The Crispy Philosophy


Parenting in today’s world is arguably both easier and harder than it has ever been before at the same time. While our mothers and grandmothers never had a lot of the technology that we have today (hello, baby swing and white noise machine), they also didn’t face nearly as much scrutiny as today’s mothers. Social media has made it easier than ever to share those darling pictures of your little one with your dear Aunt Petunia, but it has also made it easier to judge and be judged by other mothers. I have caught myself on plenty of occasions looking at friend’s pictures of their kids doing various things (riding a bike without a helmet, chowing down on some candy, riding in a front facing car seat, you get the idea) and caught myself saying “what is she thinking?!” without taking a moment to reflect that there are probably Mamas out there thinking the same thing about me. Parenting these days seems to go one of two ways. You’re either a “crunchy granola” Mama or a modern technology, mainstream Mama. If you find yourself put off by the extreme nature of either of these options, I hear you. Enter: Crispy Parenting. Not quite crunchy, not totally mainstream. I’m not a child-raising expert and I don’t claim that any of this is the only way to do things. I also recognize that some of these philosophies may change as my child and I grow together. So what are the basic philosophies that  make me “Crispy”?

I Absolutely Vaccinate.

This will never be up for debate in my parenting book. Though it has been proven time and time again that vaccines DO NOT cause Autism, people still harbor some fear. Reflect for a moment on the Mamas to children with Autism. Consider this. By not vaccinating your child, you are telling these Mamas that you would rather your child be dead than be like their child. This is harsh. This makes people uncomfortable. But this is true. I understand the natural instinct to prevent injury to your child whenever possible, but putting your child (and other children) at risk for deadly disease is never okay. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like for children who have an allergy to vaccine ingredients. These children are another major reason to vaccinate if you can. By immunizing the majority of the population, we are making the world a much safer place for them. Some crunchy parents reason that the body can fight off any illness on it’s own without the aid of vaccinations. My question to these parents is, if your child can fight off full blown Polio, why can’t they fight off the (minimal, if any) side effects of the Polio vaccine? See the logic? Once again, vaccination is never ever up for debate, at all, for me. This is the one thing that I fully allow myself to judge other mothers on and I will never apologize for that. Vaccinate your children.

I Babywear.

Ahh, babywearing! One of the easiest ways to keep Mama and baby happy and close. I seriously use my Moby Wrap every single day for the majority of the day. My little guy loves to be snuggled and held. Some Mamas think that holding baby too much may spoil them. I politely disagree. You cannot spoil a child with too much love. People in other countries babywear all day every day, and studies have shown that these babies cry significantly less (seriously, like, almost never). Babies are meant to be close to their Mamas and slings and wraps help to mimic the womb, keeping babies comfy and happy.

I Avoid Screen Time, But Sometimes…

It has been proven that screen time before the age of three can be damaging to child development and behavior. Even after three, too much screen time is never a good thing. We live in a technology dependent world where children are constantly complaining of boredom. Children have become so used to being constantly entertained and stimulated that they no longer know how to use their imagination. “Go play outside,” you say. “How?” they ask. TV and smartphone apps have become an epidemic. This being said, every Mama needs a moment of peace, and if placing my child in front of the TV for a couple minutes while I make his bottle gives that to me, I do it. In my Crispy opinion, as long as you’re not using technology as a babysitter and as long as it isn’t preventing you from interacting with your child, turn on Finding Dory and take a moment to catch your breath (and maybe pour yourself a glass of wine while you’re at it).

I Do Not Believe In “Cry It Out”

Think back to the last time that you were really, really upset. Calming yourself down was kind of tough, right? Now imagine that you have absolutely zero life experience to draw from to help you deal with these upsetting emotions. Calming yourself would be nearly impossible. This is what your baby experiences. When you leave your baby alone in their crib to cry, they literally think that you have abandoned them and that you are never coming back. This is true until babies develop object permanence. When baby stops crying, they haven’t “self-soothed”, they have mentally shut down. We have all heard of fight or flight. What a lot of people don’t know is that it is actually fight, flight, or freeze. After enough panic, the body literally shuts down so you will not die. This is what is happening to your child. Some Mamas resort to Cry It Out out of desperation and I do not fault them, at all. Parenting is hard and ultimately every mother is just trying to do what is best for her child. Night waking is normal for children. Think about an average night of sleep for yourself. You wake several times but are able to put yourself back to sleep. Babies do not have the skills to put themselves back to sleep, and will not have these skills until they are developmentally ready. For me, if my son needs me, even in the middle of the night, I go to him. He is small and he has needs that must be met, and it is my job to meet them. I look at rocking my sweet boy to sleep as a privilege, not a burden. By meeting his needs consistently from the very beginning, we are forming a secure attachment and I am instilling confidence in him. Because of this, as he becomes older and more mentally developed, he will be less and less “needy”.  I have already seen this happening, even as early as four months. In the first couple months of his life, when Liam would wake at night, I would have to hold and rock him to calm him back to sleep. Now all it takes is a simple pat with my hand and a little “it’s okay, Mama’s still here,” and he’s right back to sleep. He knows without a doubt that if he needs me, I will be there.

I Formula Feed.

My entire pregnancy, I planned to breastfeed. I was so excited about the wonderful bond that it would create between us. I did all of the research I could. Right after birth, Liam latched on and we were off to a great start. Then time went on and things got worse and worse. I was in so much pain, almost as much pain as actual labor itself. I cried every time I fed him. I was so devastated, almost mourning the loss of this “wonderful bond” that I had been fantasizing about. Finally, I took a moment to come back to reality and realized that I was hurting us both. I was in physical and mental pain, he was always hungry because I would have to unlatch him before he was really full. I made my first formula bottle and cried. I made my second formula bottle and cried. This went on for about a week. Then I moved on and we have never looked back. He is a much happier baby, I am a much happier Mama, he is meeting his milestones, and growing like a weed. I still think that breastfeeding is a beautiful and wonderful thing and I still mourn the loss of that experience. But, I refuse to judge myself for making the right decision for myself and my child.

I Co-Sleep.

