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    The Art Of Parenting As They Grow Up

    Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

    I was in here snuggling with BC, who is now 12 weeks old, when Mini came in. She smells the air and makes this silly face while saying “Oh my goodness! It smells sooooo good in here!” And it hits me in the face that in my head she’s still BC’s age but she’s not. She’ll be 8 in a few months excuse me as a I go cry in a corner and I’ve got to see her as such. This parenting as they grow up is, well, a challenge.

    Our Babies Won’t Stay Babies Forever

    This is something I struggle with often. When I see both Mini and abc, they’re still BC’s size and age. In my head I have 3 babies but that’s not my reality. I have a baby, an almost not toddler, and an almost tween. Laaaaaaawwwwd help me!!!!!

    via GIPHY

    They’re all growing up beautifully too. Mini is this wonderfully helpful and well spoken little girl. Right now we’re going through a power struggle as she’s trying to define what it means so to be herself as she gets older. And abc? I know I shouldn’t be flabbergasted that this child speaks in soliloquies like her sister but every time she opens her mouth and Martian doesn’t come out I find myself surprised. Why? I’m not sure lol! She’s the friendliest of them all and doesn’t meet a stranger. If you get talked up by a toddler in it might be her.

    Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

    Changing My Parenting Styles As They Grow Up

    It’s funny, people always look at me with an infant and wonder how I’m sleeping at night. He’s the easy one and we sleep mighty well. I’ve lost more sleep over my parenting as they grow up then any other time–including pregnancy.

    I want them to feel loved.

    Growing up isn’t easy. I literally just looked at my husband the other night and sighed at how crazy this being an adult thing was. But both the girls are going through some rather tough times right now and although it’s stressing me out, I want them to feel and know they are loved through all the fussing I do.

    Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

    They need space.

    And I know this. I wouldn’t identify myself as a helicopter parent but I’m not going to give them tooooooooo much space. But they do need more space to figure out who they are in the world and what that looks like on them. ABC is learning her boundaries and that she has choices. Mini is finding out that people are mean but that it doesn’t mean she has to be. While I want to control the outcomes of these learning experiences, I can’t.

    Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

    They need to be able to know they can come to me.

    Whether it’s with a question, for help, a hug or to just be, they will always need to be able to come back to me. This is something I struggle to remember–that they’ll always need me. I’m sometimes scared to release my hold on them fearing that they’ll discover they don’t need me. But even at 34 I still call my mom and dad for help or to have them just listen as I cry on the phone.

    I️ still remember one of the first times after having mini that I needed my mom to come. I was a single mom with her and had no one that could watch her after she’d gotten sick on her birthday. I called my mom early afternoon and before midnight she was walking through my bedroom door. And then when I was pregnant with abc I went into early labor and I was on the phone with my mom as I went to the doctors office and then drove myself to the hospital. She was in town in time to pick Mini up from school. Moms are always needed so it’s silly of me to fear mine won’t need me.

    Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

    They need to know we trust them.

    This one is so big. As parents we work so hard to instill these stellar integrity and character in our kids and we need to not only trust that we did a good job but also trust them to make the right decisions. And if they don’t, we need to still be there to help guide them through–not to say I told you so. This is hard.

    Again, I wouldn’t identify myself as a helicopter parent but I’m definitely in tune with what’s going on with them. I’m learning how to adjust the style of my parenting as they grow up because I’m committed to raising amazing adults–not children.

    Parents! What adjustments have you had to make in parenting as they grow up? Any tips or tricks?

    5 Life Hacks Every New Mom Needs

    When Mini was born I had to go out and do all the things. Now? It's way easier with these must have services for the new moms.

    Being a new mother is hard. You’re tired, in pain, recovering, adjusting, and still expected to cater to everyone. As a third time new mother, there are definitely some things that I’ve learned that make things easier. Thank goodness for these resources as they are definite must have services for new moms!

