Here is Your ‘More to Come’………..

As a long time doula I have had the first hand opportunity to experience innumerable events in the lives of new mommies and their babies. I am constantly humbled by this privilege. To participate in the welcoming of a new baby to it’s family is miraculous!! There are a million unknowns: What is babies’ personality? How will big sister react? How will breastfeeding progress? Will daddy be able to cope? Will our dog acclimate? And on and on.

Yes, all the possibilities create stress. So don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed!! I find in my life when I am thinking about all the possibilities of any decision I become worried. What works for me is to make a list and write down then pros & cons. Once my concerns are on paper they are far less threatening. Then I am able to gain perspective and understand them.

All the challenges of parenthood will not be included in your first few weeks with your new baby. So don’t worry about them. Take them one at a time. As they arrive. This will bring great relief. You have years to think about the future challenges, Don’t borrow trouble!! In other words, do not worry about a problem until you are in a place where you need to. Seek inner peace. Put off issues that do not matter now. There will be time to deal with them later on. Take your days as they come and enjoy them!!! Have fun!

Do not allow yourself to be unsettled because of the concerns of others. When someone brings up an issue that bothers them, listen carefully, show them respect, thank them, then go home and do what you think is best for your family. Others will have issues they are worried about that mean nothing to you. It is kind of you to listen to them. but you have no reason to act on these thoughts. Do not tell you friend or relative this is your plan, you do not want to offend them. However, you need to be true to what you and your spouse have decided. The world is overwhelmed with so many thoughts, ideas, actions. It can make you crazy trying to respond to them all. Actually, it is impossible to do so. Find peace in your heart and home. Protect your people by making life simple and easy. Home should be a sanctuary for each member of your family. A place where you all feel safe, protected and accepted.

Schedules and Newborns

Some where along the way the myth developed that newborns can adhere to a rigid schedule. Many new mommies believed this story and began trying to develop schedules in the lives of their babies.

BABY SHOULD EAT EVERY 2 1/2 TO 3 HOURS is one of these myths. Young mommies did everything they could to make this work for their babies. They stressed themselves out, stated up nights trying to make it happen, and were extremely frustrated when it did not work. They woke their babies up at three hours, no matter how long baby wanted to sleep. In other words, they made their lives miserable because someone somewhere said their babies should be on “A Schedule”.

BABY SHOULD SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT AT TWO MONTHS, is another of these myths. Breast feeding mommies jumped through all kinds of hoops to make this one happen. They stretched out their time between feedings until their babies succumbed to “The Schedule”. Their breasts hurt as their bodies made milk for baby to drink, but “The Schedule” denied them. Mommies learned not to listen to what their babies were telling them, you know how babies communicate, so “The Schedule” could be achieved. Babies going through growth spurts were ignored and forced to fit into “The Schedule” because so much time and effort had been exhorted to achieve it.

Many mommies were so frustrated with the stress and exhaustion of trying to keep the schedule they gave up breastfeeding all together. Others missed their babies during the long nights once “The Schedule” had been achieved but were afraid to go to them and feed them because of what others might say or think. Some mommies started adding formula to their babies feedings in order to keep up with the rigid requirements necessary to achieve “The Schedule”.

Doulas and midwives tried to help mommies see the bigger picture. This time with your little one is a precious gift. For just a few months you can enjoy your baby, just you and her. You can be alone with her in her dark bedroom, rocking her as she eats. You can cuddle her, get to know her, talk with her, just sit with her as you burp her and put her back to bed. What is the rush to achieve “The Goal” and get away from your baby? Enjoy this few months of your babies life and yours. Let things progress slowly, comfortably, patiently. Let the early months of parenthood be a blessing rather than a chore. You have the rest of your life to organize and achieve with your baby. Cut yourself some slack!!!! Let yourself enjoy these lovely moments.

‘Feeding on demand’ means just feeding your baby when he lets you know he wants to eat. It means allowing him to sleep until he wakes and calls you. Babies are very smart little creatures. They figure out quickly that you want to meet their needs and they do everything they can to help you do just that! Mommies come home from the hospital with all kinds of useless information.

  1. Baby needs to eat every time he cries. Not so. Sometime baby has a tummy ache. Sometimes he is uncomfortable and needs to be moved. Sometimes he just wants company. After all, from his perspective you held him for 9 months and he isn’t OK with being alone just yet.
  2. There is only one way to swaddle a baby. Hay, you and your baby work out the best way to help him sleep. Swaddling reminds him of being in your uterus, snug and warm. His arms, over which he has no control, do not flail around and wake him. He feels safe and sleeps well when swaddled.

More to come……………..

Feeding Amounts for Newborns

A question I am often asked is “How much milk should my baby be drinking per day?” This is the million dollar question!! Trying to find an answer can make you crazy!! Why is this? It seems easy enough to decide. However, there are many variables affecting the outcome.