Co-sleeping can mean a few different things. I can be bed sharing, room sharing, or somewhere in between. Liam sleeps in our room, and will continue to do so until at least six months, but most likely one year. This is what is recommended to reduce the risk of SIDS. It also makes life a whole lot easier for me. When he wakes at night, a quick pat and some reassurance and we’re all back to sleep without anyone having to get out of bed. Major win. We also bed share sometimes. If he wakes early and I’m not ready to get up yet, if he wakes up scared at night, if he is in the middle of a growth spurt or a mental leap, or if he isn’t feeling well, I scoop him up and snuggle him up against me and we both go back to sleep. Again, major win and major cuddles.

I Make My Own Baby Food.

We skipped the traditional rice cereal as a first food in favor of organic vegetables and fruits. We plan to keep him on a mostly plant based, organic diet. We chose to go with vegetables first to get him used to the flavor. I didn’t want him to get accustomed to the super “carby” taste of rice cereal or oats first, or the super sweet flavor of fruits out of fear that he would later turn his nose up at “green stuff”. Once his menu expands, we will add brown rice cereal, oats, quinoa, and other grains into the mix. We will introduce him to a wide variety of flavors and textures to encourage adventurous eating and discourage picky eating. Until one year, all food is supplementary to breaskmilk or formula, so it’s mostly for fun. We plan to make him try all foods twice. If he doesn’t like something after two tries, I will never force him to eat it. I want to create a healthy relationship with food and eating. For that reason, we will also never use food as a reward. Food is necessary and should be enjoyed, but will not be used as a bribe, reward, or punishment. I looked into Baby Led Weaning and decided that it wasn’t for us. I am a big worrier and the risk of choking is too high for me to be comfortable. So for now, we are sticking to purees until he is a little more developmentally ready. All of this being said, we will absolutely indulge in occasional treats. On birthdays, we will have cake. On nights that Mama doesn’t want to cook, we will have pizza. If they are out or organic bananas at the grocery store, regular old bananas will do just fine.

I Will Not Spank My Children.

Spanking, popping, swatting, whatever you want to call it. It is violence and it is not something that I will encourage in our household. We are all trying to teach our children to be good people and setting an example with violence is absolutely not the way to do this. Children watch every single thing that we do and learn from it. As much as we say “do as I say, not as I do,” that’s simply not how it works. I want my children to respect me. I do not want my children to fear me.

“Time With” Instead Of “Time Out”

A lot of parents see “time outs” as a good alternative to spanking. While I do agree that it is better than hitting, consider “time with” (meaning sitting with Mama or Daddy for a while until kiddos are able to calm down) instead. By putting children in time out, we show them that when they are having a hard time handling their big emotions, that they will be isolated. Then we wonder why, as teenagers, they lock themselves away in their rooms rather than coming to us with their problems. Kids are small people with big emotions and it is my duty as a parent to help them learn how to deal with those emotions.  For us, this can be better accomplished by having “time with” and talking about why a behavior is unacceptable, why we feel the way that we do, and better ways to handle our emotions in the future.

I Offer Praise And Rewards

Some “crunchy” parents are against excessive praise or rewards for good behavior. I say, if you like a behavior, let them know and encourage them to repeat it. Offering a “great job!” or a sticker for being brave at the doctor, or helping Mama do the dishes makes kids feel good, and I am all about making my child happy.

I Encourage Individuality 

Children are held up to “average standards” for meeting milestones, behaviors, interests, etc. While meeting milestones is important and some behaviors are acceptable and some are not, every child is their own person. Because of this, we need to leave a little room for error. While one individual child may not sleep through the night at the “appropriate age”, they may sit up or roll over early. If my son shows an interest in playing with baby dolls or kitchen sets, we will get him a baby doll or a kitchen set. If, in the future, my daughter shows interest in playing with race cars, thats okay too. If my son decides that he only wants to wear purple shirts, he can wear purple shirts for as long as that continues to make him happy. I will not try to force my children into a mold of what I think that they “should” be. They are their own people, not little extensions of myself.

I Work Full Time 

While I would love to be a stay at home Mama to my little one, it just isn’t an option for us. To continue living the lifestyle that we do and to stay in our home, we need two sources of income. I also need my job for the benefits (my health insurance is the bomb). I am lucky enough to have parents that are able to watch my son during the day and to have a job that only requires me to work four days per week, and I am so so thankful for this. I know that my child is in good hands, but I still feel sadness every time that I leave him. I just make sure to get extra snuggles in on my days off.

I Show As Much Love As Possible

Children cannot be spoiled with too much holding, to many snuggles, too many kind words, or too much love. I try my best to remain present while I am with my child and offer as much encouragement and interaction as possible. No one has ever said “I wish I spent less time playing with my children.”

My Child Controls Their Own Body

If my son doesn’t want a haircut, he will not be forced. If my future daughter does not want her ears pierced, she will not be forced. If my children do not want to “give hugs and kisses” that is okay. Their body is their own and they will be allowed to make (healthy) decisions for themselves. So many things are out of a child’s control. Something as simple as a haircut should not be a cause of distress. By allowing the child to make these decisions themselves, I am setting them up for future healthy self-image and body autonomy.

I Enforce Appropriate Punishments

Essentially, make the time appropriate for the crime. I wouldn’t take away all of my child’s toys just because he spoke to me disrespectfully. I also wouldn’t only scold him if he takes my car for a joyride. These are obviously extreme examples, but the concept makes sense. Punishments that are either too harsh or not harsh enough are not effective. To be effective, punishments must be consistent and appropriate.

I Use Positive Language

This basically means that instead of telling a child “don’t run,” you would tell them “please, walk.” By telling them what to do instead, rather than just telling them what not to do, you are setting them up for more success. Children can’t follow instructions that are never given. Rather than “no hitting”, try “be gentle”. Instead of “stop yelling”, try “use your inside voice”. If  we want our children to act a certain way, we need to tell them how to do it. However, if my child is in immediate danger, I will not feel bad for a simple “stop” or “no” or “oh my gosh, do not jump off of that!”