    When Mini was born I had to go out and do all the things. Now? It's way easier with these life hacks for new moms. Check them out and share!

    5 Life Hacks For New Moms

    Kroger Clicklist

    Listen. When I first found out about this service I acted real bougie-like at the thought of someone else doing my grocery shopping. Now? Every two weeks I see my girl Ayanna as I sit in the Kroger Clicklist parking spot for my groceries to be delivered to my trunk. CVS and some Walmart’s also offer similar services in case Kroger isn’t by you!

    Amazon Prime Now

    I used to work for Amazon and was always so jealous of the people who lived in the areas that they delivered to. Now I do and THE DAY we moved in I ordered from Prime Now. Judge me if you want to ha! This service is amazing. When I was pregnant and in too much pain to get to the store for water, they delivered it in a matter of hours. Or even now when I forget something at the store, I can have Amazon deliver it to me.

    Amazon Prime

    My husband is constantly remarking on how many boxes we have around the house. I have to remind him who he married lol! Amazon Prime made ordering all our homeschool supplies a breeze and keeps my sewing notions stocked so they’re always ready. My favorite thing? We never run out of toilet paper (or kids vitamins) because they’re on auto ship. This is literally the best because I ALWAYS forget toilet paper and paper towels when I’m at the store.

    Uber Eats

    I know, some days we’re boycotting Uber and some days we aren’t. But when I tell you I was THRILLED when I could order a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and have them delivered I knew boycotting wasn’t for me!!! Every day new restaurants are added and ready to allow me to partake in their deliciousness being delivered to my door! Use code eats-aaronicacue for $5 off your order.

    Insta-Cart

    I tried the free 14-day trial of their delivery service and I’m seriously contemplating signing up for it permanently. They deliver both Aldi and Publix TO MY HOUSE!!! Yes! I love this option because their organic and fresh meat sections are pretty damn good and great competition for my boo Sprouts Farmers Market.

    What resources would you add as must have services for new moms?

    How I’m Homeschooling With A Newborn

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    One of the main questions I fielded when I was pregnant was if I was going to continue homeschooling with a newborn. I’d never thought about stopping just because I was throwing another child into the mix and we’re still going strong now. In fact, it’s easier homeschooling with a newborn than while pregnant but it’s definitely not something that I would say is easy.

    Have Patience And Grace

    This is with both yourself and the kids. The beauty of homeschooling is there’s no falling behind so you can take the time you need after delivery. But this can easily be forgotten if you’re a goal oriented person. Depending on your age and health, recovery can take time. The more patient you are with yourself during healing the faster you’ll get back to whatever norm you have.

    Set Proper Expectations And Be Prepared

    Kids are more adaptable then we give them credit. I had a conversation with Mini about what I needed from her, the pain I was in post-delivery and the things I expected from her. This made our days in the beginning much smoother. And preparation is key for us. On Sundays I would plan out the weeks work for them to do and then make sure their daily assignments were left out.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    Ease Back Into Your Routine

    One of the things that has made it easy for us to get back into our routine has been having someplace comfy to put BC in when he’s not on me. We have a Hushamok Baby Hammock in our living room where we conduct our lessons.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok. Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    The fabric is an organic cotton that hugs him as he sleeps giving me the time I need to go over lessons with the girls. Not only does he love it but the design is beautiful so I don’t feel like my living room looks like a day care–yet.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

     

    Make Caring For Your Newborn Part of The Lesson Plan

    Caring for a newborn can be hard but it’s something of great value to both adults and kids to learn. And yes, I said adults too because this isn’t something that’s as innate as we think. The girls are learning greater patience, communication skills, how to nurture in different ways and about the human body–this is the first male private part they’ve seen! But it also helps to make sure they don’t feel replaced by the baby.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is a challenge but it’s a rewarding one as it gives all of us the opportunity to get lessons we normally wouldn’t have. Balance and grace are everything for the success of it though!

