Facing Fear

This post is part of My Journey Forward, a blog series about finding purpose during motherhood, and building motivation as a Stay At Home Parent; to have the ambition and courage to go after our own goals. After all, life doesn’t stop when they place that baby in our hands or when black leggings and dry shampoo become a daily ritual. It’s time to take your dreams off of the back burner. Join me as I rediscover myself as a Stay At Home Mom, crush my goals, and help you find more meaning in your day to day.


 

Facing Fear

Fear is a funny thing. It can either motivate us or prevent us from moving forward. It can be the driving force behind achieving our goals or it can be the road block that keeps us from trying. What ever roll it plays in our life, it is a constant reminder of either who we are afraid to be, or what we are afraid to do. It lives all around us, reminding us that we are not good enough, and we don’t deserve to be who we want to be. Fear can push us to be good parents, but then remind us that we’re not. Fear can hinder us from going after our dreams, and tell us that there is no point.

How does fear work within your life? 

What is the fear that is holding you back? What keeps you from acknowledging how great you really are? What is keeping you from loving the life you are living? What is preventing you from moving forward? It’s time to recognize what our fears are and label them? We need to dig into the reasons that lay beneath those fears, then it’s time to take them head on. It’s time to face our fears: To remove the block that keeps us stuck, and to find a new motivation that emanates a more positive purpose.

Are you ready?

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From Baby to Toddler

From Baby to Toddler

Nothing speeds up time faster then having children. One moment, we are sitting in our childhood bedrooms, anticipating tomorrow’s test, the next we are handed a little creature and thrusted into the life of parenthood. Our anxieties were once surviving high school and avoiding the mean girls, and now they are wrestling through diaper changes and our child’s health. It is strange what time does to us.

The first time I held my daughter after she was born, she was incredibly light, fragile and so tiny. I remember thinking how amazing it was that the little creature I had in my arms fit so perfectly in my belly. The fact that she started out as this small little spec, and suddenly she was on the outside, so beautiful and so very real. I remember being so afraid of dropping her. I got nervous when other people handled her. Even when my husband held her, I felt anxious. Spoiler: no one dropped her. 

For me, the newborn stage was hard, but I still tried to soak her in as much as I could. I snuggled her close to my face, and I absorbed her baby smells. Her noises echoed in my ears. Her adorable Newborn clothes were big on her. She swam in them, and I was blown away by it. She loved being close to Mommy, the only time she would tolerate being put down was in her rock and play. She loved to eat. She ate a lot, and she grew fast. Before I knew it, she was wearing 0-3, then 3-6. She skipped 6-9 and went straight to 12 months. And she kept growing.

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Pregnant

*This post is part of The Pregnancy and Delivery Series. Follow Messy Mama for more information on pre-pregnancy, pre-natal and post-natal. Check back for updates.


 

I am one of those people who is a train engine once I set my mind on something. Full speed ahead in the direction of my choice and nothing and no one is going to get in my way. Not him, not that girl over there, not even puppies… okay I’m a sucker for puppies. Puppies would probably get in my way.

Anyway, when I am aboard the full speed ahead train, I tend to not to listen to advice or heed to the warnings laid out before me. I’m on a one-way path to my destination and I am not braking for other passengers. It’s a fault, I know. Sometimes I just can not help myself. So, when my husband and I decided to have a baby, I did not hesitate to pick up my ticket to pregnant town. Full speed ahead!

If this is you, and you are currently on that crazy train to baby making station, stop that shit! Stop it right now! Yes, I am being a complete and utter hypocrite, but if you are going to listen to anyone, listen to the one who’s been on this train. Get off! Get the fuck off, right now! Jump, tuck and roll, and go sit with some daisies for a god damn forsaken second and listen for once.

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Just listen!

I desperately wish I had someone shake me out of my stubborn coma. I wish someone had grabbed my attention before it was too late and had told me to chill the fuck out!

No, this does not mean I regret the decision to have my beautifully sculpted and delicate little human being. I do not regret it what so ever. She is the biggest blessing that has ever happened to me and I do not regret her for one single second. I regret that damn train ride.