No parenting method is foolproof, and no parent can stick to their beliefs 100% of the time.  We will make mistakes, just as our children will. These are simply my philosophies and guidelines that will help me be the best Mama that I can be, and my son be the best kiddo possible. Do you agree with Crispy parenting? Disagree? What would you do differently? Share in the comments, y’all! #KeepItCrispy

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Rustic Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta, Caramelized Onions, and Rosemary


Most inventions comes from needing something that doesn’t exist. This recipe is actually the opposite. Do you ever look in your fridge and have a bunch of odds and ends that are about to go bad but you don’t know what to do with them? Yeah… Me too… Like always. Most of these ingredients are leftovers from last week’s HelloFresh box (they send you more than you need of some ingredients). So, the need to use up these ingredients, paired with my love of spoon foods, is where this soup came from. The best part is, it comes together in about 15 minutes. Perfect for while the kiddo is napping.

Ingredients

  • 2 small russet potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used 2%)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 pancetta, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper

Method

Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cut onion in half. Dice one half and thinly slice other half. Add diced onion to olive oil and sauté until slightly browned. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Dice potatoes and add to pot. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cover. Add more olive oil to a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Add sliced onions and brown sugar. Sauté until slightly browned. Add diced pancetta and cook over medium heat until pancetta is crispy and onions are caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use a masher or the end of a wooden spoon to slightly mash potatoes. Remove from heat and add milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Portion into bowls and top with caramelized onions and pancetta and chopped rosemary.

What To Do When Your Baby Hates… Nap Time

 

Liam can be night and day when it comes to nap time. Sometimes, he goes down without a peep, and other times he has a full-on meltdown before falling asleep. I think that it can be attributed to letting him get too tired before his nap. Sometimes I’m able to catch him at the first signs of sleepiness. Other times, I might miss it, and that’s when the meltdowns occur. Some babies fight their sleep no matter what, and if that sounds familiar, these tips might be helpful.

Showing me how he really feels about nap time with that middle finger.

Try To Catch It Early!

This is so important! Like I already mentioned, getting Liam to sleep before he is overly tired is so much easier. Obviously, you can’t sit around and watch your babe all day long, but keep an eye out for the give-away signs. Rubbing eyes, yawning, general “sleepy” look, are all good signs to look out for. Also, remember to keep an eye on the clock. At four months and younger, most babies should keep their awake times to under two hours. Every babe has different needs, so try to be aware of the time and figure out your child’s ideal awake time. For Liam, it’s about an hour to an hour and a half. When that time is up, try to get baby to start winding down, even if they might not “look” sleepy. Chances are, they are.

Swaddle For Nap Time

Some babies love the swaddle, some not so much. Liam fights getting in it sometimes, but once he is wrapped up all tight, I can see him relax. It also helps him stay asleep since he isn’t whacking himself in the face, pulling his pacifier out of his mouth, scratching himself… you get the idea. If your babe is one of the ones that genuinely hates the swaddle (first of all, I’m really sorry, because for us it’s really a miracle worker), try the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. We use this for Liam for some of his daytime naps, and we plan to use it once he is rolling over.

Eeeeeeek he’s so little here.

The 5 S’s

This is the technique developed my Dr. Harvey Karp and it is amazing. You can read about it in his book The Happiest Baby On The Block. If you’re in a pinch or don’t have time to read the whole book, you can find the technique on youtube. The 5 S’s are swaddle, side/stomach, shake/swing, shush, and suck. You’ll want to put baby in a swaddle, hold them either on their side or their stomach, bounce or swing baby, “shush” them (more loudly than you think you should) or turn on white noise (or the vent fan over the stove or the bathroom heater or vent in a pinch), and give them something to suck, like a pacifier. If baby is already in full meltdown mode and won’t take their pacifier, try running it under some cold water. While babies shouldn’t be given water to drink until about a year old (it can be harmful), a few drops won’t hurt. Most babies like the taste, which will prompt them to suck. I cannot stress enough how well this whole technique works. It’s like having a baby off-switch. Try to get baby used to the routine early, because they “outgrow” the technique after three months. Since we have been consistently using the technique on Liam since day one, it still works to help him relax at four months old, but I know the day will come when it no longer works and I dread that day. Once baby is good and relaxed, or even asleep, you can put them in a baby swing for their nap if you need to get some stuff done around the house. Make sure if you do this, that you keep an eye on them. Babies should never be left fully unattended in a swing. Their heads can flop over and cause “positional asphyxiation.” Basically, their head being in that position can close their airway. If you notice that baby’s head might be starting to flop over, gently readjust it. You should be able to do this without waking them. 

Note: Those things on either side of him are socks filled with rice and a few drops of lavender essential oil. I pop them in the microwave for about a minute so they’re nice and toasty. He loves them.

Baby Wearing

If all else fails and your babe just wants to be held while they nap (usually during a leap or growth spurt when they are especially clingy), strap them up in a wrap. Baby gets to sleep, and you still have your hands free to fold clothes, wash dishes… browse Pinterest (be honest with yourself, ladies). Liam falls asleep almost every time I put him in his Moby. It is easily one of my most used registry items and I cannot sing it’s praises enough. Moby is a well established and trusted brand. Much cheaper options are available online, but be cautious. These brands may be made in other countries, contain unsafe chemicals, or just not be of quality as high as Moby. They’ve just come out with a Petunia Pickle Bottom collection that is absolutely precious and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. If wraps aren’t for you, they have other options like the Baby Hawk, the Buckle Tie, and the new Ring Slings. I’m a Moby addict and I plan to own them all as Liam grows. Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly. Using any of these products incorrectly can be extremely unsafe.

Exercise Ball

Walking around, holding, and bouncing baby can be really exhausting. Holding baby while you bounce on an exercise ball works really well and is a lot easier on your arms and back. If you don’t have en exercise ball, try sitting on the edge of your bed and bouncing.

SnuggleMe Organic

I will never stop recommending this thing. It helps him stay asleep once we go through all of the steps above to get him to sleep. It’s the best and it’s more affordable than some other similar options.

Happy napping, Mamas!

Note: I never let him nap on his tummy or with a blanket or stuffed animal unless I am in the room and he is totally supervised.