    How To Add A Newborn To Your Bedtime Routine

    Big thanks to Halo for working together on this post!

    BC is 8 weeks old now. EIGHT weeks! I can’t believe that it was just 6 weeks ago that he joined our family adding a beautiful dynamic to it. And it’s taken all of these weeks for us to get settled into our nighttime routine with him plus the other kids. Full disclosure: my home has been a bit crazy towards the end of pregnancy and I’ve really been looking forward to getting our bedtime routine back on track. I’m happy to share that we finally have.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Nighttime Snuggles

    BC is my last baby and our nighttime snuggles are extended after the girls go to sleep. I’m a breastfeeding mama and this is it for me. I love playing with his little toes and letting his fingers curl around mine as he gets comfortable in his sleep. I love his beautiful curls on his head and the way that his big eyes look up at me sleepily before they close. He will probably be spoiled and I’m not going to make pretend to stop that. This is my last baby and I’m enjoying breathing in every last bit of him.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Incorporating A Newborn Into Your Bedtime Routine

    Bringing home a baby to two little girls is like bringing him home to 2 mini moms. Both the girls want to be included in his care and take personal offense if they feel left out. One of the really important things to me is to make sure that both of my girls feel as though they are both needed and wanted in helping with the baby.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    In incorporating BC into our pre-existing routines, my husband and I have shared some of the responsibilities in getting him ready for bed. Mini will undress him and read books to both ABC and BC. Not only does that make her feel like she’s a big help, it also helps her with her phonics. ABC is still so small and BC is growing pretty quickly so there are limits to what she helps with. She’s able to brush his hair and sing to him as I nurse him.

    Our Bedtime Routine

    One of the things that I’m learning daily is that the girls do better when we set the proper expectations for them. On our white board I write down what their routine is and it looks a little something like this:

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Evening Chores
    Shower (I give BC a bath)
    Brush Teeth
    Get Jammies on (BC gets put in his HALO SleepSack)
    Read 2 books
    Sing 2 songs
    Go to Sleep!

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Now sometimes (to be read as most times) it doesn’t go this smoothly but this is our goal!

    What do your bedtime routines with infants look like?

    Have questions about safe sleeping for newborns? Check out this resource here.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    3 Reasons You Need To Be Baby Wearing

    Baby wearing is an awesome tool for new mamas. Find out my reasons why that I share in this sponsored posting.

    Tracking PixelBaby wearing isn’t a new concept by any means, however, it’s becoming increasingly popular. Even though more people are finding out about the different methods of baby wearing, I still don’t think there are enough people out here that know just how baby wearing can make ALL the difference in your life as a new parent. Notice how I said parent because baby wearing is NOT just for moms!

    3 Reasons You Need To Be Baby Wearing

    1. Your Other Children Need To Be Tended To

    I’m now a mom of three and my oldest two are all over the place, into everything. Would I love having a whole month off only focusing on the newest member of the family? Sure. Absolutely. But that’s not my reality nor is it the reality of most moms who have more than one child. You have another baby and the other kids are like, “Great. We have a new sibling. So where are we going today?” They don’t care about you wanting to rest and bond!

    2. It Allows Bonding On The Go

    Bonding is my favorite part of motherhood. Looking into their little eyes, smelling their heads, feeling their little bellies as you have skin-to-skin contact are all so important during the first days, weeks, and months of their lives. But even if I didn’t have my two older ones, I wouldn’t be able to just lay in the bed with my new baby bonding. Wearing your new baby allows you to take the bonding on the go and be more efficient about it. Yes, I just referred to bonding being efficient–I know ha!

