How to know when to switch your baby from the bassinet to the crib?

BassinetThere are a variety of sleeping arrangements these days for babies from parents’ bed, rock n plays and bassinets to pack-n-plays/play yards and cribs.  How do you know when your baby has outgrown their current sleeping accommodations?  Today we will focus on WHEN to make the transition from bassinet to crib.

Baby’s tiny bodies love the close quarters of a bassinet. It is more womb-like than the crib.  Bassinets are mobile, smaller and fit nicely next to the bed so many parents choose to place their baby in one from the first night home while others start with the crib. The decision is yours; there is no hard fast rule.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, “sharing a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent” https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/american-academy-of-pediatrics-announces-new-safe-sleep-recommendations-to-protect-against-sids.aspx

As always, make sure your baby sleeps on their back and that their sleeping surface is firm and uncluttered.  No bedding, padding or stuffed animals.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR BABY IS READY FOR THE TRANSITION:

First, what are the manufacturers weight limits for the bassinet?  Most bassinet weight limits are 15-20 pounds but may vary.  A smaller or premature baby may get longer use out of it than a larger baby.  This can mean that the transition may occur anywhere between 3 and 6 months. Make sure you start the transition prior to baby exceeding the limit.

Second, once the baby is rolling over or trying to sit up, the shallowness of the bassinet becomes a danger.  Babies could fall out or tip the bassinet over.

Third, does your baby look uncomfortable?  Is their head hitting the top or their feet up at the end? Your baby could be long and lanky and only 12 pounds but they may look squished in their bassinet.

Lastly, has your baby reduced or dropped their middle of the night feed? Babies tend to start entering deep sleep quicker and stay in deep sleep longer between 3-6 months.

Sleeping: bassinet to cribIf you are nervous about this move, try putting the baby down in the crib for nap times.  Play with your baby in the crib, do tummy time or lay them in the crib if you are putting laundry away or cleaning up their room.  If their crib is in another room, hook up a monitor so you can still see them.

Keep an eye on their weight, mobility and length to know when to begin the transition from bassinet to crib.  This will be one of MANY transitions as they grow.

             If you are looking for more helpful parenting tips, call me today.

 

Knowing What Expectations to Ignore

Unrealistic expectations can be harmful because they set us up for failure. Do not let that happen to you!

Part Two

Wonder Woman, shattering expectationsSetting realistic expectations about life with a newborn.

I love helping parents plan and prepare for their postpartum period.  Couples make birth plans to help them feel prepared and empowered during their labor and delivery. Planning for your postpartum period can help answer questions and allow parents to feel less anxious for this life change.  Taking the time to talk through what you think is going to happen versus the reality of what is likely to happen is important for this transition. Plan ahead for support or call in support before you feel like you are going to “lose it.” You may not experience all the expectations in the prior blog, or you may experience all of them and more. Setting realistic expectations can help with your postpartum emotions and your overall adjustment to parenting.  It doesn’t have to be BAD or TERRIBLE! Read more

How to Overcome Unrealistic Expectations in the First Few Weeks of Parenting?

Get to know what your parenting expectations are so when the unrealistic expectations creep in, you can kick them to the curb!

Part One

Unrealistic Expectations

Have you heard that “your expectations determine your reality?” It is so true especially when it comes to having a new baby at home. Your body, daily routines, sleeping, eating, showering and all your activities are going to change.  It will be a time of transitions and adjustment, not just for you but for everybody in your household.  Embrace it! Talk about it and most importantly, believe that you can do it!

When you don’t know, what you don’t know, how do you know what to prepare for?

Setting unrealistic expectations only makes your job as an exhausted parent harder than it has to be. In all my years supporting families I have yet to meet a mom that is not exhausted, does not want to cry or parts of her body are sore at some point in the first week.  It is normal to have ALL these feelings. If you go into parenting with realistic expectations, the early days of parenting don’t seem so bad.