Do you have any other techniques for putting baby to sleep when they’re putting up a fight? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

HelloFresh: The Good, The Bad, And The Umami

This week, we got our first HelloFresh box. These food boxes seem to be a big trend lately, and because going to the grocery store with an infant is a very large pain in my ass, we decided to give it a try. I found a Groupon to get my first box for $30, plus I had a $10 off Groupon code, so I ended up getting my first box for $20. The box includes 3 meals per week, for 2 people (they also offer a family option with enough for four people, and a vegetarian option). That works out to only about $3.33 per person, per meal. That is such a good deal considering that I rarely, if ever, get out of the grocery store without spending $50 (sometimes just for one meal). I downloaded the app, chose our meals, and excitedly waited for delivery. After making and eating all of the meals from our first box, I’ve found that the whole system has some pros and cons. Trying to decide if HelloFresh is right for you? This should help.
Pro: The Meals Were DELICIOUS

Our box included Penne with a Kick in Pancetta-Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce, Lean Mean Chicken and Greens with Rosemary Potatoes and Gremolata, and Meatloaf Balsamico with Mashed Sweet Potato and Green Beans. Each meal was actually really good, and according to MyFitnessPal, fairly healthy. The produce was super fresh and the meat was high quality. They also send more than you need of some of the ingredients, which is nice. I used this week’s leftovers for this quick and easy soup recipe.

Lean Mean Chicken and Greens with Rosemary Potatoes and Gremolata. This was my favorite meal, but required the most prep. Shout out to Baby Daddy for photo cred this week. I was so excited to eat the meals, I forgot to take pictures first!

Con: Prep… So Much Prep

I have never done so much chopping in all of my life. If you aren’t handy with a knife, beware. You’ll need to brush up on your chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing skills. Even as someone who cooks often and is fairly skilled with a knife, I was over it. Be sure to check the prep required for each recipe before choosing what to put in your box.

Pro: No “I Don’t Know, Whatever You Want.”

The most spoken, most hated phrase, among married and long term relationship couples. Seriously, I would rather be punched in the forehead than hear this. The box cut down the options to a manageable three things to choose from.

Con: Picky Eaters Beware

Meatloaf Balsamico with Mashed Sweet Potato and Green Beans turned into Meatloaf Balsamico with (slightly burnt, bummer) Sweet Potato Fries and Green Beans (apparently mashed sweet potatoes are a “no” in our house). This was probably the most “picky eater friendly” of all of the meals. It was also my least favorite.

We are pretty adventurous eaters in our house, so HelloFresh really helped us mix up our weekly meals, without us having to worry about not liking what we got. The meals aren’t exactly your standard meat-and-potatoes type food, so if you have kids that freak out if their food has “thingies” in it, or if the word “Gremolata” freaks you out, this probably isn’t for you.

Pro: I Didn’t Have To Leave My House

Seriously, huge huge pro, here. This pro pretty much trumped all of the cons for us.

Con: The App Is Not The Most User Friendly

This may be a bug with only my phone, or I might be doing something wrong (I tend to be a little technology illiterate). I found several times that I would make a change on the app, then log into my account on the computer to find that the change hadn’t been saved. Ugh. At least I caught it before the box was shipped. I also found that some of the things on the app were hard to locate. Again, could be me. I miss flip phones.

Pro: Less Food Waste

Penne with a Kick in Pancetta-Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce. This was incredibly light and delicious. It also made just the perfect amount for the two of us.

For anyone who doesn’t like to eat leftovers, HelloFresh is a great option because they send enough to make two servings without much (or any) leftovers. I know we always say we are going to eat leftovers and I end up throwing the moldy remains away a week or so later. In general, cooking for only two people is hard, and HelloFresh makes it a lot easier.

Con: Lots Of Kitchen Equipment Needed

Do you own a zester? Several large, medium, and small bowls? How about a strainer? Large pan, medium pan, baking sheet, large pot, medium pot, cutting board, chef’s knife, paring knife, and grater? These are all things that I needed to make my first week of meals. If you don’t have a well stocked kitchen, you’ll either need to purchase these things, or HelloFresh isn’t for you. You can look at the prep for the recipes that you have chosen before your box arrives to ensure that you have all of the tools that you need.

Pro: You Can Try It For $20

You can use my code ASHLWILS4 to get $40 off your first box, so you can give it a try and see if you like it without spending the usual $60. You are free to cancel your subscription after the first box if it’s not for you, or if the usual $60 is a little more than you’d like to spend. Personally, $60 is less than I would usually spend on groceries anyway, so it ends up being a pretty good deal.

BONUS!

I’ll be sending out three FREE boxes! To enter for a chance to receive your first box completely free, comment on this post and subscribe to the email list! For an extra entry, you can share the post on Facebook or Pinterest (please include your social media name in the comment if you choose to share the post). Note: receiving the free box automatically enrolls you in a weekly subscription, so remember to cancel if you don’t want to continue your subscription!

Overall, we enjoyed our first box and plan to continue our subscription, at least for a while. The food is good, even if the prep sucks. Having it delivered to my door makes my week so much easier, and since it’s only 3 meals, we are still free to go out to eat or make something else we feel like having a couple times every week. It makes work nights a breeze, and all but eliminates the dreaded “I-Don’t-Know-Whatever-You-Want”. I recommend at least giving it a try. Canceling your subscription is easy and you can even keep your subscription but “skip” weeks if you are going to be out of town, have guests, don’t have the money, or just don’t feel like getting one. Don’t forget to use my code to get your first box for $20! Do you use HelloFresh and love it? Hate it? Do you use a different “food box”? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

 

Three Bean Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili

I have a borderline obsession with “spoon foods.” Soups, stews, chilis; if you eat it with a spoon, you can bet I want some. Since having Liam, not only am I trying to lose a few extra pounds, but funds have been a bit tighter than usual. The easiest way to remedy both of those problems is to cut down on meat. This chili comes out so thick and hearty, you really won’t miss the meat, and you get all of the lean protein that you need from the beans. The prep is so easy. I make it in the crockpot, but it can also be made on the stovetop just as easily. I like to make a big batch so I have enough to bring to work all week or to use the leftovers to make a whole new meal. Be warned, it comes out pretty spicy. You can cut down some of the spice measurements if throat burn isn’t your thing. A couple secret ingredients add that element of “Hmm, what is that?”