    3. It Helps You To Be You Again

    After I’ve had each of my children I had brief freak out moments like, “OMG!!! Who am I now? How will I get anything done? How will I be me if I’m always having this baby around?” Yes, I do have moments where I think these things because I’m a normal mom who still wants to be Aaronica. I’ve found the best way for me to remember that I’m still a person outside of being a mom is to get back to doing the things that I love doing and allow me to be me. Now I put BC into my Ergobaby™ Omni 360 so that I can paint my nails, put together patterns, sew, and type this here post. The great thing about the Ergobaby™ Omni 360 is I’ve been able to use it since BC was a week old and I haven’t had to hold back on my activities because I have a newborn.

    The Download On the Ergobaby™ Omni 360

    Ergobaby is one of the leading brands when it comes to baby wearing. In August 2017, they released the Ergobaby™ Omni 360 that is the most versatile carrier that Ergobaby has to offer. It allows you to carry both front and rear facing up to 33lbs (that’s a lot of baby!) while holding the baby in the healthiest way possible for their hips. My favorite things are that there’s a nifty pocket to hold things like your phone (super important), keys and/or wallet while providing lumbar support. It’s also really easy to adjust so that your partner can wear baby easily as well.

    So tell me, are you an avid baby wearing parent? What’s your favorite carrier?

    Have questions about baby wearing? Drop them below!

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ergobaby™ Omni 360.

    A Quick & Dirty Guide To Cloth Diapering

    Ok, so this is more like a quick and clean guide to cloth diapering but quick and dirty sounded better ha! This is my first time cloth diapering from the newborn phase–which is much better than from the toddler phase in all honesty. There was A LOT to learn and figure out and going through tons of information was really overwhelming. I’ve pulled out some of the most pertinent information to share here in case others have questions.

    Different Types Of Cloth Diapers

    This is probably the most overwhelming part–choosing the cloth diaper that works for you and your baby. It’s especially hard because most of us shop for the diapers before the baby is born. Here’s a high-level guide to the different types of diapers:

    Wool Diapers

    These are just like how they sound–they’re little diapers that look like underwear made from wool. They’ve been pretreated to prevent bacterial growth but wool naturally absorbs wetness and odors. These are more expensive and come as diapers and leggings.

    All-In-Ones (AIO)

    These are just like disposable diapers but you wash them. There are no inserts as the the inner absorbable layer is attached to the outer layer. These are supposed to be great for newborns.

    Pocket Diapers

    These have an outer shell that contains a pocket to be stuffed with either a folded prefold diaper or an insert. These are similar to the AIO’s in the design but dry faster.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide. Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    Pull-On Diapers

    These are kind of like pull ups but aren’t just for the potty training toddler. I just ordered some of these because they come specifically sized for newborns and the way my little guys thighs are set up we need something more fitted.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    Prefold Diapers

    These are the rectangular cloths that are used with a water proof diaper cover.

    Flat Diapers

    These are similar to the prefolds but they have one level of absorbency for the whole rectangle and can be folded in various ways to be used as a diaper.

    Fitted Diapers

    These are diapers that’s have been made to look like actual diapers and have clasps. They have to be used with an outer waterproof shell but they provide a closer fit.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    What To Do When You First Get Your Cloth Diapers

    This is important namely because I had no clue it needed to be done. Everyone knows to wash all baby stuff before baby wears them. I thought just washing my inserts once was all we needed but NOPE! When you get your inserts they need to be stripped to make them absorbent. How do you do this? You can wash them about 5-6 times in hot water with cloth diaper detergent or you can wash them with a cup of bleach and Dawn. The way that you know if the diapers have been stripped is with a simple test–sprinkle some water on the insert. If it absorbs it’s been stripped properly. If it rolls off, it needs to be stripped again.

    But What About Leaks?

    They happen. Leaks can be a sign of the following:

    1. Your diaper inserts aren’t stripped.

    Go through the stripping process again!

    2. If it’s a boy, he’s penis is pointing up.

    Who knew this would make a difference but it does!

    3. They’re too big.

    I learned this the hard way. Even though the diapers say that they’ll fit newborns that’s not always true. If you can fit more than 1 finger around the waistband and thighs, they’re too big.