I regret the obsession that took up the last moments of me time I will never get back. The time before my body was anyone else’s but mine. Before the scars and the dip into the mess pool of pregnancy and chaos. I allowed my obsession to fester into pure and utter frustration every time I received a negative pregnancy test. The frustration evolved into stress that stole the whole experience away from me and I am here to warn you with these five things I wish I had known before getting pregnant.

Not All Pregnancies Are Glowing And Little Cake Balls

I was 7 weeks pregnant when I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It was literally all down hill from there. My pregnancy was difficult. I’m still not quite sure how I got up every day. Honestly, some days I didn’t. Some days I stayed in bed clutching on to a puke bucket. Some nights I spent in the hospital, being pumped full of Zofran and Saline. Some days I barely made it to work only to head home immediately after vomiting my own stomach acid.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

Pregnancies can be difficult, and they can be complicated. They can be tough, isolating, and frustrating. You could suffer beyond the sore feet, backache and having to pee every five minutes. It could be a beautiful experience or a never-ending nightmare and you won’t know which direction it’s going to go until you become pregnant.

It Could Take Forever

My husband and I pretty much jumped into baby making as soon as we returned from our honeymoon. It took us almost nine months to conceive our little blue-eyed miniature. Waiting for a positive pregnancy test was heartbreaking and so very draining. I was expecting that immediate plunge into parenthood, yet remained childless, month after month, and it was tearing me a part. I desperately wanted to be a mom. The possibility of infertility crept into my head and it added to the stress of the whole process. Instead of understanding that the path was a journey that I should have been embracing, I was drowning in negative pregnancy tests and it was dragging me deep down.

Stress can contribute to lack of pregnancy because it can throw your ovulation off track. Most physicians state that you should not worry about infertility until you have been trying for well over a year. Just because you are not getting pregnant right away does not mean you are doomed to never have a baby of your own. Worrying about potential IVF treatments before it’s necessary will only cause more stress. Address your concerns with your OBGYN and trust that things will work out, for now.

Don’t Obsess Over It

By month four I was knee deep in Ovulation Tracking Apps, Pregnancy tests, Basal Thermometers, Calendars, Ovulation Tests, and “How to Get Pregnant Fast” articles. Sex was penciled into my schedule and baby making time was no longer fun. I laid in bed after the baby deed was done while my husband got up and proceeded with his day, moving on with his life while I stayed stuck in mine. It turned into a job. I was obsessively tracking, pinpointing temperature spikes and drops, and researching all the best baby making methods. My life, in that moment, revolved around the possibility of two little pink lines and nothing else seemed to matter. I lost time and I lost my mind.

If your doctor isn’t concerned about your fertility, then you shouldn’t be either. As a mom, I will tell you this: you won’t get much me time after baby arrives. You won’t poop alone, you won’t shower alone, and wandering time in Target becomes a vacation. Trust me when I say, soak this time up, because you won’t get it back for a very long time. Don’t waste it counting lines.

Which leads me to my next point:

Spend Some Quality Time With Yourself

Instead of getting wrapped up in the frustration of it, trust that things would work out the way they are meant to. I lost time with myself. Time getting to know who I was before becoming a mom. I lost the time I could have spent on all the things I couldn’t do after becoming pregnant, like sleeping, enjoying care free time with my friends and family, relishing in being able to carry a small bag or just my wallet, going on hikes and maybe even traveling a little bit. I wish I had known to spend some time knocking a few more things off my bucket list instead of wasting time crying on the bathroom floor with another no sitting in the garbage can. Instead of saying goodbye to childless me, I let the unknown of my future consume me.

Don’t be like me. Get to know yourself through out this journey. Take care of your body and love it a little more before it turns into a dwelling space. Spend time with friends, go to places you haven’t visited yet, sit alone in a coffee shop and read your favorite book. Just do things for yourself and enjoy the ride.

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Know Your Support System
If I had known my pregnancy was going to be difficult, I would have thought a little harder about setting up a proper care system with my health provider and family. Instead of assuming my pregnancy would be smooth enough to not need a plan, while being alone in a strange state, I should have thought ahead about what I was going to do in case of an emergency while my husband traveled. Driving yourself to the hospital when you are pregnant and vomiting profusely is not as easy as it sounds. Sitting alone while you’re being pumped full of fluids is scary because there’s no one around to distract you.