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 green bell pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis (medium)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp (or just a dash) cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Peel the sweet potato and cut it in half. Place half of sweet potato in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes until soft. While potato is boiling, cut the other half of the sweet potato into 1/2-1 inch cubes. Chop onion and red bell pepper. Add to crock pot and turn to high. Drain beans and add. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Once sweet potato is done boiling and soft, puree in food processor or blender and add to crock pot. Stir again to combine and cook on high for 4 hours, or preferably low for 6 hours.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

 

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!


Silent Reflux: It Could Be What Is Keeping Your Baby Awake

A few weeks into motherhood, Liam and I were finally starting figure each other out. He was starting to sleep longer, he was crying less, things were looking up. Then one night all of our progress seemed to be lost. He would wake up every time we put him down, he would scream louder than I had ever screamed before when I tried to breastfeed him, and he would make these horrible sounds almost like he was struggling to breathe. Naturally, I was exactly equal parts worried and frustrated. I could tell something was wrong, but for the life of me, I could not figure out where it was. After making so much progress, taking ten steps back was really disheartening. Once again, I consulted Doctor Google, which informed me that he most definitely had a cold. Since he was only a few weeks old, I immediately made an appointment with his pediatrician. Turns out Doctor Google was way off. Silent reflux was the culprit. Reflux (both “silent” and normal) are incredibly common in infants, but we hadn’t suspected reflux since he really didn’t spit up much. The tricky thing about silent reflux is that there isn’t really an obvious physical sign. Looking back though, it made sense. He was chewing on his hands, signaling that he was hungry, but was refusing to eat. He was fighting his feeds because he knew that eating caused pain.  He  wasn’t sleeping because laying down made him feel worse (any of the Mamas out there who experienced heartburn with their pregnancies know that laying down makes it so, so much worse). His breath had a slightly “sour” smell. He was making weird noises and because he was in actual pain. The doctor told us that we could add rice cereal to his bottles or medicate him. I wasn’t particularly interested in either of those options. She gave us a few other suggestions on how to help him and through trial and error we came up with a few things on our own too. Since then he has improved so much. I’d venture to say that his reflux is entirely gone. If you suspect that this may be whats going on with your babe, a pediatrician will be able to confirm. Most little ones outgrow it on their own within a few months, thank goodness. In the meantime, you can give these natural remedies that worked for us a try and see if the situation improves.

Football Hold For Breastfeeding Mamas

A football hold helps when feeding because it keeps your kiddo more upright than other breastfeeding positions. Its simple gravity, if baby is sitting up, their food is less likely to come back up the esophagus. You can watch a video on how to do this hold properly here.

Feeding Baby Sitting Up For Bottle Feeding Mamas

This is same concept as the football hold. If you use a Boppy  or other nursing pillow to help hold baby while feeding them, try stuffing another pillow under the side where baby’s head is. Baby sits up, you don’t get sore arms, everyone wins.

Sit Baby Upright 30-45 Minutes After Feeding

So this part really sucks, especially if your little one is still getting up often at night to eat or if you have other children to tend to. It can almost seem like by the time you can finally lay then down, it’s time for them to get up and eat again. It’s exhausting. I get it. But this is easily what helped Liam the most. Once I finally did lay him down, he slept so much more soundly than he was before.

Give Baby A Pacifier 

I realize that this isn’t without controversy. Some Mamas are very anti-paci, and if you’re one of them, you can ignore this step entirely. For those babes that do take a pacifier, sucking on it right after eating can help in the same way that sucking on a peppermint might help you if you had heartburn. The physical act of sucking a pacifier both helps keep food down, and stimulates the production of saliva, which can help neutralize some their stomach acid. Note to breastfeeding Mamas: it is suggested that you don’t introduce a pacifier until about six weeks to ensure that baby develops a good latch, but do whatever you determine is best for you and your little one.

Get A Reflux Wedge Pillow

This little pillow is placed under baby’s mattress to sit them up a bit while they’re sleeping. When we put Liam’s in his bassinet, we had a problem with him sliding down the incline and ending up sideways at the foot of the mattress, totally defeating the purpose of the wedge. We started using his SnuggleMe Organic in the bassinet to help with this problem and it works great.

Gas Drops or Gripe Water

Reflux babies also tend to be gassy babies. If you’ve tried all of the suggestions listed above and things don’t seem to be improving, your little one might just be having a hard time getting all of the air out of their digestive systems. Some Mamas swear by gas drops or gripe water and some call B.S. on them. They seem to help Liam, so I’m a believer. We use Little Remedies. They have mostly natural ingredients and no added dyes or artificial flavors (they still taste pretty good though…yeah, I tried them). You can get the gas drops hereand the gripe water here.

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This is his gassy face.

Burp Baby More Often During Feeding

This is especially important for bottle fed babies, since they tend to get more air. I burp Liam about every two ounces while feeding him or if he starts acting uncomfortable or stops sucking the bottle and just starts chewing on it. For breastfed babies, unless their latch is poor, they likely aren’t getting too much air. Burping between breasts should be enough.

Let Bottles Settle For Formula Fed Babies

If at all possible, try to be ahead of the game and make baby’s bottles before they start crying. This way you’ll have time to let all of the air bubbles that form from shaking the bottle settle before giving it to baby. This doesn’t apply to pumping Mamas as breastmilk should never be shaken, only “swirled”. Vigorous shaking of breastmilk can break down some of the nutrients in it.

Hopefully these few steps will help your little one feel better until they outgrow reflux (usually by 3-6 months, but for some babies as long as one year). I wasn’t wild about the idea of medicating my 3 week old or giving him cereal in his bottle before his little digestive system was ready, so getting such good results from these natural remedies was a big win for us. Did any of these tips help your little one? Did you try something else that works? Let me know in the comments! Good luck, Mamas and babes.IMG_5115

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

No, You Are Not Going Bald! Things No One Tells You About Postpartum Life

The majority of the time, when you tell someone that you’re expecting, their response is something along the lines of, “Congratulations! Your life is about to change so much”. And that’s where they stop! Everyone loves to warn you about these “big changes” to come, but no one ever tells you what they actually are! Fast forward to a few days after you bring your little one home and suddenly you’ll know what they meant. You’ll wish that someone, anyone, had given you a better idea of what was about to happen to your mind, your body, your home, your relationships, to help you prepare yourself. These are the things that I wish someone would have told me and a few quick tips on how to make the postpartum transition as easy as possible.

