The world of BabyWearing

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When we found out that we were expecting, I knew 100% that I was buying an ergo360.  For those of you who don’t know, Ergo is a brand of baby carriers and and the ergo360 means that you can carry your baby 4 different ways – front facing you, front facing forward, on your hip and on your back.

The reason why I knew I wanted one was because everyone had one! It was a no brainer for me.  So for months before my due date I would scour the internet for sales and kept a watchful eye on all the babystore newsletters I’ve signed up for and for a deal on Amazon.ca.  I bought one from Amazon.ca in the end.

When baby A arrived, I didn’t use it right away… I gave her at least a few weeks since she was so tiny.  I was also scared to put her in the big bulky carrier (even though I also bought an infant insert). Of course, eventually I did use it and off we went walking on the few sunny days of winter that we had.

Recently, my husband and I have decided to go to Maui in May.  And I knew I should bring my carrier for walks, or for times Ali doesn’t want to be put down and we need our hands free.  She’s also getting bigger so just holding her with sheer arm strength is tiring to say the least.  However, the ergo is a structured carrier, and it’s pretty bulky to take travelling, especially when we already have a ton of other things we need to bring.  I’ve brought the ergo out before locally and it is a pain to pack it with all the Velcro and buckles and pads.

So the lighter and less things that we have to carry the better.  I remembered my coworker taking her 4 month old baby to Europe and she bought a wrap carrier (all fabric) so that she didn’t have to lug around her structured one and because it was lighter it wasn’t so bad to bring around.  Brilliant!  So my hunt began for a wrap.

After a quick search…stretchy wraps came up quickly for light weight baby carriers… I wish someone would’ve told me about these before I gave birth because I bought one recently (daughter is on the smaller side) and I LOVE IT!!! I didn’t even get a fancy expensive one because I know I’ll outgrow it pretty fast (heard it starts hurting the back around 15/20 lbs and she’s almost 12lbs….) so I got the Maman Kangourou wrap because it was on sale at Babies R Us.

However, these wraps make you hot very quickly because you wrap it around your body a couple of times, which creates more layers.  They’re great for the fall/winter/spring baby wearing, but we’re going to a tropical place.  So it’s going to be hot.  Plus we have the ergo, which is quite thick as well and keeps baby warm.

A lot of moms recommended a gauze fabric or special woven wraps for the summer.  But after looking at a few YouTube videos about how to put one on…it was too intimidating.  Then I saw a term in the babywearing forum that said ‘mai tai’ or more traditionally spelled ‘meh dai’ in Cantonese.  That sounded familar to me, I remember my aunt using one on my younger cousins.  It’s a traditional Chinese way of baby wearing.  Traditional meh dai’s are sewn with a rectangular piece of cloth and four straps.  Current ones also have four straps, but are made with more comfort in mind.

So I started googling again to see if I can find any local brands or local baby stores that would sell them so I can try it out.  I could’ve also joined the babywearing lending library, but for those who know me. …I get super obsessed with something and I needed that item yesterday! So I couldn’t find any store that I could test out a modern mei dai, and I was too cheap to pay for the lending library to try out a meh dai…so I just decided to read as many reviews as I could and just dive right in and purchase one.

I found a couple of brands that weren’t overly expensive. (Oh that was the other thing about woven wraps, they’re crazy expensive because they’re hand woven!  Crazy expensive as in a used one could still cost $300 to purchase! A little too rich for my blood).  One brand was from a bigger American company, but the other brand was from Montreal.  Made in Canada, with Canadian pricing and free shipping if you spend over a certain amount! BONUS because their meh Dai’s reached that $ for free shipping.  They’re called Moa Po (website: www.moapo.ca).  Another great thing about this online store was that they had fun modern fabrics and if you buy directly from them it’s at least $20 -$30 cdn cheaper that other online stores.  So unless you absolutely want a specific fabric that’s not available on the Moa Po website and only available somewhere else… fine.  Otherwise always buy direct, it’s cheaper!  I’ll review the actual meh dai in another post as I didn’t find that many reviews out there for Moa Po and I want to promote made in Canada, and I’m not getting paid anything for this.  Trust me. I’m just sharing  my mommy experience and great products that worked for me!

Until next time!

Mind over Mind

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I had a really tough day yesterday.  I woke up, went through my morning routine, kissed my husband goodbye as he went to work and fed Alli her first meal of the day.  