Parents should expect that

Babies:

  • Cry, sometimes a lot
  • Typically do not sleep at night but love to sleep during the day
  • Nurse a lot, possibly 15-20 times in a 24-hour period
  • Prefer to sleep on a person, not by themselves
  • WILL likely pee on by you at some point
  • Go through diapers and clothes like crazy

Moms:

  • May feel like a Mack truck has hit you on day 3 or 4
  • May bleed through your clothes
  • Breast milk may leak through your clothes and all over your bed sheets
  • Happy one minute, sad the next
  • Wish someone else could feed the baby
  • Long for alone time and a HOT shower
  • Dislike night time because you know you are not going to get enough sleep

Dads:

  • Wonder what happened to your partner(emotionally)
  • Utter exhaustion
  • Miss your partner, crave time together
  • Frustrated because you can’t “fix” everything
  • Not sure how to BEST help your partner
  • Feel helpless because you can’t nurse the baby (there are many other things you can do)
  • Are ready to go back to work

Parenting is HARD! Parenting a newborn is overwhelming.

As a postpartum registered nurse, working in a hospital, community health settings and in families homes made me feel like I had a good handle on what “life” would actually be like when I had our first. Ha Ha, I was wrong!  I had years of knowledge and experience plus my husband and I felt as prepared and ready as we could be.  However, knowing she was all our responsibility, made things a tad more overwhelming and scary. Having my own was very different from helping other families adjust and transition.  As an After Baby Consultant, my job is to stay current on all things mom, baby and family related and support parents in their parenting philosophies. I help them feel prepared for the unknowns, shorten their learning curve and give them the support to feel educated, informed and confident.  As a new parent, I learned that all my experiences and knowledge would only take me so far.  I had to rely on my instincts and trust my gut. Thankful for all the wisdom I gained while helping others as it made my transition easier and my expectations more realistic. You can be the best babysitter, nursery worker, auntie or friend, but when it is 2 a.m. and your baby is screaming while the world is sleeping, you realize parenting is HARD!

Appliances and cars come with instructions manuals, so why don’t babies?

You can read and research everything on newborns, but nothing can prepare you for the first night, week and month of life with your baby. The staff (instruction manuals) are with you at the hospital or birth center for the length of time you are there but once you leave, they do not come home with you. You are on your own. That first night home can be exciting, overwhelming, scary and downright exhausting.  Being in your own bed is heavenly but there is NO call light to push when you have questions or need help. You probably will not sleep much and if you do sleep, it will be with one eye open. Learning your baby’s noises and adjusting to their sleeping and feeding takes time, but you WILL get there. You try a lot of trial and error before you find out what works for your baby, then they change it up again. Not all things work with every baby and that is NORMAL too. Keep trying, talk to other parents and trust your gut.

Unrealistic Expectations

Call me today to talk about your postpartum expectations and we will make a plan together.

Check out part 2 on knowing what unrealistic expectations to ignore.

How do I get my baby to burp?

How do I get my baby to burp?

Welcome to parenting, the best and most exhausting job ever.  The first few weeks are filled with sleepless nights, feeding, changing diapers, crying, feeding, changing diapers, crying, feeding………..oh and don’t forget about burping in between and after each feed.

A common statement I hear a lot working with families is, “Colleen, I can’t get my baby to burp, what can I do?”  My response is simple, some babies do not always need to burp and some burp automatically without having to burp them. Every baby is different but it is always best to try it and try a few different positions.  It is very common for babies to swallow air when they begin to feed and even more so if they are crying before or during a feed. Read more

Who can you call for help?

PREGNANT? JUST HAD A BABY?

your familys journey Postpartum Doula and Breastfeeding Support 3
Plan ahead for postpartum support!

 

Picture this if you will, close your eyes and take a deep breath!

It is your first night home with your new baby. You feed, burp, change and swaddle the baby and place her gently in the bassinet next to your bed.  You pull the covers up to your chin and settle in, it’s only 9:48pm but you feel like you haven’t slept in a week. You quickly fall asleep from sheer exhaustion but within 20 minutes your little one is up and hollering for something. You think, you CANNOT be hungry AGAIN!  You throw the covers off and go to pick up this screaming little red cherry who is loudly exercising her lungs.  You cuddle her on your nice warm chest, speak to her in a quiet voice and sway back and forth to get her to calm down.  She gently nods off and you tip toe over to the bassinet and place her inside. You crawl back into bed and this same scenario plays over and over ALL night long till finally the sun comes up.

