Tag Archives: attachment parenting

On Weaning: Mothering Without the Breast

My son went to bed tonight with a headache. I know he’s really not feeling well because he fell asleep on the floor with his head resting on the pad we use to change his sister’s diapers. He didn’t have dinner or a popsicle. (He never skips a popsicle.)

He woke up briefly a few minutes ago. I can’t say I’m sorry, because I got to hear his little voice, know that he’s OK, and coax him back to sleep...without breastfeeding. Continue reading

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Parenting & Family, Uncategorized

Out and About: Better #Babywearing with our lillebaby® COMPLETE™

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I had a carrier for my first child, and I knew the benefits of babywearing but I really never did it. Maybe it was because my husband and I fought over who got to hold him all the time, or maybe we were just intimidated by our baby carrier, with all its straps and buckles. Whatever the reason, it worked out OK for us. But this time? This time is WAY different.

I kind of knew it would be, since I’d have to adjust to having a newborn along with an energetic 3-year-old. I’m also running a bigger household and no longer heading out to the office each day (it’s still weird to say it!) I spend all my waking–and even sleeping–hours with these kids, and once in a while, I just really need to get something done. Babywearing has been an absolute gift from the heavens this time, and I owe much of our peace these days to lillebaby!

lillebaby

I was given the opportunity to review the lillebaby COMPLETE in warm orange and cream, shown here. Without knowing much about the carrier beyond the good reviews I’d heard, I chose it based on color alone. I love the warm orange tone, and it looked like the perfect carrier for fall.

lillebabycarrier

Well, once I actually got my hands on my new carrier, I realized that the color was only one of a million things to love. It’s sturdy, well made and comfortably padded, with great contours and shoulder straps that are thick enough for support, but not so thick that they get in the way or look too bulky.

lillebabycarrierstraps

Now, I could write you a book about everything this carrier offers…but lillebaby has done a fantastic job with their extremely thorough and user-friendly website.  All the different carries, safety information, and features of the lillebaby COMPLETE are listed there, along with info on how to breastfeed while babywearing and other helpful tips.  If you’re thinking of buying a lillebaby, I encourage you to check out lillebaby.com – I’m sure you’ll find every answer you could possibly need there.

But I will tell you about some of the features that we, personally, found very helpful and valuable when using our lillebaby COMPLETE.

What I Love:

1. Most importantly, I recommend this carrier because it truly is a complete solution for babywearing. It’s the only carrier you’ll need from infancy to toddlerhood, and your baby will be comfortable and safe in it (and you’ll be comfortable, too!) the entire time you’re using it. Right now we’re only using the front carry/face in position, but you can wear it on your back, hip or front with baby facing in, out or in the fetal position. All adjustments are quick and easy and you don’t need a degree in engineering to figure it all out. (Yay for easy!)

lillebabycarrier

2.  As parents, we’re always learning, and I definitely learned something new from lillebaby. There is a period of time when nearly all babies become too big for the infant insert (which puts them in the fetal position) while still being a bit too small to wrap their legs around a parent’s waist. This is known as the “babywearing gap” and usually falls between 3–6 months, depending on both baby and parents’ sizes and preferences. Lillebaby has this problem solved with their adjustable seat. The width adjusts to provide ergonomic positioning in every carrier setting. This feature is recommended by the Hip Dysplasia Institute because it allows baby’s legs to spread apart naturally, without being forced at all, reducing the risk of hip dysplasia and allowing healthy development during the high risk months (0–6).

lillebaby carrier positions

3. The adjustable width seat could, in fact, save your babywearing experience altogether, since many babies express discomfort during the “babywearing gap”, leaving their parents to assume they just don’t like being in the carrier. When I read this, it was like a light came on. Who would ever be able to figure this out? I know I never would have thought of it without the help of the experts at lillebaby.

4. Comfort! There are countless comfort features found on the lillebaby COMPLETE, and I just don’t think other carriers can compare. From an optional lumbar support and padded straps to accessories like stirrups, lillebaby truly has comfort covered. (See all the comfort features here.) I can attest to this firsthand, since I wore my lillebaby with 17-lb Elliette from 9am to 5:30pm at MommyCon! We were both still smiling by the end of the day, and I had NO discomfort whatsoever.

lillebabycarriers

5. The main reason I’m using our lillebaby COMPLETE nonstop? Ellie is just SO happy in it. I know that she’s safe and supported because the carrier holds her snugly and there’s no slipping or shifting, but I can tell that she feels secure, too. Nearly every single time I take her to the grocery store, Target, a random walk, anywhere, she lays her head down on my chest and falls asleep. It’s the best feeling ever. I can also nurse her in it very easily, especially with the attached sleeping hood that keeps her from getting distracted. Had I known it was possible walk through the grocery store nursing my baby with my hand free to push the cart, I’m sure I would have been doing a lot more babywearing with my first!

6. As a company, lillebaby wants the best for your baby in more ways than one. Learn more about their commitment to green practices and sustainability here. After all, someday this world is going to belong to these babies we’re carrying, right?

What would I change?

Ok, so a review isn’t a review without a few cons, right? Well, I’ll say this: I’d love a pocket! I really, really missed having a pocket for keys, cash, whatever, because I just don’t like to carry a purse while I’m babywearing. (Or at all, really.) So yeah. A pocket would put this thing over the top. And if I had it to do all over again, I might choose the more lightweight, breathable mesh lillebaby COMPLETE Airflow carrier  for summer. But now that we’re headed into fall, this carrier isn’t leaving my side. I guarantee it!

