby is a bit older).
  5. Trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, check it out, ask questions, get help. Remember, you’re the best mama for your baby. You’ll make mistakes, but you love him more than anyone else and you will figure out what it is he needs.

Thank you to Sarah for sharing her story. To read more of Sarah’s tips and experiences in motherhood visit her blog The Serendipitous Life! Follow along this week to read other mother’s experiences with breastfeeding!

OH, and… today is Sarah’s Birthday! Wish her a big happy birthday and leave her a comment on her awesome story! 

*A link above is an affiliate link. I use and love the products I promote. But, if you happen to buy the product via an affiliate link then you help support the blogger that posted it. See here for my advertising policies. And, thanks for supporting me and my blog!


Breast Feeding Series

I’m so, SO excited about sharing a fun two week series on breast feeding here at Leave the Laundry for Later. Five amazing women shared some of their breast feeding stories with me to share with you.

I love how different everyone’s breast feeding experience is and I want this series to be out there for the everyday momma who needs some encouragement or to feel like they are not alone. There is no perfect way to do this big job.

Check back this next week for all the amazing stories from the women below:
Monday: Sarah of The Serendipitous Life 
Tuesday: Adi of Garden of Edlen & Oddly Even Edlen
Wednesday: Kira of Rain or Shine
Thursday: Katherine of Somewhere in the Middle
Friday: Megan of The Boho Mama

Fall Tradition of the Pumpkin Patch and Toddler Style

We went to the Pumpkin Patch when X was only about two months old. We decided on that trip that the Pumpkin Patch would be a yearly tradition. This year’s trip was even more fun than last year’s trip, because the little guy was totally into it. He was amazed by everything, and everyone, around him.
Plus, I got to dress him up in a super cute hat and scarf. He is my lil’ stud.
Not sure if the clothes he is wearing are still available.
But, the links below go to the sites of the stores I purchased his clothing at!
(Hat: Old Navy, Scarf: Dollar Tree, Shirt: Target, Jacket: Old Navy, Skinny Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: KMart)

What is your favorite Fall tradition?

{Friday Finds} Toddler Food Trays

I saw a lovely photo from Jennifer Bishop on On To Baby (and, all over Pinterest) and I was immediately inspired to create a Toddler Food area at my son’s first birthday party, in which 5 toddlers would be in attendance.

Continue Reading…

First Birthday Activity Ideas

Ahhh… the First Birthday. Such a weird age to throw a party for! You get the food done and the decor done and then it is like…
What is everyone going to DO?
Often a first birthday will have an array of different ages of people. Our first birthday had about 20 adults, a teenager, a 9 year old, and 5 babies! I was completely stumped for a long while trying to figure out some fun activities for everyone. Mostly everyone chatted, played with the babies, and took a lot of photos. (Common… 5 babies together, not crying, is probably one of the cutest things EVER.)

Here is what we came up with for our particular spread of people….

For the adults—

  • We had lots of food and beverages. Some of those beverages were adult-only type beverages. It made the whole party go smoother in my opinion.
  • Instagram/ Twitter Hastag Fun— I planned this one, but then forgot to put out the sign with the hashtag or use it myself. But, Adi’s Where the Wild Things Are party did a GREAT job with this idea!
  • “I Remember When” and “Advice for your Birthday” slips for people to write memories or advice for the birthday boy. (Look for a free printable next week!)

 

For the Babies— 

We wanted happy and comfortable babies for the event. So, we wanted to provide shade, food, and toys. I don’t recall any of the five kiddos having a melt-down!
  • TOYS! Put out some baby friendly toys for the kiddos. We put out several of X’s stuffed animals, cars, and wooden toys. The main event though were the yellow beach balls!
  • Do a baby time with a story and some songs. If you have ever brought your kiddo to “Mommy & Me” groups, Gymboree classes, or Book Baby programs at the library then you know what I’m talking about. Pick out a few fun books to read (in excited voices with lots of movement). Break up the story time with songs that have movements. Of course, we had to sing “You Are My Sunshine!”
Books that would be great to read at a You Are My Sunshine First Birthday:
Songs to Sing:
 
You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine
You make me Happy, When Skies are Grey
You’ll Never Know Dear
How Much I Love You,
I Love You More, and More
Everyday!