    4. You’re waiting too long to change them.

    Sure, they have these super big, fluffy butts but that does mean they are more absorbent!!! Disposable diapers are specially treated to make them more absorbent–cloth diapers aren’t.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    How Many Should You Have

    This was one of my questions when starting out. I wasn’t sure if I needed ALL the diapers or just a few. I knew from diapering abc that I liked hybrid diapers but I also found from shopping in person that I liked the ease of the pocket diapers.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    I registered for about 12 of the diaper covers and 24 of the inserts. By the time BC arrived, I was prepared with 24 covers and 36 inserts. I tried to calculate how many diapers a newborn would go through and add a couple more than that in case I didn’t do laundry daily. Since newborns go through quite a few diapers daily, I figured I was safe with 24. I’ve yet to run out during the day.

    What Other Things Will You Need

    In addition to the diaper and cover, you do need a couple other things to make your cloth diapering journey easier:

    Wet Bags

    These will store your used diapers until time to wash. You need one for the main area in the house you’ll be changing baby in and one for on the go to keep in your diaper bag.

    Diaper Cream

    Normal diaper creams or Vaseline may stop the diaper from absorbing properly so it’s best to use diaper creams formulated with cloth in mind.

    Laundry Detergent

    I love Molly Suds for my diapers but you’ll want a laundry detergent formulated for cloth diapers. It’ll keep them looking clean and smelling fresh. And yes, this actually makes a difference!

    Cloth Wipes

    This isn’t a “need” as much as it is a matter of convenience for diaper changes. If you use disposable wipes you need to have a garbage can there as well as opposed to being able to toss the cloth wipe into the wet bag with the dirty diaper.

    My Favorite Cloth Diapers

    Mama Koala

    These are really well made pocket diapers. I was gifted some off Amazon and have fallen in love!

    GroVia

    These are really cool hybrids that also give the option of having disposable inserts. Cool, right? If you’re in Atlanta, you can snag them from Happy Mango and if you aren’t, you can grab a starter kit here.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    Fellow cloth diapering mamas did I miss anything? Mamas thinking of cloth diapering, do you have any questions?

    Dear New Mama: It’s OK To Feel Overwhelmed

    As I sit here writing this, I’m nursing my 1 week old holding back the tears from feeling like a failing mama. People who know me tell me that I’m far from failing my children but in the day to day, I feel otherwise. I’m an adult often plagued with issues that were planted in my childhood. In fact, I often joke with my brother that my measure of parenting success is by how many issues my own kids present to their therapists that are rooted in things I struggled with as their mom. The truth of the matter is is that even though this is my third time having a newborn, I’m extremely overwhelmed.

    Overwhelmed With Love

    My goodness. There’s nothing like the little people that your body makes. All throughout each of my pregnancies I was so excited to meet these creations that were bumbling in my stomach. And then when they come out I fall head over heels in love with them. Each of their perfect little fingers, toes, cheeks, eyes, all of them. They are each so perfect in their own way.

    Overwhelmed With Fear

    The world we live in today doesn’t love my children though and that frightens me. The world doesn’t see my babies as babies. The world sees them as angry black women in the making or tiny threats to be eliminated. My perfect, precocious children aren’t seen as the beautiful beings that they are. I just want them to have the opportunity to be great and positively influence the world we live in.

    Overwhelmed With Duty

    Motherhood is hard with one child. More than one child? My goodness. I don’t know how the Duggars do it. At the end of the day I want to feel good about the job I’ve done as a mom and lately I haven’t felt like that. I strive to be a mom who has her shit together most days. Waking up before the kids, having our lesson plans done, meal plans completed and executed, fun outing done, bedtime routine started with no problems. This is my daily goal. Yes, I know it’s ridiculous to expect this daily with an infant in tow but these are still goals.