Then I just started having these thoughts that I’m not spending enough quality time with my daughter.  Even though I spend all her waking moments with her.  I then started to think about not wanting to be a mom because I felt like I’m not cut out for it.  I started thinking about how maybe I’m not doing enough for her.  I started to think about a lot of things… I had a tough day…

I cried it out.  I told my husband he needed to come home on time because I needed him.  I needed his support and his reassurances.   I needed someone to tell me that I was doing everything I can for our baby girl and that no mom is perfect.  

And then I was on Facebook trying to get my mind off things. One of my friends commented on one of my posts and gave me a compliment without knowing how I was feeling yesterday and said how I was such a great friend and listener and that I’m going to be an awesome mom.  She has no idea how badly I needed that compliment at that moment.  She brought me down from the ledge.  My mind started focusing again.  I started to realize that I’m not doing a bad job because Alli is healthy and happy and growing.  

I then started to tell myself that I’m going to be ok, that I’m able to do this. I can do this. I am doing this.  Instead of letting my mind get out of control, I took control.  Mind over mind.

Yesterday was a bad day. Today is a new day and a much better day.  

Alli’s Photo Shoot

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I know a lot of parents may think that a professional photo shoot for a newborn isn’t worth the money.  Or maybe they can’t afford it because it can be expensive.  However, I’m not a great photographer, and even though I take a ton of photos of my baby girl everyday, I really wanted something special to cherish the newborn moments.  Alli was 8 days old when these were taken.  I’ll show you my favourites.

The following photos were taken by Celina Lam Photography.

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Just Let It Be.

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Lately I’ve been reflecting on what life is about. Seriously, why are we all put on this earth? What’s our purpose?  I’m not a religious person, but I do believe in a greater being and that everything happens for a reason.  So what’s the reason for us to be?  I’ve pondered and honestly, I can’t really come up with an answer and maybe there isn’t one.  We’re just supposed to be…be what? Happy? Sad? Joyful? Lonely? Put Together? Perfect?  What are we supposed to be?

I guess I’ve been thinking about this because a new mom of a 2 month baby, took her own life due to postpartum depression back in October, a month before our baby was due.  We didn’t know her personally, but we have friends who knew her and she was an amazing person.  She was being treated for post part depression (PPD), but one day she didn’t take her medication and she walked out of her house leaving her 2month old baby boy behind.  Her husband came home and the car and mother were missing.  They searched everywhere for her, found her car at her favourite spot, and it’s an assumption, but high possibility, that she jumped into the Fraser River.  Her body was found weeks later by Bowen Island.  Her name was Florence and her friends called her Flo.  Her husband spoke out a few days ago regarding her story and urging new mothers to get help if they need it.  He wants people to talk about the pressures of being a new mom and to support them as much as possible.  If you have Facebook, the family has created a group and you can read about that here.

Life is precious and sometimes new mothers just can’t bear the pressure of being the “perfect mom”, which is impossible because no one is perfect.  It’s our imperfections that make us individuals and that’s ok. PPD is a very serious issue among many new mothers and I don’t think it’s a very open discussion among out society.  At least I haven’t noticed people talking about it.  I can’t speak for the rest of the world, honestly I haven’t done much research on it, but I would like to assume that mother’s around the world would rally together to get the message out about PPD.  To talk to someone if a new mom is feeling anxious, or pressure, or that she just can’t do it all.    It’s really made me think about myself after I’ve given birth to our daughter.

For the first month, my mom was in town living with us to support our family.  She cooked, cleaned and went grocery shopping for us.  Of course, any mother daughter relationship is different, but for those who can relate, I have a VERY ASIAN MOM.  If you don’t know what that means, maybe one day I’ll write about it.  Regardless of how overbearing she may have been, I really appreciated the support she had given me.  I was too busy with dealing with my mother and new baby to even worry about my own emotions at the time.

Alli reached 10 weeks this past Thursday, so she’s just over 2 months now. This past week I’ve been super emotional about everything and anything.  The pressure of not having the house clean, doing laundry, making sure dinner is on the table, the dog is happy, the baby is happy and ‘me’ time is all catching up to me.  I get it, I can’t do it all even though I desperately want to.  So after a good cry and letting it all out I feel a bit better today.  I just need to remember to talk about my anxieties and to not worry so much that my household is a mess, or that maybe on some days I’m a mess.  I need to acknowledge my feelings and need my husband and family members to acknowledge them too.  Somedays I’m going to be sad, lonely and need a good cry.  On other days, I’ll be happy and put together, cleaned the house, prepared a great meal and had time to do the laundry.  There’s going to be good and bad days and that’s a good thing.  Is that what life is about? Experiencing the good days and bad days and getting through them.

Ok, now I’m just rambling…Maybe we’re supposed to just let it be, live life day to day, plan to have fun, feel your emotions, be in the moment.  If you need to cry, cry, if you need to laugh, then laugh!  If you’re a mess or if the house is a mess, let it be messy!