Thinking about a lillebaby of your own? Order from lillebaby.com and use code ABCGP20 to save 20% off your purchase! (Valid through 9/30/13) I think I’m getting some teething pads!
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Disclosure: I received a product sample at no charge to facilitate this review. As always, I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own and honest based on my experience with the product mentioned above. 

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Filed under Baby Guide, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews

Breastfeeding: If there’s one thing I know for sure…

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

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Right from day one, I set goals for my breastfeeding journey. First, I just wanted to do it. Then, six months. Then I set my sights on a year. After that, my vision for the road ahead got kind of blurry. I figured I’d keep going as long as he wanted to. As the months went by, I continued to swell with pride and milk as my baby continued to nurse…and thrive. I looked at each day as a gift, and continued to nurse my baby.

Continue reading

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The Best Laid Plans: When healthy habits don’t equal good health

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but I’ve been conspicuously absent from my own blog lately.

Sure, I’ve posted a few things here or there, and a couple reviews for some fantastic Earth Month sponsors, but the personal posts have been few and far between.

The reason? I’ve been SICK.  Really sick. I picked up some kind of virus way back in January, and it’s been hanging on ever since. Of course I’ve also been really busy with work and all the household chores that come with a new spring, so time has been terribly tight. And it seems that every time I start feeling better and get a few moments to do something fun (like blogging, or gardening, or painting, or just watching a crappy TV show) I find myself flat-on-my-back sick again with barely enough energy to shower.

It’s wearing on me. Hard. Continue reading

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, The Everyday

So, how’s that weaning going?

It’s been a little while since my last post about weaning, so I thought it was high time I followed it with an update…but somehow, every time I sit down to write about this whole process so that someone – anyone – might benefit from my experience, I can’t seem to put two coherent sentences together.

Why? Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about weaning, it’s that I know nothing about weaning.

I never wanted to wean my son. Since day one, it has always been my intention to let him lead the way and decide when he was good and ready. In fact, I’d love to nurse for another year or two – but, alas, our breastfeeding relationship has prevented us, thus far, from becoming pregnant again and the thought of no siblings is just about the only thing that could persuade me to start persuading.

So at around 17 1/2 months I started nudging and making small changes, trying to eek out a careful balance of still providing as much milk as possible while cutting back enough to jumpstart my body into fertile mode again. I cut out my last pumping session during the workday and stopped sending milk with Little Man during the day. From that point on, he got milk only when Mommy was around.

I was shocked at how easy that transition was, and I was thrilled to finally be free of my pump! :D (Although it had definitely served me well!) Since we were going 12 hours at a time without nursing, and attempting to night nurse was next on the agenda, I figured my supply would dwindle and we’d be done altogether in a few weeks.

Wrong.

My supply dipped, but maintained just the right amount, probably because night nursing did not happen. Not even a little bit. It increased. Hey wait…this whole weaning thing is supposed to mean a little more sleep for the mama, right? :?

Wrong again.

Maybe it’s because I work all day or maybe it’s just because it’s normal, but my little milk monster has only slept through the night a few times since he was born, and attempts to night wean him only led to more determination on his part. I will admit that I was looking forward to some of this elusive “sleep through the night” action I’ve heard about  ( My nickname for STTN is “The Unicorn,” because it’s such a lovely, imaginary creature that I’ve only read about in books… ) Oh well…he’ll probably sleep as a teenager, right?

Fast forward to now (nearly 20 months.) After several attempts at limiting middle-of-the-night milk only to be met with a crying, rejected baby and a brokenhearted mommy, I decided I just couldn’t do it. Weaning to regulate my cycle and gain sleep made NO sense when the end result was less sleep and more stress! Withholding the one constant source of physical and emotional nourishment he’s had since birth just went against every iota of my mothering instinct. Plus, the benefits of nursing well into toddlerhood are just too great to deny (here’s a great fact sheet from Kellymom.com that I have kept on my desktop for months.)  So I backed off and decided that cutting out pumping and daytime milk would have to be enough, and took the rest out of my hands and put it back in the hands of my happy little nursling.

What will be will be.

And you know what “be”?  In the past week and a half, my son has enjoyed 5 full nights of sleep, and so have I. Hallelujah! I’ve been thinking a lot about why, and I’ve come to the conclusion that weaning would not help him sleep, but rather his being developmentally ready to sleep would help him wean. I had it backwards! Ah, the perfect sense of it all!

And it doesn’t stop there. I was really concerned that at some point I might get pregnant and have to deal with being super exhausted while dealing with a still-nursing, still-night-waking toddler. But now, as he starts to sleep more, my cycle is returning (albeit verrrry slowly. But we did just buy a new house, and everyone tells me that is a surefire way to get pregnant! :lol: ) I think relaxing about weaning and letting things happen naturally, organically, has allowed our bodies to synch up and figure out each other’s needs the way only a mother and child can. And I thought the biology of pregnancy was amazing…little did I know that was only the tip of the iceberg!

As of right now, I don’t know how much milk my son is getting, but I am so glad he’s still getting some. Setting my worries aside and follow what feels right has allowed me to relax, and is undoubtedly much healthier for both of us.

Hey, maybe I do know a little something about weaning, after all!  ;)

An added bonus that I never thought we’d see – Instead of running up to me the second I get home from work and signing milk, we officially have a new word for nursing!

BUBBAS! :D

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