Category Archives: Daycare

Weaning

Since I’ve been so tired there has been a lot that has happened in the last few months that I have neglected to blog about. So I’m going to try to catch up a little. One big thing that happened is that I weaned John Patrick.

Since every baby and every mom are different, Mary Kate thought it would be a good idea to share my experience in case it helps anyone else out there in the blogosphere. Great idea!

A little background: Since John Patrick was a preemie, he was introduced to the bottle before the breast. It took him two months to get the hang of breastfeeding – remember that? So I did a lot of pumping at first. But once he finally clicked with breastfeeding, it was all downhill – for awhile.

Introducing formula: At three months I decided to slowly introduce formula. I knew that I would be going back to work in another four weeks and I wanted him to get used to eating formula with me, in case he had any kind of bad reaction to it. I knew that he would probably have to take some formula at his nursery. He clicked with it really easily. It almost seemed as if he didn’t even notice a difference. (I decided not to take that personally.)

Going back to work: Now I should preface this by saying that going back to work was EXTREMELY difficult for me. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to leave him (although that was a part of it). But it was mostly because my boss decided to punish me for a couple of months for having a baby and my work environment was unbearably stressful. This was the point in the last 8 months that I almost had a nervous breakdown. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, in any part of my life. It was really horrible.

Through all this stress my milk supply consistently decreased everyday. No matter what I did (pumped more, drank special teas, breastfed more at home) it didn’t matter. First I went down to 50% breast milk and 50% formula at his nursery. Then it went down to only one bottle a day. I felt guilty because at this point John Patrick was only 5 months old. I had it in my mind that I would definitely breastfeed for a full 6 months.

Then I finally realized that the stress of breastfeeding was also making me crazy. I was literally trying to be EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY (nurturer / nourisher to my son, the model employee for my boss, organizer / household manager for my husband). I finally just snapped. And I realized that I just couldn’t do it all.

Just letting go: Once I decided that it was ok for John Patrick to take formula and that I had done the best I could (I did last 5 months with a preemie who originally had no intention of ever breastfeeding), things just happened naturally. My body produced less and less everyday. John Patrick became less and less interested in breastfeeding. Till finally the only nursing I was doing was before bedtime. I don’t even remember the last time I nursed him but at some point he stopped wanting to be nursed then too. And my body stopped producing about the same time.

For me, I didn’t have hormonal issues or engorgement. My issues were more psychological. But as I soon as I stopped putting so much pressure on myself, it just happened naturally. And he’s a big chunky healthy boy so I’m over feeling “guilty”.

Everyone experiences something different when weaning (if you decided to breastfeed). I guess my only advice is don’t be your own worst enemy. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.

Good Luck!

Jen

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Baby, Breastfeeding, Daycare, Mom Issue, Take a Moment, Work

It has arrived…… the first tooth!

Since John Patrick started solids almost a month ago, I’ve been so focused on his eating that it was his daycare teacher who first noticed that he had cut a tooth. To make a long story short, here are all the symptoms I thought were caused by “carrots” but were indeed symptoms of teething: (don’t ask me why I thought it was carrots)

  • diarrhea
  • lots and lots and lots of pooping
  • fussiness
  • getting up multiple times in the night
  • diaper rash

Reason #56 why daycare has been a positive for my family. They actually know what they are doing!

Jen

3 Comments

Filed under Baby, Daycare, developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Teething

Back to Work

I really thought the first 6 weeks having John Patrick home were hard. But nothing prepared me for going back to work. It has been so much harder than I imagined it would be. Simple sayings such as “not enough hours in the day” have a whole new meaning to me now.

Here are the top ten things I’ve learned in the last week and a half being back at work:

1.) My boss doesn’t believe in “adjustment” periods.

2.) People who get a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night are super annoying in the morning.

3.) I’m jealous of my son’s daycare teacher.

4.) It’s possible to fall asleep while pumping.

5.) Stress causes my milk supply to decrease.

6.) John Patrick now needs 6 ounces per feeding.

7.) Our laundry bill each month could feed a small country in Africa.

8.) Being broke isn’t so painful if you don’t have time to shop for anything.

9.) Time goes by ten times faster on the weekends.

10.) Exhaustion makes me write silly posts.

Jen

3 Comments

Filed under Daycare, Mom Issue, Random Thoughts, Work

The Wonderful World of Diaper Bags

As I start the process of mentally preparing myself for work, I have gathered great advice from other mothers (thanks Mary and Rachel). One tough subject is diaper bags. I was completely lost about how many bags I need, when I need them, which are good for what? So I am summarizing all the tips and advice that I’ve prodded from other people. I’m sure I’ll have to revise my plan a dozen times. But this is my plan for now.

**Note: With daycare coming up, I’ll be the first to admit that we are flat broke. So all these diaper bags are hand-me-downs from family members or bought on a gift card.

Here are all my diaper bags (thanks Leslie).