Your Hair Will Fall Out

This can be really scary if you’re not prepared for it. I remember brushing my hair after getting out of my weekly shower (Ha! Once a week, whether you need it or not, ladies!) to find that my hair was coming out at a really alarming rate. We’re talking cleaning the hair brush out every day type stuff here. I did what we all do when confronted with some kind of mysterious bodily symptom; I consulted Google. Turns out this is completely normal and it happens to almost everyone. And yet no one had ever thought to mention this to me! It happens because your hair falls out at a slower rate while you’re pregnant, so it plays a cruel game of catch up after. Ugh! The good news is, you should be back to your normal, luscious self by the time your little one is 6 months to one year old. In the meantime, you can keep taking your prenatal vitamins, limit excessive hair washing and heat styling (which we all know you’ll be doing anyways, whether you like it or not), try to tie hair up loosely when you do need to put it up (consider a loose braid, ponytail, or bun and use soft ponytail holders or oh-so-fashionable scrunchies), and use a wide tooth comb instead of a brush. For my dark haired Mamas, my go-to dry shampoo can also help. Its tinted so it gives the appearance of thicker hair at the roots. Its super affordable and doesn’t smell nearly as strong as some of the other dry shampoos that I have tried. You can buy it here. Long haired Mamas beware, your hairs can get wrapped around little one’s fingers and toes and it hurts. If your babe seems to be crying for no reason, make sure that isn’t what is causing it.

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Sometimes it can really feel like my hair looks just like his.

You Will Cry For No Reason

When I went into my OBGYN for my 6 week postpartum check up, she asked me, “How has your mood been?” I thought for a second, and told her it hadn’t been terrible but at least once a day I was finding myself crying for absolutely NO reason. Her response was, “Um… Yeah! Thats because the first couple weeks SUCK!” And she’s right. Everyone tells you about how you’ll have so much love for this new little person, and you will, but the first couple weeks are really really hard. This will easily be the most exhausted, scared, and overwhelmed that you will ever be. You are sent home with this little person that cries seemingly nonstop and has so many needs that have to be met, but you will have no idea what you’re doing. Frankly, I’d be more worried if you didn’t cry. Recognize that these feelings are most likely normal. Use your partner, your friends, or your family to lean on for all of the support that you need. All of that being said, postpartum depression (PPD) is very real and very common. If you suspect that what you’re feeling is more than just being a little overwhelmed, you should absolutely contact your doctor immediately. There are treatments that are safe, even for breastfeeding Mamas. PPD is a biological condition. It does not mean that you are weak or that you do not love your child. It can happen to anyone and getting the help that you need makes you my personal hero.

 You Will Be Terrified To Go To The Bathroom

You literally just had a human being exit your body. If you aren’t afraid to go to the bathroom after that, you’re a much braver woman than I am. You’ll most likely be taking a lot of pain medication that can make it especially hard to go to the bathroom, making matters even worse. Throw in some stitches if you had any tearing during delivery and you’ve got something straight out of your worst nightmare. I suggest buying stool softeners before you deliver so you’ll have them handy when you get home. Take the highest possible dose. You’ll be glad you did.

You Will Most Likely Still Look Pregnant

“Aw! When are you due?” asks the evil woman in line behind you at the drug store. “Two months ago! Thanks,” you reply. This is an actual conversation from my actual life that I actually had. For a while after delivery, you’ll still have lots of fluid in your body, your organs will still be all rearranged, and you will have some baby weight. You should! To maintain a healthy pregnancy, you have to gain some amount of weight to make sure that you and baby are getting all of the nutrients that you need. It took you 9 to 10 months to put on this weight. It will very likely take you just as long, if not longer (seriously, who has time to work out?) to lose it. You may never lose it. That is also okay. Rest assured that even if you don’t lose any weight immediately (or ever), you will absolutely not look pregnant for the rest of your life. In the meantime, give that evil drug store lady a mental middle finger and go home and snuggle your sweet baby up against your soft, squishy belly.

You Will Bleed… For Longer Than You Expect

Obviously, some amount of bleeding is expected, but no one tells you just how much. Especially for breastfeeding Mamas, constant or off-and-on bleeding can be expected for up to two months. It will eventually get less and less heavy, but it will still be there. They will give you these weird mesh underwear in the hospital and show you how to put not one, but two maxi pads in them. Lovely. My number one advice to you is to swallow your pride and buy some adult diapers to bring with you to the hospital. It sounds silly and unnecessary, but I promise you it is so much more comfortable. All of the nurses will be very impressed with how wise you were to have that kind of forethought. I know getting praise for buying adult diapers to bring to the hospital just sound like a dream come true. So glamourous. You’ll only need to use these for a few days and after that is when the oh-so-sexy mesh underwear and maxi pads will come in handy. Seriously though, buy them here. You’ll be glad you did.

You May Not Bond With Baby Immediately

The little person that you’ve been so anxiously waiting for all this time is finally here. You’re supposed to feel this immediate, incredible bond like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, right? For some people this absolutely happens, and thats wonderful. For some people it does not, and that is absolutely okay. Sure you love them, but you just met this little one. Not feeling that “bond like no other” that people love to talk about right away does not make you a bad parent. It does not mean that you don’t love your child. You two just need a little time to figure each other out. Eventually, it will happen and you’ll finally see what all the hype was about.

Your Super Pregnant Lady Sense Of Smell Will Still Be There

Tell your partner that you’re sorry, but that burger with onions is still off the menu unless they want to eat it outside. I’m kind of convinced that this never really goes away. Which is lovely since dirty baby diapers and spit up absolutely smell like roses. Gag.

You Will Have Contractions While Breastfeeding

Yeah. Just like the ones you had during labor. These contractions are to help move all of your guts and organs back to where they belong. It hurts. If you’re miserable, don’t be a martyr. Take the pain medicine. You’ve already got enough on your plate.