* Photos by Motormouth Studio
** Some of the above links are affiliate links. Affiliate links help support the bloggers that post them. I do not link items I have not used and/or do not like. For more information on my Advertising Policies click HERE.

 

It takes a Village: Solid Foods

Before having my child I was a much better parent.
I had great aspirations for what I would feed my son. I planned out (and wrote) a very detailed list of dos and don’ts for my family to refer to if ever left alone with the little guy.

{Mommy Monday} DIY Toddler Flat Sheets

Today’s {Mommy Monday} posts is a guest post from the lovely Becky from Pierce’d Photography.
~*~
As the youngest sister in my family, I have received many hand-me-down items from the nieces and nephews that have gone before.  We have furnished our kids’ bedrooms and filled their closets with all sorts of previously-used family merchandise. So when my daughter came along, we were simply going to reuse the crib bedding from her big brother; even though in its array of pastels, no feminine color could be found.  Until, that is, my oldest sister passed along a green and pink bedding set that perfectly matched the paint in her room.My daughter is now a toddler and, even though she still sleeps in her crib, having a just-my-size pillow and sheet to cover with became her latest need.  With the risk of SIDS passed, we obliged but did not want to splurge on new toddler sheets that would only last a year at most before she moves into a twin sized bed.

Luckily for us, two of those matching fitted crib sheets were actually too snug for our mattress and were sitting quietly in the drawer, awaiting a new purpose. For the cost of an afternoon and thread, we were able to re-fashion those fitted sheets into perfectly sized flat sheets for our two-year-old.  This is a great project for garage sale finds as well.

Supplies needed: Seam ripper, sharp scissors, straight pins, matching thread, sewing machine.

Step one: Take out elastic and seams using a seam ripper.  Please note: this is the most tedious part of the process. Also, save both the elastic and any scrap material. These may come in handy for future projects.

Step 2: Iron edges of sheet so they will be flat.  May need to use starch or wrinkle releaser while ironing.



Step 3: Decide which sides you will keep and prepare to cut off remaining sides.  Pictured are two sheets.  The bottom one is the one I am using for this tutorial and the top sheet is one I already did.  For the top sheet, I cut off the two longer sides, which resulted in a long, thin flat sheet – we thought it was too thin.  So for this one, I am cutting off the two shorter sides so it will be a bit shorter and wider.

Step 4: Cut off two parallel sides so even with remaining edges.  Using another flat sheet as a guide, straight pin in a hem on each side.  My top panel was about 2.5 – 3 inches wide, and the other sides were about 1/4 of an inch wide. Hint: Once the top panel is pinned, match the edges by folding in half.  If you hold it up to light, you will be able to tell if your panel is even all the way across.

Step 5: Sew.

Step 6: Enjoy – just in time for bed!

For a coordinating pillow, use your scrap material plus another matching fabric to make a pillowcase.  Toddler sized pillows are easily found at most fabric or craft supply stores.

~*~
Thank you Becky! 
If you liked this post check out her other {Mommy Monday} post:
Go To Baby Shower Gift
and Becky’s photography blog:

 

{Mommy Monday} I’m a mom

So, in case you were wondering where I was this past week… my little guy is here!
I went into labor at 3 AM two full days before my little guy was born… it was a LONG and hard labor.
Nothing went “too plan” but everything ended up working out great because our son is beautiful and healthy.
We had wonderful doctors and nurses who took great care of us and took my wishes into consideration every step of the way. I’m so very happy with my experience.
I’m so in love with him.
I’m just getting used to being a parent… so, please bare with me and the blog in the following weeks.
I do have several awesome guest posts, real parties and a couple of fun tutorials in preparation for this time. But, I still need to load them all in and get them ready for publication!
Gotta Get Paid
Awesome Portland Events
Googleicious Ads
Super Sponsors
Check This Awesomeness Out
Past Posts
Follow Along


Follow on Bloglovin


Want the News?

Fill out this short little form to sign up for our newsletter. We promise not to overload your inbox and to send fresh new printables with each newsletter!

Free Printable Blog Planner