Just let it be.

Symptoms of a mom

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You know you’re a new mom when you get a bit of down time…(ie. to take a nice shower while hubby is listening out for sleeping baby)…and you’re constantly thinking…’is that baby crying?’ Nope… just the water draining in the tub….’is that baby crying?’ Nope…. just the dishwasher in the kitchen….and on and on it goes until you leave the bathroom and rush to the baby monitor and confirm that no… the baby isn’t crying… she’s actually still sleeping.

Sleep is the Best Medicine

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So yesterday I was sleep deprived.  Today….Today I am well rested.  It really is amazing what a good night’s sleep can provide.  You wake up happy.  You wake up loving everyone and everything.  You stretch and think ‘TODAY IS GOING TO BE AN AMAZING DAY!’ Why world? BECAUSE I SLEPT FOR 9 HOURS! and Baby slept for 10! woot woot.

I had purchased the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg because we were having trouble with Alli’s daytime/night time/all around sleep routine.  She had suggested that if baby is up all night (which she was) to only allow 45 min. naps during the day so that she gets out of the long nap routine that she’s been having.

Let me back up a bit. As a new mother, I didn’t really read as much literature as I could’ve while I was pregnant because I didn’t want to go bonkers then.  I wanted to just concentrate on meeting my baby and not worry about everything before she was even in the world.  So I took the ‘go with the flow’ mantra.  Baby arrived, and yes I was reassured to just attend to my baby’s needs.  If she needs to eat, feed her, if she’s sleeping, let her sleep until she wakes up…And yes that did work AMAZINGLY well for the first 5.5 weeks of her life! 🙂  Then the night of Jan. 2 came….and all hell broke loose.  That was the first night she stayed UP ALL NIGHT….from then on (which was only 13 days ago) I started the hunt on for a peaceful night.

**Side Note**Don’t get wrong, it’s not like Alli slept through the night every night.  The first 2 weeks I was super sleep deprived as well because I had to wake her up every 2-3 hours to feed her.  But at least I was sleeping every 2-3 hours. It was broken, but at least it was sleep.  Not sleeping ALL NIGHT is a totally different kind of pain.  Especially after a long day already and another long day ahead of you to take care of your precious little one.  I love her to pieces, but I NEED TO SLEEP.**

The most popular doctor recommended book is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child By Dr. Marc Weissbluth M.D..  So I bought it, because it’d doctor recommended.  As I was shopping online for the book, The Baby Whisperer was also on sale, so I got that too.  When the Healthy Sleep Habits book arrived I skimmed through it trying to figure out what I needed do to help my baby sleep.  This book recommends the extinction method.  For those who don’t know, it’s basically sleep training for your baby to cry it out.  Since Alli’s so young, I didn’t think we should try this method yet, and I don’t know how I feel about her crying it out alone.

Miraculously, Alli was back to a somewhat ‘normal’ sleeping routine (ie. I was still listening to her as to when she wanted to sleep/eat, but I was now trying to keep her awake for at least an hour between naps.

A few days later, The Baby Whisperer book had arrived, but I didn’t have a chance to read it, and Alli was sleeping/eating fine…then the second sleepless night happened, the next day I tried to devour the book. We had a couple of good nights..until two days ago… I was still keeping her up an hour between naps, but maybe I still let her nap too much.

One of Tracy’s method, the baby whisperer, is EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) which you repeat on a 2hr, 3hr or 4 hr cycle depending on the age of your baby.  I tired the full cycle the morning of Friday and I probably let Alli nap a bit too long? or maybe she’s on a growth spurt, because that’s when she stayed up ALL NIGHT.

So Saturday morning (yesterday), I posted my sleep deprivation blog…and tried to find a solution.  Tracy suggests that maybe baby has her days/nights switched, which means that she’s napping way too much during the day and that it’s ‘robbing’ baby of her sleep at night.  So her solution was to only allow baby to sleep for 45min. naps for 3 days straight to ‘re-program’ them so that that they don’t sleep as much during the day and will sleep more at night.

HALLELUJAH! It worked!  We put Allanie to bed around 7pm because she was sleepy.  She slept for an hour, woke up wanting to feed, went back to sleep at 9 and SLEPT UNTIL I WOKE HER UP THIS MORNING AT 7AM! I also went to bed at 10am, so I got a FULL NIGHTS REST and again HALLELUJAH! I feel amazing 🙂

Sleep is the best medicine because I feel amazing and it’s going to be a great day!  Let’s try a repeat performance tonight.