Your Home Will Be A Wreck

Whatever. This is so low on the priority list. You’ll tell yourself before that you’ll never be one of those people who lets your children destroy your lovely home. But they will.Invest in some attractive storage baskets to corral all of your various baby supplies in. I have these and these.  I suggest buying a large pack of paper plates, bowls, and cutlery beforehand because you’ll probably rather be dead than wash a dish. Almost 4 months PP and I’m still using paper plates whenever possible. It doesn’t make you lazy, it just means that you think that time spent bonding with your little one is more important that doing the dishes. If you’re feeling especially proactive, you can subscribe to paper plates, bowls, and cutlery on Amazon. Again, you’ll be glad you did. #SubscribeAndSaveIsLife

People Will Want To Visit. You Will Not Be Interested.

The worst offenders here tend to be people without children, or people with grown adult children. They either don’t know or have forgotten how tough and tiring those first few weeks can be. Do not be afraid to say no! They’ll most likely understand. If they don’t, they’re the one with a problem, not you. Or better yet, tell them they can come by if they pick up those few things you needed from the grocery store first (or whatever other errand or chore you really need help with). Tell them ahead of time that they can come visit for whatever amount of time you’re comfortable with and then they’ll have to go so you can put baby down for a nap, feed baby, insert whatever other excuse you deem appropriate here. Don’t worry about cleaning your house first. Don’t worry about getting all dolled up. They’re not there to look at you or assess your housekeeping skills. They’re there to see the baby.

Did you experience anything postpartum that you were totally unprepared for? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

Moments Of Mom-Crisis And What I Tell Myself To Get Though Them

Before baby arrives, you read and read and read. You prepare and prepare and prepare. You think that you have the knowledge to handle almost any situation thrown your way. I know I did. But, guaranteed, something will happen within the first few weeks (if not hours!) to make you Totally. Lose. Your. Shit. You’ll cry, you’ll be frustrated, you’ll internally (or maybe externally) scream. What can you tell yourself to try to maintain your calm and composure during these trying situations?

When Baby Won’t Stop Crying

In this situation I always find it very helpful to remind myself,

“He is not giving me a hard time. He is having a hard time.”

Babies often have very big emotions and no life experience to draw from to help them handle it. Sometimes all it takes is the calm presence of Mama or Daddy to help get them through it. Babies are not malicious. They are not mean. They are not out to get you. In the midst of a baby meltdown it can be so easy to forget this. Remind yourself that they aren’t doing this to you, this is happening to them. It can also be helpful to go through a mental checklist. Babies generally don’t cry without a reason. Could they be hungry? Tired? Have a dirty diaper? Over-stimulated? And don’t forget, wanting to be held and cuddled is a perfectly valid reason for a baby to cry.

When You Feel Bad About Losing Your Patience

Sometimes, I’ll get really frustrated. If Liam won’t go down for his nap, seems to be especially fussy, isn’t doing what I want him to do at that moment in time in general, you get the idea. Sometimes in this situation, you really have to step away to gather yourself. And you absolutely should do this! Sometimes you need a moment to clear your head to be able to figure out exactly what baby needs. But for me personally, this can bring on feelings of guilt. I think to myself, “I’m his Mama. I should have more patience when he needs me.” But that is exactly why you should cut yourself a little slack. You’re the Mama. In baby’s eyes, you are the MOST perfect person. Remind yourself,

“Being a parent is hard. Needing to take a moment to catch my breath does NOT make me a bad parent. My child loves me unconditionally and thinks that I am more than enough.”

Repeat it until you believe it.

When You Need Help

Everyone will need help at some point or another. When you need it, ask for it.

“Asking for help does not mean that I am incapable as a parent. It means that I am wise enough to know that it takes a village to raise a child and sometimes I need some help to be the best Mama that I can be. I cannot do it all. No one can.”

It is better to ask for the help that you need than to let yourself go crazy.

When You Are Disconnecting With Your Significant Other

Sometimes a baby can turn you and your partner into glorified roommates. When you pause for a moment and realize that you haven’t touched your significant other in a few days, it can really hurt your feelings. You wonder, “How could I let us drift apart like this? I love this person and I am doing a poor job showing it.” Relax,

“I am not a bad partner. Again, being a parent is hard. We are in this together and we are doing a great job. Now that I have recognized the distance between us, I am fully capable of amending it.”

Sometimes baby comes first and that is okay. Set aside special time with your partner (like after you put baby to bed or even a special date night) to connect with each other and remind them that they are still just as important to you as they were before baby.

When You Find Yourself Overly-Worried

With all of the information out there being easier to access than ever, Mamas can quickly turn into worried, nervous wrecks. Fear mongering articles and books can make you worry about things that you ordinarily wouldn’t even think of. From SIDS, to child development, to screen time, to diet, to “is my child meeting their milestones on time?” it’s exhausting and unsettling. Repeat after me,

“I have done everything in my power to ensure my child’s safety and well-being. I make informed parenting choices. I do not need to borrow worry from tomorrow, as there is plenty to go around today. I should spend my energy bonding with my child rather than worrying about them.”

It is also worth noting that many of these worry-inducing articles are written specifically to profit off of mother’s natural instincts to worry about their children. Take everything with a grain of salt.

When Someone Attacks Your Parenting Choices

At some point sooner or later, someone WILL tell you that the way that you are parenting is wrong. That you are spoiling your baby by not letting them cry it out. That you should still be breastfeeding. That you shouldn’t breastfeed in public. That you shouldn’t let baby sleep in bed with you. That you shouldn’t put baby in their own room. Everyone has an opinion. When someone tells you that what you’re doing is wrong, it can feel very personal and it can hurt. A simple, “Thanks for the tip, but I think I can handle it. I appreciate you trying to help,” should be enough to make them get the hint. If not, feel free to tell them and yourself,

“Every Mama does what she believes is best for her baby. This person has a different belief than I do and that is okay. I do not have to take their advice into account. I know what is best for my unique child. I have confidence in my abilities and choices as a parent.” 