If you are trying to get pregnant, schedule a preconception visit and discuss your pregnancy plan with your doctor. Talk with your friends and family about support. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Knowing that you have backup when things don’t go as planned can be extremely helpful.

Being pregnant without complications is hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it. You’re feet swell up and hurt, you always feel like you had one too many sub sandwiches, you basically carry a bowling ball around all day and night, you can never get comfortable, and tying your own shoes becomes a work out.

Becoming a parent is a huge responsibility. You can’t change your mind and reverse the clock. Your life completely changes and you don’t sleep. It’s beautiful and chaotic all at the same time. You are responsible for keeping a tiny human alive and it’s fucking scary. You’ll have your whole parent life to stress out, take this time to catch up on sleep.

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Continue to follow my Pregnancy and Delivery Series at www.messymama18.com.

 

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Who is Messy Mama

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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com

Healing Sensitive Baby Butts

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please visit Messy Mama’s Disclaimer page.

If you are a parent, then you have changed a few thousand diapers. At least, right? So many diapers! Even if you are a single child parent, the amount of dirty diapers one child produces is astounding. How does one little creature deposit so much waste. I can almost fill up a trash can in one day with the amount of diapers our child goes through. It’s ridiculous!

If you’ve changed a lot of diapers, then chances are you’ve dealt with a few diaper rashes.

Maybe a few.

Maybe a lot.

Maybe you are even currently drowning in so many rashes you are at your wits end.

Diaper cream isn’t working.

The doctors prescription only seems to make it worse.

You are debating on using your Aunt Peggy’s secret concoction, but it smells a little like whisky, so your hesitant.

You don’t know what else to do.

Before you head on over to the witch doctor, hear me out for a second. Maybe your baby’s diaper rash problem isn’t you, it’s your baby. Now, before you get upset, let me explain. I’m not saying it’s your baby’s fault, I’m saying it’s your baby’s skin.

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We are all pretty aware that babies just have sensitive skin, but what if your baby has super sensitive skin. Like, your baby’s sensitive skin, is sensitive. Your diaper cream could be making it worse. What? So how are you supposed to treat a rash if you can’t use rash cream? I did, using little to no diaper cream, and I’ve pretty much illuminated our diaper rash problem. Yes, we still get the occasional rash, but I have come up with a diaper changing method that has been a tremendous success, and I am going to share it with you.

My Story

I have had sensitive skin my whole life, so I lean towards organic or hypoallergenic, non-chemical products, to prevent irritation. No, this is not a judgy post that goes on and criticizes you for the type of products you use. Life is hard enough! From one itchy person to another, however, the less chemicals that touch your skin, the less likely your skin is going to react. Itchy, burning, irritated skin is not a good time, believe me.

So, when my baby was born, it was a no-brainer for me to use gentle products on her delicate skin. Since I was already using these products, I was unaware just how sensitive my baby’s skin was. Super-Sensitive! So, when she got the devil rash of all rashes, I treated it like I would normally treat her rashes, with Honest diaper cream. The rash would improve, but it wouldn’t go away. It lasted for weeks. I went for the powerful stuff, but it didn’t improve.

Finally, I called her doctor and used a prescription strength medication. It got worse! The rash spread all the way up to her back and up her front. She also began to develop sores from where her skin peeled from being so raw. My little darling was in pain and I was ripping my hair out.

So, I applied my own skin care routine to my baby’s bottom. It was then that I realized the cream’s were only making it worse. I learned that less is better when it came to her skin. Little one has had few rashes since the Hell of all rashes. When I do see one coming on I just apply the diaper care routine and it goes away immediately.

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So how do I minimize and treat super sensitive rash butts?

Diaper Care Routine

Change Diapers Frequently – Change a wet diaper at least every two hours. A dry butt is a happy butt. Change poop diapers immediately or as soon as you can. I have discovered that poop diapers will cause diaper rash faster than just a wet diaper. I know, diapers are expensive, but so are diaper creams and doctor visits. Even if your little one doesn’t go, they may still sweat. If they have a rash, change it even if it is dry.

Use Less Wipes – You don’t have to wipe after every diaper change. Moist skin can cause irritation. Definitely after every poop, but try just pat drying a wet diaper change with a soft cloth. I use burp clothes because they absorb but are really soft. Keep bottom cloths separate from spit up clothes.  Try using sensitive or organic wipes on your baby’s butt. I use Honest Wipes.