You are exhausted! That Mack truck that you heard about has crashed through your front door and hit you HEAD on. Your back, shoulders and arms are sore from holding the baby in various positions to keep her from crying.  Your bladder is full and you need to change your pad. You discover diapers on the floor because you missed the diaper genie when you changed the 5th diaper at 3:14am. You look down and notice that your bra is undone and your left breast pad is missing, you can’t find your hair tie to pull your hair back and the dog is excitedly dancing at your feet because he is ready for breakfast.

You hand off your sweet, beautiful, perfect angel to your husband and peer over to see she is sound asleep on his chest, your heart explodes with LOVE and the silent tears silently roll down your cheeks.  Welcome to parenting!

You grab your phone to capture this moment and see a text from Colleen, checking in to see how your night went and remind you that she will be there at 10am with breakfast burritos. You cry some more, just because! You can’t wait to see Colleen, she always makes you feel safe, heard, not judged, and helps you tap into your own instinctual abilities.

You think about taking a shower, brushing your teeth and combing your hair but your husband taps the couch next to him to come sit down and snuggle.  You sink into his side and place your head on his shoulder, he gently kisses your head and tells you how amazing you are and how much he loves your new family. You take a deep breath, smile, wipe your tears and KNOW you totally GOT this!

What feelings did this scenario bring to your mind? Fear, excitement, sense of calm, overwhelmed, supported, loved? Memories of your own postpartum period?  When you plan ahead, you will never be alone, whether it is just you and your partner or you have loads of family and friends ready to help out however you need. Talk to any parent and they will all tell you how overwhelming the first couple weeks can be with no support or resources to call on.

A postpartum plan is a starting point for discussions about how your family will adjust to life with a new baby.

The goal of this plan is to help parents identify people and resources BEFORE they are needed thus making their transition into parenthood a little easier.

As a postpartum nurse, doula and consultant one of services I offer is how to create and effectively use this postpartum plan.

Most expecting parents educate themselves, talk to friends and family members, research and plan for how to have the best pregnancy, labor and delivery, however their postpartum period is commonly overlooked and they assume they will just “figure it out.”

I like to compare pregnancy to planning a wedding; a lot of time and energy are invested in creating the perfect outcome (safe & healthy mom/baby to beautiful day to start your new life together.   When you get a positive pregnancy test (you start googling everything, eat better, take vitamins, schedule doctors/midwife appointments, educate yourself on all your labor and delivery options, buy maternity clothes, decorate the nursery and pick out cute decor, buy baby books and take childbirth education classes.  Planning the perfect wedding day includes researching invitations, picking dresses, florists, hair, make-up, colors, venues, time and day, music, food, etc). The postpartum period is kind of like the actual marriage (no one really plans for that)!

Having a postpartum plan in place allows you to focus on the remaining weeks of pregnancy and not fear the parenting journey that is ahead of you.

Can and will you survive your postpartum period without making a plan? Absolutely, but why not take some of the guess work out of it and plan ahead so when you are not at your best (mentally, physically or emotionally), it will already be taken care of.

There are so many little things that you can do today to make your first couple weeks smoother.

Now, I hear you say, I have family in town and they will help out and take care of things.  My reply is AWESOME, FANTASTIC, so happy to hear that.  I love working with the entire family. There is always room for more care and support when a new baby comes along.  Most family members and friends are of great help, however, I am a professional who offers current, evidence-based and non-judgmental services to you and the entire family.  If you are worried that your family members need some up-to-date information, let’s all get together and I would love to answer their questions so they can be the best possible support to you as you recover.

Some of the topics we will discuss in detail are:

What does your ideal postpartum period look like to you?

SLEEP: yes, you will get some

Infant feeding: breast, bottle or both

Parenting philosophy’s

Sibling Adjustment

Pet Adjustment

Meals

Self-care

Roles & responsibility changes in the relationship

Mental health

Work/School/Life Balance

Mom Groups

Resources

With over 18 years’ experience in the postpartum and breastfeeding fields I am a wealth of knowledge and expertise.  I will adapt to meet whatever needs you and your growing family have and I work closely with amazing community partners to help out however your family needs as well. My passion is to support you and your family to have a positive, empowering postpartum experience and feel confident as parents.