    I want to be the kind of mom where my kids look back on their childhood with happiness. Pregnancy was tough on our household and so far this fourth trimester is a little rough as well. Healing from pushing out a baby in your almost mid 30s is way different than in your 20s. Again, I know it’s only been a week and I should adjust my expectations accordingly but I just love my kids so much I want them to know that. Every time I see their little faces fill with disappointment or sadness because I yelled or fussed I feel like I’ve failed.

    Overwhelmed With Anxiety

    I tend to struggle with anxiety anyway but after I have my children I have a moment where I lose faith in my God, my sight and my ability to walk in my gifts to fulfill my dreams. I’m pretty sure I “what if” until the cows come home and it’s worse now that I work for myself. But anxiety happens.

    Overwhelmed With Expectations

    My kids expect me to entertain them. My husband expects me to be, well, me. My family expects me to be available all the time for them. Friends expect me to want to share my last born freely. I expect myself to be fully operational like I was before I got pregnant. I feel like I’m failing all of them.

    Overwhelmed.

    That’s how it feels to add another baby to the picture. I know that this feeling will pass. I know that I’ll get it together and will be successful but even as a seasoned mom, I am overwhelmed. I want first time moms to know that you aren’t alone and this too shall pass. But how, right?

    Know What You Need

    This is hard to know. I’ve been asked countless times what I need and honestly, I need time. But what you might need is someone to go grocery shopping for you or bring over food or take your other children or clean your house. Take inventory on what it is that would bring you peace.

    Ask For What You Need

    This is normally the hardest part. When you have a baby, people want to come over and hold the baby, talk about the baby, and make everything about the baby. If this isn’t what you determined you need, ask for what it is you need instead. This can be hard but for your peace of mind you need to do it. Ask someone to grab some groceries for you. Set up a meal-train. Make the ask.

    Set Necessary Boundaries

    This is hard if you’re a people pleaser like me but will pay off in the long run. Post baby my phone has been ringing off the hook. Anyone who knows me (or just reads my blog) knows I don’t like talking on the phone. I received a text asking me when is a good time talk. In the midst of now 3 kids, homeschooling, being a wife, and trying to figure out who I am as a mom of 3, I don’t have the bandwidth to just be chatting on the phone. This is a hard and emotional transition for me and I had to set a boundary while just saying “no”. No is a complete sentence that requires no additional explanation. Protect your peace.

    Have Other Kids? Planning Is Your Friend

    I remember after I had abc I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to handle these two kids by myself. I consulted Pinterest and had activities planned for after I picked Mini up from school. The more I planned the more control I felt I had over my situation and the less anxious I felt. Pinterest is your friend. Craft stores are your friends. Playgrounds and all that jazz are good. Sure, it’s hard to get out the house with all the kids but you’ll make it.

    This was way longer than I intended it to be but I hope it helps someone. As my own feelings of overwhelm fade and I regain some semblance of confidence and control I’ll update this with more tips. Till then, remember you aren’t alone.

    Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks For All Mamas

    Whether you're a seasoned breastfeeding mama or a new one, these breastfeeding tips and tricks are sure to help nurture your relationship!

    Tracking Pixel

    Breastfeeding looks different for every mommy and baby but quality tips and tricks make it easier! Find out which tips I share in this sponsored posting. 

    As I sit here writing this I’m filled with both happiness and sadness at the thought that my journey in breastfeeding will be coming to a close with the freshly delivered baby snuggled up on my chest. Happy because my body will finally be all mine again and I’ll be able to do some much needed fine tuning on some things. Sad because never again will my body produce the liquid gold that has grown 2 (and will be 3) children. Breastfeeding is not the same for all kids and I’ve picked up some tricks along the way to make things easier.

    My First Time Breastfeeding

    With mini we didn’t have the current movements across social media and in real life that encourage the normalizing of breastfeeding. In truth, I breastfed her out of necessity. I was laid off before I had her and had no income to buy formula. Luckily for me, I had bartered my design services for a hypnobirthing class with a supreme hippie that taught me the value of a more “natural” maternal existence. It was the first time I’d really heard the “Breast Is Best” saying.