Lotion – Yes, this is opposite from what I just said, but moisturize your baby’s bottom daily. Extra dry skin can irritate sensitive skin which can cause a diaper rash. I use Honest Lavender Lotion for my baby’s sensitive little tush.

Use Diaper Cream Sparingly – DO NOT glob on the cream. Use a thin layer over the infected area. Too much cream can cause further irritation for sensitive butts. Do apply after every diaper change. Try only applying up to twice a day if the rash is bad. I even rub it in a little. Not quite like lotion but enough to allow your baby’s skin to absorb it. Again, don’t lather a thick layer on.

Also, try an organic or hypoallergenic cream, like Honest Diaper Cream. Again, not trying to bring you over to the dark side, but unnecessary chemicals can make rashes worse for sensitive skin.

Try A Balm – When my baby got open sores from her raw rash, I applied a thin layer of Honest All-Purpose Balm to the affected area. I did not apply the diaper cream with the balm, I waited until the sore’s healed, which they did rather quickly with the balm. I applied this twice a day.

Dry Out – It’s no surprise, many babies love to be naked. It’s freeing and so natural. It’s also good for their sensitive baby butts. If your baby is immobile, you can place them on a towel. For crawlers / walkers you can set them up in their Play Pen with towels. My little one is a free spirit and refuses to be caged in, so I usually just have paper towels and cleaner ready in case of an emergency puddle. (Just be careful, baby can slip in his/her own mess, so naked time should be done under supervision)

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That’s it. That’s how I heal my baby’s diaper rash. Yes, a diaper care routine may sound a little ridiculous, but it has kept our baby’s bottom mostly rash free. Our diaper care routine is just as important as our morning routine and our bed time routine. Yes, we still battle with diaper wars and poop fights, but quite frankly, not wiping excessively, and adding cream every time has actually minimized the actual diaper change time. The routine has also become a process of our day, so she is getting much better about sitting through a diaper change.

So what does our routine look like?

My Diaper Care Routine

First Change :

  • Wipe down
  • Pat dry
  • Lotion
  • Fresh diaper

Pee Diaper:

  • Pat dry
  • Fresh Diaper

Poop Diaper:

  • Wipe down
  • Pat Dry
  • Fresh Diaper

(If I notice a little pink after a poop change, I’ll take extra care with the diaper care routine. If I see more red, I’ll put a thin layer of Diaper Cream on the affected area. I treat twice per day.)

Little Pink = Warning    Red = Treat

Bed Time:

  • Bath / Wipe down with wet cloth
  • Air dry with naked time
  • Lotion
  • More naked time
  • Fresh Diaper

Night Time Changes:

I am going to destroy everything you have learned about sleep training. If my daughter woke up in the middle of the night with a full diaper, I changed it. Yes, this is a dangerous game to play, but if my baby was uncomfortable, she wasn’t sleeping anyway. We finally invested in overnight diapers, and she’s been peeing less at night, so we no longer have to do this.

If she wet the sheets or pooped her diaper in her sleep, we woke her up. Again, dangerous, but if we allowed her to sleep through it, she would wake up with a rash. It was a chance I took to prevent another devil rash. It’s helped, a lot!

I Am Not A Doctor:

No, I am not a doctor so I am not a professional, so if you are concerned about your baby’s skin or have questions about baby creams, I would ask your pediatrician. I have, however, dealt with sensitive skin my whole life. So, it only made sense to apply the same routine to my baby, who apparently has gotten my sensitive skin gene. When nothing else worked, our diaper care routine did, and it’s been great for my little family.

 


 

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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views, and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such. I would not recommend affiliated products that I don’t love and use myself. However, if you purchase a product and are not satisfied, any inquires must be done through Amazon or Target (original origin of purchase). Messy Mama does not guarantee satisfaction.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com

Surviving The First Year of Motherhood

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please visit Messy Mama’s Disclaimer page.

As the day’s crept closer to my baby’s due date, I felt as if I was fully prepared. I had read the books, and I scoured the internet for all the must haves. Every article that I read on baby products led me to Amazon. I was going to have all the supplies I needed when baby arrived.

