Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Everything she knows I taught her...

And then, there's the advice that I welcome from other mothers.  Whether I feel too stupid to ask my pediatrician, too confused to come up with an appropriate search phrase for google, or too afraid to know the answer - other moms have offered a wealth of knowledge on some of the most important aspects of parenthood.

Breastfeeding information and encouragement*

This one gets an asterisk because I've seen all sides of this issue (women who are perfectly supportive, women who are not supportive at all, and women who border on insane are VERY passionate when they speak about breastfeeding - most of these women, I've encountered on the interwebs and I try to avoid that anyway...)  So, while I've been fortunate enough to get some GREAT advice about breastfeeding, I've alos heard some pretty terrible advice as well.  Choose carefully about who you go to.  Trust me on that.  For the most part, I don't think that I would have ever continued breastfeeding if I didn't have some of my most difficult questions answered so well by fellow and former breastfeeding mothers.  I promised myself early on that I would not give up until I had exhausted every resource and every possible solution to any problems I had.  Fortunately, the only problem I really suffered was the exhaustion that every new mother experiences.  And even that eventually ended.  Long story short, keeping something alive with your boobs is pretty freaking hard.  I'm so glad I know some women who have successfully done it who have been cheering me on every step of the way.  You know who you are.  Thanks for that.

Also, I notice I've broken a personal rule of mine and that's mentioning breastfeeding in two posts in a row.  Sorry about that.  Shant happen again...

Book recommendations

I have several friends who are avid readers like myself so as soon as I found out I was pregnant I started picking their brains for books on pregnancybreastfeeding, making your own baby food, and what to do if all of the sudden your kid's arm falls off or something.  Not all suggestions have been the best (the ones I linked have been my favorites), but that's why there's a magical thing called - to weed out the crazy and terrible books and snatch up the good ones (often with free shipping!)  By the way, I could devote a whole post (and probably will) to how much I love and the app for iPhone.

Products and gear recommendations

For being less than 20 pounds, my kid sure does have a ton of crap.  Most of that crap, I couldn't live without on a day to day basis.  My sister-in-law encouraged me to get a vibrating bouncer.  My cousin adores her car seat.  A co-worker was a big fan of her breast pump.  All of those things combined cost nearly 500 bucks.  Do I want to just throw half a G in the garbage?  Hellz no.  Lord knows what I'd do without getting some amazing user reviews from my mommy friends before hemorrhaging spending a bunch of money.  They'll also help you save on the items you won't ever really use (bottle warmer) and point out the stuff that's worth the splurge (a certain brand of diapers that cost a little more, but are totally worth it).  My pediatrician recommended a brand of diaper cream, and I swear to everything holy, it is SO worth the strangely high price tag.  Little Mr. Grunts-a-Lot had a diaper rash that wouldn't go away from age 2 weeks to 8 weeks.  Until we tried this stuff.  Man, it zapped it.  Now, anytime he shows even a little redness, we pay a visit to our good friend Dr. Smith and he takes it from there.

I love you.

Tricks of the trade

So, after two failed attempts of introducing rice cereal to Little Mr. Grunts-a-Lot, I was feeling like this kid was going to start kindergarten with breast milk as his primary source of nutrition.  My mom asked me how it was going and I explained I was coming out of every feeding wearing more food than what was going in his mouth.  She explained to me that the kid probably feels like he's going to drown if he lets that stuff go down his throat.  I also told her I thought he was overwhelmed by the size of the spoon and that I needed to find smaller one with a flatter bowl.  She shared that as kids we always preferred the metal demitasse kind with a rubber wrapped bowl.  (Not surprising, I'd TOTALLY still eat with one of those if it was socially acceptable.  Shut up. It's not that weird.)  So, I got one and tried it yesterday.  At first, I got another one of LMGAL's patented rice cereal showers, and I just handed him the spoon in frustration.  And like any good baby, he stuck it in his mouth and just started gnawing on it.  I guess he must have inadvertently swallowed some rice cereal in the process because as soon as I tried to feed him a little more, he was ready to chow. down.  Seriously.  I actually had to mix up some more!  A lot of my mom's advice comes from her knowledge of raising babies in the 80s.  The research has changed, the gear has gotten fancier, and information is more readily available these days.  But, stuff like this?  It'll never change.  Sometimes the most simple, common sense suggestions can be the difference between wearing rice cereal and eating it.  And it takes a mom with some years under her belt to provide you with a little common sense when you're at your wit's end.

All of this reminds me of this quote from that obnoxious "Sunscreen" song circa 1999:

Advice is a form of nostalgia.  Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

So, thanks to all of you mommies out there for the little bits of "nostalgia" you've shared with me over the past year. 

Keep it coming.

1 comment:

  1. I loved those spoons and would also eat off of them if it were acceptable. That, and if they came in a larger size. :)


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