    Mini latched on right away. She was an easy baby anyway but she made my introduction into breastfeeding an easy one. We had no latch issues and it was a breeze. She was nursed until she was 13 months though I had to supplement with formula towards the end. While I do feel like breast is best, I subscribe to fed is better. She got sick at her 1 year mark from cow milk so weaning her didn’t happen until later.

    My Second Go Round

    Abc was a boobie lover. She, too, latched right away but hers was incredibly painful. Her latch was strong, incorrect and she had the most powerful suck which all created a recipe for some sore nipples. Correcting her latch wasn’t easy but we did it and developed a strong nursing relationship. But eventually I was over it and it almost felt like a burden. I hated pumping and though I had a freezer full of stored milk, abc hated taking a bottle more. She preferred her milk body temperature. Weaning her wasn’t as easy as it was mini but by 16 months, our nursing relationship had come to a close.

    My Mic Drop For Breastfeeding

    BC is it. Like abc, BC is a boobie monster. He’s less than a week old and I’m pretty sure that I’ve spent more time with him at my breasts during this time than with I did with both of his sisters combined. His latch is good though I have to fight with his hands and his suck is super strong. I expected to wake up covered in milk like I did with his sisters when my milk came in but he’s yet to let any of his milk go to waste. Dude is serious. But after this, there will be no more so I’m using what I learned previously to rock this relationship out.

    Whether you're a seasoned breastfeeding mama or a new one, these breastfeeding tips and tricks are sure to help nurture your relationship!

    Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks

    In no particular order:

    • Keep water with you always.Whether you're a seasoned breastfeeding mama or a new one, these breastfeeding tips and tricks are sure to help nurture your relationship!
    • In the beginning establish proper latching and always correct the lazy latch.
    • Get a good, organic nipple butter.
    • Eat enough calories for milk production.
    • The quality of your calories matters so no junk foods–get the good stuff.
    • Watch how baby responds to your diet so you know what may need eliminating for their tummy health.
    • Create a cozy nook for nursing.Whether you're a seasoned breastfeeding mama or a new one, these breastfeeding tips and tricks are sure to help nurture your relationship!

    Creating A Cozy Nook For Nursing

    Already having 2 children this is the breastfeeding tip that’s biggest for me now. In my nook, I have the following:

    I love the Ergobaby Nursing Pillow. It offers a level of support that I’ve yet to experience. My posture post-pregnancy is so not the greatest and the firm support that the Ergobaby Nursing Pillow offers makes nursing my wiggly newborn so much easier. I love that it has two different sides that offer different types of support. One of the positions that I was never able to get the girls into was the football position. Using this nursing pillow has made this possible for even this seasoned breastfeeding mama! Best part is that when we’re ready for tummy time, we don’t need to buy any additional baby gear since this handles that too!

    Whether you're a seasoned breastfeeding mama or a new one, these breastfeeding tips and tricks are sure to help nurture your relationship!

    Although it’s sad that I’ll be saying goodbye to this chapter of my life soon, I’m happy that BC and I will be comfortable as we develop, nurture, and conclude our breastfeeding relationship.

    Mamas, what other breastfeeding tips would you offer?

    This is a sponsored posting written by me on behalf of Ergobaby. 

    Whether you're a seasoned breastfeeding mama or a new one, these breastfeeding tips and tricks are sure to help nurture your relationship!

    Setting Yourself Up For Breastfeeding Success

    Just like with everything, having access to certain information will set you up for success with breastfeeding. I remember reading an article about parents that were being charged with manslaughter after their baby died because the mom mixed her breastmilk with water to stretch it. When asked why she did it, it was because she didn’t know any better. This hurt my heart because there are so many resources out there to help.