After baby was born, I quickly learned that every baby is different. Just because a parent swears by a product doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a must buy for your baby. I wasted a lot of money on products I didn’t need.

As I got to know my daughter a little better, picking out items that would help both of us, became much easier. Yes, it’s important to be prepared, but sometimes waiting to see what type of baby you will have may save you a little money. As parents, we all understand the importance of conserving cash.

There were, however, some products that I swear by. These helped my child, and me, be more comfortable in our brand new surroundings.

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Easing the Sleep Concerns

Being a new mom is the most frightening experience I have ever felt. I lost a lot of sleep in the beginning months because I was overly obsessed with SIDS. The fact that she has made it to her first birthday has been such a relief for me. I am no longer obsessing about her sleeping situation. When I was, however, these products helped ease the worry a little bit.

Halo Sleep Sack – This wearable blanket let me know that baby was both warm and safe in her crib. The sleep sack kept her snug without concern of loose fabric blocking her breathing. My little one wore these right up until nine months. (The recommended sleep safety with a blanket is after 12 months)

V-Tech Baby Video Monitor – Our baby has been sleeping in the room with us since day one. Even with her being so close, I still kept the monitor on my night stand. I could glance over through out the night to make sure she was sleeping well without having to get up. My husband made fun of me for this, but it eased my anxiety. Having this monitor also allowed me to get things done during nap time without having to continually check on her. A quick glance at the monitor eliminated any hazardous attempt to creep into the room quietly. Equipped with a microphone, I was able to hear my baby cry out for me if I walked away from the monitor.

Going Hands Free

If your baby is anything like mine, then they want to be held all the time. Putting my little one down was a tough job, and usually took multiple attempts. Getting anything done was out of the question. So, I invested in a couple carriers.

Moby Wrap – This wrap was perfect for my baby’s first couple of months. It swaddled her against me, where she felt safe and secure. She would fall asleep snuggled against my chest, and I could walk the dog, do the laundry, wash dishes, and work on my writing.

Infantino Carrier – This carrier was perfect for my baby as she started to grow out of the wrap. I could carry her facing me with her butt and legs supported. As she got bigger, I could flip her around to see the world. This was great for carrying groceries in the house, taking the dog outside for a quick break, and checking the mail. As my little one grows bigger, she can still be carried on my back with a quick switch from front to back.

Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges

Unfortunately, we ended our breastfeeding journey when my baby was 3 months due to lack of supply and lactose sensitivity. However, I still got to experience breastfeeding long enough to understand just how incredibly hard it can be. These tools helped me stay afloat for a little while.

Spectra Pump – Pumping sucks, both literally and figuratively, but it was great when I needed a break or had to utilize a bottle. The Spectra pump was easy to use and made a newbie pumper like me feel like a pro. Cleaning was a breeze.

Medela Ointment – Whether you pump or specifically breastfeed, those nipples can get pretty sore. Some days I felt as if I could not possibly breastfeed any longer for that reason alone. They were hitting their limit. Once I invested in some good ointment, however, it was a game changer.

Lansinoh Nursing Pads – If you’re nursing then there’s a good chance your going to leak a little bit, if not a lot-a-bit. Nursing pads where a great way to save my clothes from the blotchy patch work of the leaking breast milk. It also kept the ointment off of my bra.

Lounge-wear Bralettes – When it comes to clothes, I have learned to only purchase items that I am going to get multiple use out of. So, I didn’t spend a lot of money on maternity clothes, and I refused to buy nursing attire. I had comfortable and loose pieces already in my closet that were great for breastfeeding. One thing I did purchase were lounge-wear bralettes. The pads stuck wonderfully to them, and they were so comfortable I could sleep in them. They were super stretchy and easy to maneuver. I still wear them today.

Boppy Pillow – This pillow saved my life. I just wrapped it around my waste and stuck my little darling to my boob. If she fell asleep, she would be comfortable and I was hands free to use the remote to binge my favorite Netflix. I continued to use the Boppy during bottle feedings, and it was even a great prop for baby while she learned to sit on her own. At one year old, she still uses it to relax on.

From Trash to Treasure

Hitting on the point where every parent and baby are different – There were a few products that made my life easier, which many parents have stated were useless in their own parenting endeavors.