Diaper Bags Galore

THE PLAN

Big bag 1.) This is the biggest bag I have. My plan is to use this one when we are going to be gone all day or traveling. It’s huge but it also has a wide shoulder strap that is comfortable and balances the weight well.

Tiny bag 2.) This one is my smallest one. I plan on using this when I need to just run around the corner to the grocery store or other quick trips.

quilted bag 3.) This is a really soft quilted bag. I think this will be my “daycare” bag. It can hold a lot but is also quilted and can be scrunched up into a small space (for example, a cubby). So I can leave it at daycare while I’m at work.

red bag 4.) This is my favorite. It is a red canvas bag that is waterproof. It also has clips that will secure it to a stroller. And I think it is the perfect size – big enough to hold everything I need but small enough that I don’t feel like I’m carrying a piece of luggage. This bag will be my weekend bag for going to the park or shopping or whatever else we may be doing.

  • Another great tip I picked up – stock all the diaper bags if possible. That way I can just pick one up when I need it and I don’t have to worry about transferring items.
  • My last tip – I am going to put all my cosmetics and loose ends in one small make-up bag. That way, when I do need to transfer personal items, I’ll only need to transfer a wallet, phone, and make-up bag.

Well, this is the plan anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m sure the diaper bag learning process has just begun. Who knew diapering was so complicated?

Jen

1 Comment

Filed under Baby, Daycare, Mom Issue, Product Review, Travel

Doomsday – (aka Adjusting to Daycare)

Monday John Patrick started daycare. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I started crying Sunday night when I was packing his “daycare” bag and basically didn’t stop until Monday when I picked him up. I tried to take my mind off of it by getting my hair done and shopping for new work clothes, but all day I had this horrible lump in my throat. I kept thinking about when he was born and how the first 6 weeks I basically couldn’t put him down at all. And I kept thinking about how much I complained about that. Why did I complain about that? And I also thought about how fast my maternity leave went by and that he and I will never have that time together again. Those 3 1/2 months are gone forever. Obviously, this thought process made me more than a little depressed.

I called the daycare after he had been there a couple of hours and asked how he was doing. (Yes, I’m one of those mothers.) But actually, he was doing really well. In fact, John Patrick had no trouble with daycare at all – only I did. He had no trouble adjusting to his teachers or making new friends. He had no trouble adjusting to songs and toys and bright colors and a new and exciting place. In fact, he loved it.

I realize now that this is only hard for me. He’s ready for this. It’s a good experience for him. His teachers are wonderful. They are so loving with him and patient with me. When I picked him up, his teacher was rocking him and singing a lullaby (in Spanish – brownie points). Today when I picked him up from his second day, I ran into another mother. She told me how she started her daughter at 3 months as well (she’s now 7 months) and that it was so hard for her. But like John Patrick, her daughter had no problem with the transition and loves her “school”. She kept telling me, “just get through the first couple of days and you’ll start to feel a lot better”.

And honestly, I’m already starting to feel better. Don’t get me wrong – I think about him all the time and I miss him constantly. But I feel at peace with where he is and that it is a safe and nurturing place. He’s making friends and learning how to accept care from people other than Mom. It’s even made him more inclined to let Daddy hold him longer before crying for me.

My husband laughs at me because I say “he’s growing up so quickly”. (He finds this funny because John Patrick can barely hold his head up.) But it’s true. He’s showing me that he’s ready to start developing as an individual and having experiences apart from “Mommy”. And as hard as that is for me, it’s a great thing for him. This may sound completely crazy but I’m so proud of him.

Or maybe he’s just so little he has no idea what is going on. I choose to believe the former.

So it’s been another momentous couple of days in our home. And we’ve survived and learned lots of lessons along the way. Maybe some day I’ll be able to teach John Patrick a few lessons. But for right now, he’s the master and I’m the student.

May the force be with us.

Jen

3 Comments

Filed under Baby, Daycare, Mom Issue

Thinking Positively about Daycare

This coming Monday is the day – the day I’ve been dreading since I saw the little pink line on the pregnancy test. It’s the day John Patrick goes to daycare. I really want to write about all the things I’m terrified about, all the guilt I have, and this lump in my throat that won’t go away. But I’m not going to do it. This is a part of life and I have to pull myself together. So instead, I’m going to write about all the wonderfully positive things about daycare.

Here they are:

1.) There are more toys there for him to play with.

2.) Our daycare is very multicultural so he will be exposed to a variety of cultures.

3.) He will make his first friends.

4.) His teacher already loves him.

5.) I can have a little break. (I can’t tell you how guilty I feel even writing that one.)

6.) Our time together will be even more special.

7.) He will start to get used to other people taking care of him and therefore not cry hysterically when Mommy isn’t in the room.

8.) His teachers will be focusing on him and his class. So he will be doing fun things instead of sitting in a bouncy seat all day watching me work.

9.) He’ll socialize and learn lessons that Mommy and Daddy can’t teach him.

10.) School birthday parties!

Why don’t I feel better?

Jen

2 Comments

Filed under Baby, Daycare, Uncategorized, Work