I knew since before I ever became a parent, I would want to raise my child multilingual. And like with anything parenting or motherhood related, there were always a few judgmental comments - usually related to speech delay or confusion. We experienced neither of these, but instead have only witnessed the incredible machine that is a toddler's brain. Here are a few fascinating things I've observed (of course, every child is different so this is just our experience).
The start to my son's and my nursing journey together was a difficult one, but I think even more difficult was weaning him. There wasn't any physical pain or blood like there was in the beginning, but there were definitely tears. Except this time, instead tears from pain, it was tears from mere exhaustion. After trying SO many different tricks and methods for trying to wean him, I finally found one that his two-year-old brain was able to comprehend.
Roughly after a month of diving head first into potty training, I can finally say we are fully day potty-trained! There were a number of nay-sayers in my corner who kept telling me my son was too young, but just like with cloth diapers, I'm happy to have stuck to my guns. And I learned a few things along the way I hope will be helpful and encouraging to other parents entering the great adventure that is potty training.
Last year, I heard a lot of people say to me how hard it must be being a new mom during these times. I really had no frame of reference as I didn't know what it was like being a new mom during "normal" times. I imagine, no matter the time, particularly those first couple of months is hard for any new mom. Pandemic or no pandemic, I had to learn to correct a bad latch so that I could nurse my son without excruciating pain. Pandemic or no pandemic, it was still lonely going through my unique situation. And by unique, I don't mean I was in any exceptional circumstance, but just that even though many of us experience generally the similar things, we each have varying factors that affect each of our situations differently. So at first, yes it was hard, but I was also lucky. If not for moving in with my parents, I'm not sure what my husband and I would've eaten at times.
Ask me now how things are being a mom in a pandemic, and it's a different story...
Are Kids Really Picky Eaters?
We were ordering from a restaurant recently, when we were asked if we wanted a kid's menu for my son. It suddenly hit me...why do kids have separate menus? There's this notion that kids are really picky eaters, and they either can or only want really simple foods--I'm not really sure which, maybe both? But ever since our son started eating solids, aside from making food the right softness for him and avoiding honey and cow's milk his first year, our son has pretty much eaten everything we eat. So I'm wondering... are some kids really picky eaters or do we just think they are? Have we conditioned them to be picky eaters?
Baby Sleep Struggles
Some babies can sleep through the night as early as a couple months old, or maybe even younger! Some babies never sleep through the night. Our baby is one of those that has slept "through" the night maybe just a handful of times if even that. Though we dabbled with some sleep training, we didn't keep it up and I've learned a lot throughout the process that I'm incredibly grateful for.
This week my baby turns one and boy has it been a year! I've learned so much about babies, obviously, but also myself and life. So, I thought I'd share a few of those things.
Sleep Training, Was It Worth It?
I don't think I've ever met anyone who said sleep training wasn't worth it. Most people say that it sucks and you have to suffer the first week, but then it gets better and it is so worth it. Still, for some reason, I tried avoiding it. I just didn't want to let my baby cry at all and feel any kind of abandonment. However, probably due to our co-sleeping situation, we hit a point at 8 months where I was going to lose my sanity, because he seemed to have regressed so badly that he was up every hour, some times less. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. So, I did a bunch of research, talked to friends, asked other mommies in Facebook groups, and here's what we ended up doing...
We haven't even hit six months and I'm already worried about screen time. I hear people talk about it all the time like it's a cardinal sin. I definitely don't want my child to be glued to a screen, because that is eventually going to happen, unless he winds up in a trade that doesn't require being on a computer for work. My husband and I both work in industries that are all about screen time--entertainment and social media. Screen time is literally part of our jobs. On top of that, our son was born just before we went into lockdown, and from day one (okay, okay day 5), his main form of communication with the family has been via FaceTime. So, I'm struggling with a bit of Mom Guilt, but I've been thinking and wondering how harmful is a bit of screen time each day, and are their certain types of screen time that might actually be good for baby? Let me explain.
Minimalist Newborn Essentials
During my pregnancy, I was forced to think more minimalistically, due to lack of space, and as much as I love to shop, it has become a way of life. At the same time, what do babies really need? All the baby sites have so many lists of what your baby needs, but do you really need all of them? The truth is, babies at a bare minimum just need food, sleep, and a clean booty. Thankfully, I found some blogs on baby minimalism when I was preparing for baby's arrival, and now that we're through the newborn phase, I thought I'd share my tips and recommendations for what I feel are the most necessary items. If you're not worried about minimalism, this list will at least get you started in what can be an overwhelming world of baby products.