Bathtub – Many parents that I have spoken with have said that their baby tub was useless. They never even used it, or they used it once and then never again. The baby bathtub was a great investment for us. As a new mom, a baby in water can be nerve wracking. The tub gave us piece of mind with slip free features and it adjusted as baby grew. At 12 months we have ended our journey with the Boon Soak 3-Stage Bathtub and have graduated to the “Big Girl Tubby.” Our new toddler is excited for the foam letters and tub crayons, and I cry over the memories of the baby tub.

Jogger Stroller – I’ve heard a few mom’s say that the jogger was worthless and not worth the money. As a runner, however, I completely disagree. The shocks on the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller are amazing and it is supper easy to maneuver. Her transition from attached car seat to big girl stroller was a breeze. She giggles when we take it out for a jog. I could not love this thing any more than I do, and swear that it was a great investment.

Sit-In Walkers – Our little tyke was not a tummy gal, but was impatient to explore the world. Once she was able to sit comfortably with support, we plopped her in a sit in walker and there was no turning back. Sit-in walkers can be incredibly dangerous when you are not supervising your child and some studies have suggested that walkers can actually reduce an infants development to walk, so I could understand why some parents were against it. For our little one, however, the Baby Einstein Sea & Explore Walker was a delightful change of scenery, and it helped strengthen her core. As soon as she started pulling herself up, we took it away and introduced the push walker. At 13 months, she is walking just fine.

Gaining Independence

Spending all day with just your mom, with no siblings, and no near by extended family, can be difficult for ones social developments. So, separation anxiety struck us, and it struck us hard. We brought her to a specialist for some expert advice, began baby classes at the local library, and we introduced the Lovey

Blanket Buddy – It’s amazing how much power one little blanket pal can have. This thing has done wonders for our little gal’s development. She’s learning to work through her frustrations and fears, all with the help of this adorable little guy. She doesn’t go anywhere with out it, we’ve had a few close calls with losing it, but it has gotten her through some pretty tough nights and has taken her out of her shell. She went from cocooned caterpillar, to little social butterfly.

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Money Down the Drain

In contrast to items we swear by, some products that most parents use religiously just didn’t work for us.

Bassinet – Hated it. Wouldn’t sleep in it! Thank you, Next! (Ariana Grande reference). Thank goodness we went for a simple, not so expensive one because it was a waste.

Pack and Play –“ Yeah right, mom. I am a wild flower. You are not leaving me in that junk!” Placing our little tornado in the pack and play required ear plugs. I never got the hot shower while the little one played peacefully in her pack and play. Nor was I able to get things done around the house while she stayed busy in her little room of excitement. She refused to sit in it, and she definitely would not sleep in it.

Swaddle blankets – Thankfully these were later used as regular blankets. The second our little bean found her hands it was bye bye swaddle. She did not mind the Moby wrap against my chest, but any attempt to wrap her in a swaddle, and the neighbor was calling the police. “Hello, 911, I think there’s a child in trouble.” No, that’s just my screaming burrito.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama

Shoes – First of all, as an infant they don’t really serve a purpose other than looking fricken adorable. Unfortunately, our little Thornberry is convinced that they don’t belong on her little feet. As soon as you put them on, she kicks them off. As her walking legs develop, it has been a fight trying to get her use to having paper weights on her feet. Socks have a time limit before they are torn off, but shoes. Nope, not on her feet.

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Copyright Messy Mama 2019

Adjusting to my new life as a mother was difficult for me. I loved my baby more than I could possibly love anyone or anything else. Yet, I just couldn’t figure out the whole mother thing. For my beautiful baby, I did my very best. By her first birthday, I finally began to feel more confident in my own skin and in my new role. That is why I swear by the products that helped me survive my first year. It made my transition into motherhood so much easier, especially during my time of struggle. I would absolutely recommend all of these products to any mom, feeling a bit like a mess, her first year.

 


 

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If you would like to recommend a product, or have a product you would like Messy Mama to try, feel free to contact me.