    My Favorite Breastfeeding Resources

    The internet rules the world and most of my resources can be found here:

    Center for Disease Control

    Drugwatch

    Momsrising

    A Better Balance

    United States Breastfeeding Committee

    La Leche League

    US Department of Labor

    Women’s Health

    Healthy Mommy Happy Baby

    I think one of my favorite resources has been other mothers who’ve breastfed. There’s nothing like having the real world experience from another mother–though you have to be careful with this. Some moms like to give horror stories or act as though their way is the only way which can be discouraging. Get a group of some quality breastfriends and rock out.

    It’s Time For A Giveaway!!!

    Because I love you and want the best for you and your babies, it’s time for a giveaway. Entering is super easy and prize pack is amazing! Here’s what you can win:

    1 dock a tot

    1 of each of the gifts from the previous weeks ($25 gift card to milky mama, liquid pack, boobie pack from anna natural)

    1 jujube diaper bag

    Rockabye baby lullabye cd

    $25 GC to happy mango

     

    This is worth over $600!!!

    So how do you enter? This is a flash giveaway so you need to do it ASAP. Head on over to the Happy Mango Instagram page and find the giveaway photo. It’s as easy as that!

    Good luck!!!

    Yes I’m Still Pregnant And Here’s Why

    I went to the doctor for my check up and yes, there is in fact still a baby in my belly. My due date isn’t until 8.23.17 but for some reason everyone thinks he’s supposed to be here already. He’s not and I’m pretty sure I know the reason why.

    I may not be ready to let him go.

    No, I don’t want to be pregnant for forever

    But we live in a world where black boys have the odds stacked against them. We live in a world where everyday I’m scared that my husband may become a hashtag. We live in a world today where racism is alive and well and threatening my people’s very existence. And this is the only time that I can protect him 100% with my body.

    While I don’t want to be pregnant for forever, I desperately want the safety of my children. This is the last one I’m going to have and I don’t trust the world with the 2 I’ve already created.

    I’m stressed as hell

    Between family stuff going on that somehow still puts everyone else’s needs before mine, re-sleep training my children, and constantly being asked if he’s here while handling being treated like a freak when I leave the house, I am beyond stressed out. People think it’s fun and funny to make remarks on pregnant women’s body’s and it’s not. Last weekend I broke down in tears after spending abc’s birthday at the aquarium listening to the comments of “you’re huge! Twins, right? Is your water going to break now? Are you dilated?” And yes, people seem to think that asking strangers about their vaginas while making inappropriate comments on my body is ok. It’s not.

    After getting home from dealing with this, we get asked again when the baby is coming. Now, I don’t normally curse on my blog (I save this charming feature for in person) but WE DON’T KNOW WHEN THE BABY IS FUCKING COMING! Simple as that. Because of all the calls, texts and just downright annoying inquiries, I probably won’t make an announcement until I have a blog post coming that has to do with him.

    I’m ready for him, but not ready to share him

    Like I said, this is the final member of our family that I’ll be giving birth to. This is incredibly special to me. Like very near and dear to my heart. I will never again feel another person moving inside my body. My body will never again grow a person from a single egg. I will never feel the butterfly flutter when I can finally feel them kick. I’ll never again be puking because of morning sickness. I’ll never eagerly anticipate a 20 week mark. I’ll never search tirelessly for things that are just right for my new baby.

    This is it.

    He’s it.

    #ColePartyOf5 is complete and while I can’t wait to meet him, I don’t want to share my final baby just yet. While he’s inside, he’s mine. Only I can feel his rolling around unless he’s kicking one of his sister that’s squishing him as they get their hair done. Only I can feel the “thump-thump” of the hiccups unless his daddy reaches over to snuggle him. Only I get to feel his response as I tell him that it’s ok to come out and that I promise I’ll keep him as safe as I can.

    I know he’s ready to come and take the world by storm. And I’m getting ready now.