Don’t get stuck not knowing who to call or who to ask for help.  Don’t give up when you reach your frustration point. Plan ahead so when challenges arise, you can take a deep breath, re-visit your postpartum plan and call me.

A few hours to plan is all you need to put your mind at ease. Let me know when you are ready! I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

Check out this great article about better preparing moms for what is to come AFTER the pregnancy at http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/pregnancy/0125/how-ob-gyns-should-be-preparing-expecting-moms-even-better-for-baby.aspx

Who do YOU know that could benefit from my SERVICES:

A grandparent who has a son or daughter who is expecting?

Is your best friend going to have a baby soon?

Does your co-worker hang out in your office asking you questions?

Did your neighbor recently deliver?

Do you have out of town friends or family members who could benefit from a consultation about support services?

 

Gift certificates are ALWAYS available and make fabulous and unique Christmas and baby shower gifts.

Gift certificates available

 

Excerpts of “Why Hire a Postpartum Doula?”by Emily Flynn of Natural Child Magazine

“A doula is also there to help the family care for baby in the way that best meets their individual needs, without injecting personal bias or potentially negative advice. In the instance of things like baby wearing, co-sleeping, pacifiers, sleep training, and other topics that often trigger strong opinions, a doula helps guide the parents in making informed decisions and eventually following through with them without judgment. Where family and friends are irreplaceable parts of the postpartum adjustment period, there are some real advantages to hiring a doula to aid in this transition. Doulas are hired to help, not just to visit with the growing family. Doulas tend to be great networkers out of passion and necessity, and often maintain personal connections to providers such as massage therapists, chiropractors, herbalists, pediatricians, nutritionists,etc.”

 

Weightless and Heavenly

BACK IN THE WOMB AGAIN

Pregnancy Float tank
Pregnancy Float tank

In my quest to help families throughout their pregnancy and postpartum period, I stumbled across flotation therapy. I have to admit, I had never heard of this before so I was a tad skeptical but after talking to Kalyn Wolf, the owner of Cloud Nine, I wanted to learn more.  I was eager to try it myself and now that I have thoroughly enjoyed it, I want to share it with the world.  What makes the flotation tank so amazing you ask???  Just sit back and enjoy this blog because I know you will want to try it for yourself once you are done reading.  First, it is automatic QUIET alone time (if you are a parent, this is an added bonus). You are in an environment free from gravity, stress, tension and pain.  YES, it is safe to float during pregnancy and postpartum. Read more

Umbilical cord care

Cord Care: What do I do with this stump?

Caring for your newborns umbilical cord

Your baby’s umbilical cord is the life line between mom’s placenta and baby. It is developed between the 4th and 8th week in utero and contains two arteries and one vein. The umbilical vein supplies the baby with oxygenated blood and nutrients from the placenta and the umbilical arteries carry de-oxygenated blood and waste from the baby to the placenta.

Once the cord is cut and clamped after birth, what do you do with the umbilical stump? In short, nothing! There used to be two main schools of thought when it came to taking care of your newborns umbilical cord; some hospitals and birthing centers left it alone completely while others directed you to clean it with alcohol after every diaper change to help it dry out faster. Read more

Introducing…Tucson Bump2Baby…Welcome to your VILLAGE

Tucson Bump2Baby

Are you pregnant?

Want to be living a healthier lifestyle?

Curious about labor and delivery and want to be better informed?

Interested in having some additional support during labor and delivery?

Concerned you don’t know enough about taking care of a newborn?

Recently had a baby?

Struggling with breastfeeding?

Want more sleep?

Worried about postpartum depression or anxiety?

Have to go back to work?

Nervous that your home isn’t baby-proofed?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, we can help! You are not alone. Pregnancy and parenting bring on a WHOLE LIST of new questions and concerns, joy and happiness, as well as fears and anxieties about doing everything right. Whether this is your first, second, fifth, or your SURPRISE baby, we have you covered. Read more

Your BEST Practical Friends in the Immediate Postpartum Period

Postpartum items
Postpartum items to have on hand

 

YES, you may want actual friends who bring your favorite magazines, netflix, movies, bottle of wine, food/snacks, fuzzy socks, two extra hands, conversation, tissues, chapstick and good smelling candles but the below suggestions are more practical for your immediate recovery and are listed in no particular order of importance….

Read more