 

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Who is Messy Mama

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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views, and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such. I would not recommend affiliated products that I don’t love and use myself. However, if you purchase a product and are not satisfied, any inquires must be done through Amazon or Target (original origin of purchase). Messy Mama does not guarantee satisfaction.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com

 

Self Soothing; A ‘Lovey’ Story

At almost ten months, my infant continues to struggle with separation anxiety. My husband and I have done our best to support our little one during this milestone. Separation anxiety for babies is perfectly normal and many babies experience it. I am in no rush to have my child “get over it,” or worried that she needs to be more independent. After all, she is just a baby, who is still very dependent on her parents for survival and comfort. I am not at all concerned. I do want to do everything I can to help her transition through this developmental period.

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Pushing children to become more independent is a very western culture ideology. In most cultures, babies rarely leave their mothers side during their first year of life. Without someone to properly care for them, infants could not survive. Becoming concerned when your main caregiver is not available, is a legitimate fear for an infant to have.

I have taken several steps to help my daughter cope with her separation anxiety. I want to guide her appropriately, without pushing her beyond her comfort level. I also want to  encourage her when she’s ready to move forward. Wanting to do what is best for the needs of my child, I’ve done my own research, consulted with a specialist, and I’ve introduced the ‘Lovey’.

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A ‘Lovey’ is an object that your infant can cling to, that will help them soothe themselves. It is a comfort object that they recognize and are familiar with. How does this work? Instead of depending on their caregivers to sooth them through every difficult or upsetting moment, they learn to reach for their Lovey instead. Lovey’s are great for separation anxiety, stranger fear, sleep training, and fussiness.

Lovey’s can be introduced any time between four and nine months, depending on your pediatricians recommendations. Your baby may become close to a stuffed animal, blanket, or other object, choosing the Lovey themselves.

At about five months, our little darling had decided that she was no longer interested in her pacifier. Figuring that she may need an object to teach herself to soothe, I attempted to introduce a Lovey to her. I gave her access to stuffed animals, blanket pals, and warm and cozy blankets. She showed no interest in any of these. It wasn’t until we were walking through her room during a “visual tour” when she spotted her future best friend. I carried her past a basket of untouched blanket pals that we were gifted before she was born. There were four or five of them that I had put in the basket because we had received so many of them. When she spotted the puppy blanket pal, her eyes lit up and she reached out toward it. It was the very first object she had ever reached out for. It was ‘Lovey’ at first sight. I ripped the tags off and handed it to her.

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We named her new pal, Buddy and we started to use him during her transition to her crib and sleep regression.  At first, she was only a little interested, but their love blossomed as the months rolled by. We were nervous about Buddy being with her at night so we started with naps. By six months he would be resting within arms reach of her. Now at ten months, she snuggles with him and is falling asleep a little easier. She still wakes up some nights but has fallen back to sleep a few times on her own after finding Buddy.  We did not think to utilize Buddy outside of the crib until recently.

After speaking to a specialist about her separation anxiety, the child behaviorist had asked about her Lovey. We were excited to talk about her love affair with Buddy and equally thrilled when she suggested we use it to help her with her anxiety.

When she woke up from sleep and her naps, we started taking Buddy out into the play area with us. Before leaving the room, I would give her a kiss, tell her I would be right back, and I handed her Buddy. After a few days of this, I noticed that my little one started to play on her own. Five minutes of independent play eventually turned into thirty minutes. Just last week, I clocked a full 45 minutes of playing independently with her toys. Of course I was with in eyesight and every once in awhile she would look up at me. Yet, during her play, if she began to feel lonely, she would reach for her Buddy, give him a quick squeeze, set him beside her, and continue to play. It was a huge milestone development for her and I could not be more proud.

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Now that she crawls, she does follow me around and there are still moments when she cries when I walk away, but as she gets older, I’m learning to support her effectively. I’m letting Dad sooth her without intervening unless she calls out, “Mama,” I’m giving her time to explore and play on her own, and Buddy has been a great tool to help her self sooth.

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Understanding that she is just a baby, I’m not holding on to any expectations. There are days when she just needs me to be around her and that’s okay to me. I’m encouraging her independence when she is comfortable with it but I’m in no rush for her to grow up just yet. She has her Mama when ever she needs me, and she has her Buddy too.

 

 

 

 

Sources of Information:

Baby Lovey

Separation Anxiety

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a professional and will not be accountable. My blogs are written from my own experiences and should not be taken literal.

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