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That moment when your Mama is freaking out and you have no clue why…

Moments of Mom-Crisis will absolutely happen but if you have enough presence of mind to remind yourself of these simple statements, they can be a lot easier to deal with. What do you tell yourself in those extra-hard Mama moments? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

10-Minute (Semi-Healthy) Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Baby Daddy and I went through a little phase where is was all about the Buffalo. I don’t think we’re alone since Buffalo seems to really be having a moment right now. Buffalo wings, Buffalo chicken quesadillas, Buffalo chicken dip, Buffalo cauliflower, Buffalo everything. We ended up burning ourselves out on it and took a bit of a Buffalo break. After a brief hiatus, I got the craving again. I took a quick look in my pantry and fridge to see what I could make with what I had and this Buffalo Mac and Cheese was born. It took me 10 minutes from start to finish and was super simple using ingredients that we tend to always have on hand. There are a few ways that you could fancy this recipe up to make it more of a complete meal. I recommend adding some shredded chicken and scallions or even some chopped cauliflower. If you’re a bleu cheese lover (I am, but I recognize that its a very polarizing food) you could add that. You could also top with some breadcrumbs and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. The point is, super easy, super versatile, super delicious.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese 

Note: This recipe is for a single serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pasta (I used mini shells, but you can work with what you have)
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2-3 Tbsp Frank’s Buffalo Sauce (or whatever prepared Buffalo sauce you prefer)
  • 2-3 Tbsp unsweetened soy milk or non-fat evaporated milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
  • drizzle of ranch dressing (optional)

Method

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and return to pot. Over medium-low heat, combine pasta with shredded pepper jack and stir until melted and well mixed. Add milk and Buffalo sauce and stir to combine well. Add all other ingredients and stir again. Garnish with parsley and ranch dressing if desired.

Tip: If Mac and Cheese seems dry, add another splash of milk or water.

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I hope y’all love this! It’s sure to be a new favorite in our house! Let me know what you think in the comments.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

How I Got My Baby To Sleep Through The Night (And What That Actually Means)

The first week or so home with Liam was rough to put it lightly. He wouldn’t sleep in his bassinet, or anywhere besides Mama or Dad’s arms for that matter. I think part of this was typical newborn behavior, part could be attributed to his silent reflux (more on this in a later post), and part was because we simply had no clue what we were doing. As the Mama to a 14 week old, I am so SO far from an expert on baby sleep methods. However, we have come up with some simple things that work for us and may work for your Little One as well. I know when I was sleep deprived and desperate, I would have tried just about anything. So what does it actually mean for a baby to sleep through the night? For me, it’s sleeping anything longer than a six hour stretch. BUT, sleeping longer than a six hour stretch does not mean that baby sleeps peacefully without a stir or a sound. Think about the way that you sleep. You probably wake up several times at night because you’re uncomfortable, hot, had a weird dream, whatever… The difference here is that you are fully capable of putting yourself back to sleep and your Little One is not. I still have to half-wake up at least 3-4 times per night to put Liam’s pacifier back in his mouth, pat him to give him some reassurance that I’m still there, rock his bassinet (more on this later in the post), or if he’s having a particularly bad night (usually during a growth spurt or a leap) to put him in bed with me.

The number one thing that has helped Liam sleep better is ROUTINE. I cannot stress enough how much babies thrive on routine. We follow our own flexible version of a BabyWise schedule during the day. You can purchase the book here. To be honest though, I didn’t read the book. I just looked up “sample babywise schedule” and tweaked what I found to meet our needs. If I had read every baby book recommended to me, I would be reading until Liam is a grown adult. The whole focus of the schedule is to make sure that your baby is getting enough full feedings throughout the day rather than just snacking. This ensures that baby gets all the nutrition that they need during the day and don’t need to wake as often at night to feed. You’ll also want to get your baby on a routine of “Eat. Play. Sleep.” Liam generally wakes up between 6 and 7 am (though I suspect that he would sleep later if I had blackout curtains, anyways, I digress). We get up, change his diaper, he eats, he plays for about 45 minutes, then I put him down for a nap. Depending on how long he naps, he will repeat this routine every three to four hours throughout the day. This can vary depending on your individual child. Liam sometimes feeds a little more often at night before bed to “load up” and first thing in the morning to “catch up.”

The second, arguably most important part, of routine is the bedtime routine. I find that this helps to signal to Liam that it is time for nightsleeping and not just a nap. Every night about two hours before bedtime we turn off all of the overhead lights in the house and turn on lamps. The dim lighting helps him start to wind down. We give him a bath every night. We use this Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath. We subscribe to it on Amazon so it is automatically sent every two months. After his bath he gets a little massage using the Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Lotion (we subscribe to this as well) to help him relax. We use overnight diapers and apply a really thick layer of diaper cream to help ensure that he doesn’t wake up because he is uncomfortable from a wet diaper. We use Pampers Swaddlers Overnights and Burt’s Bees Diaper Cream. I cannot recommend subscribing to diapers on Amazon enough. You end up saving between 30-50% and you never have to worry about running out. We dress him in lightweight pajamas as he tends to get hot. Then we swaddle him in a velcro swaddle, or his “straight jacket” as we like to call it (he can bust out of a regular swaddle blanket in no time). Then he gets his last bottle for the night while Mama or Daddy rocks him. We make sure to burp him really well so he doesn’t wake up from gas pains. He usually falls asleep shortly after and we put him to bed.

Lastly, we have come up with a nighttime sleeping arrangement that helps him stay as comfortable and cozy as possible. He sleeps in this bassinet. It’s super affordable and I love that I can rock it when he starts to stir around. Its basically a metal frame with a fabric “basket” that the mattress rests in. I can swing the “basket” part to rock him back to sleep without having to pick him up or even get out of bed. Amazing. We also have the SnuggleMe Organic Pillow, which is my actual Holy Grail of baby products. It helps make my cuddly little guy feel like he’s being held all night long and on the off chance that he does wake up, I can put it in bed with me to keep Liam safe and Mama comfortable. We keep white noise on all night to prevent any background noise from waking him up. We chose to download a free white noise app rather than buying a white noise machine.

There you have it! My tips and tricks for helping Mamas and babies get the sleep that we all need and deserve. Some of this may need to be tweaked since every child is unique. It is also worth noting that until baby has doubled their birth weight, it is absolutely normal and necessary for them to wake up for night feedings! Trying to wean baby off of these feedings before they are ready will not work. Every little one moves at their own pace. Sleeping through the night is a milestone just like rolling over or sitting up and it will be met as soon as your individual child is ready! These tips are simply to help baby sleep as soundly as possible for as long as they are developmentally able to. I hope that this is helpful for y’all. Happy Snoozing, Mamas! What helped your baby sleep through the night? Share in the comments.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

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