Breastfeeding mothers feeding on demand (meaning feeding baby from the breast when she is hungry) have a difficult time discovering how much milk baby is actually drinking. The best way to find actual amounts baby is drinking is with a home infant scale. Weigh baby in his diaper before feeding. Breastfeed. Then reweigh him in the same clothing or just his diaper. This provides an actual number on how many ounces baby is finishing. The amount will change through out the day. Early the morning, after both baby and mommy have been sleeping there will be more milk. As the day moves on amounts will vary as to mother’s food and water intake, baby’s attention, length of the feed, etc. You will have a general idea on how much each feeding provides.

Baby Scale, Toddler Scale, Pet Scale, Accurate Enough Digital Weighing Scale for Newborn Infant Toddler Cat Puppy Animals ...

Baby Scale, Toddler Scale, Accurate Enough Digital Weighing Scale for Newborn Infant Toddler

Talk with your friends about which scales they have found to be most efficient. These are available on Amazon. You will only need this for a few months. it you have a friend whose baby is a few months older than yours perhaps you can go together to purchase one. Or simply borrow it for the time you need it. As you will discover there is no shortage on the number of items you can purchase for baby.

Smart Weigh Comfort Baby Scale, 44 Pound Capacity, 3 Weighing Modes, Accurate Digital Scale for Infants, Toddlers, and Babies

Smart Weigh Comfort Baby Scale, 44 Pound Capacity, 3 Weighing Modes, Accurate Digital Scale for Infants, Toddlers, and Babies. $34.99

For families using formula it is easier to know exactly how much baby is drinking. Our tendency is to overfeed babies. I encourage you to start at the lower amounts on the following charts and move into more milk as baby grows and her stomach stretches. Babies who have been fed too much milk tend to spit it out at the end of the feeding. If this is happening to you and you baby, diminish the amount of formula by an ounce. Use the smaller amount for a few days and see how the spitting up problem proceeds. Try adding more formula to your feedings a few days later and watch results. I encourage you to be patient. Overfeeding baby is messy and upsetting.

Also, think about how you want your time with you infant to proceed. Talk with your friends about how they decide how much to feed their babies. Know if your baby is putting on weight and is calm and happy you are doing well. Do not let grow charts or others push you into feeding your baby more often or more than necessary.


Formula feeding chart by age

Here are typical amounts per day based on age:

AgeOunces of formula
Full-term newborn2 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
1 month old3 to 4 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
2 month old4 to 5 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
3 month old4 to 6 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
4 month old4 to 6 ounces per bottle, 4 to 6 times a day
5 month old4 to 6 ounces per bottle, 4 to 6 times a day
6 month old6 to 8 ounces per bottle, 4 to 5 times a day
7 month old6 to 8 ounces per bottle, 3 to 5 times a day

From 8 months old until their first birthday, you can expect your baby to have 7 to 8 ounces per bottle, 3 to 4 times a day.

As your baby gets older – and their tummy gets bigger – they’ll drink fewer bottles a day with more formula in each. It’s important not to overfeed your baby so they’ll stay at a healthy weight. Your baby shouldn’t have more than 32 ounces of formula in 24 hours.

Ounces per day by weight:

WeightOunces of formula
6 pounds15 fl oz every 24 hours
7 pounds17.5 fl oz every 24 hours
8 pounds20 fl oz every 24 hours
9 pounds22.5 fl oz every 24 hours
10 pounds25 fl oz every 24 hours
11 pounds27.5 fl oz every 24 hours
12 pounds30 fl oz every 24 hours

These numbers aren’t rigid rules. They offer a rough estimate for what your baby may need. Some babies will grow well while taking less than the recommended amount, while others consistently need more. Your baby’s daily feedings will also vary according to their individual needs – in other words, they may want a bit more on some days and a bit less on others.

Handy Breastfeeding Terms

Below find a small glossary of breastfeeding terms you will find helpful. Pass this on to those in your life with whom you will be talking. Other breastfeeding mommies will be aware of these terms. However, grandmas, aunts, and others may not. I have added a few I have found helpful. Please send me others you may use. This is a language shared among new mommies and we want everyone to enjoy it!

While every mom’s breastfeeding journey is unique, many words and phrases make a sudden appearance in everyone’s new vocabulary. Some of these are easy to understand, others may be a little confusing. Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite, most confusing, and most important words every nursing mom should know.

  • Areola, n. the dark circle of pigmentation around the nipple
  • Breast Crawl, n. a newborn’s instinct to move toward the nipple and suckle
  • Cluster Feeding (also “bunch feeding”), n. a breastfeeding pattern with several feedings close together
  • Colostrum, n. a yellowish breast milk, rich in antibodies and high in protein, produced from the end of pregnancy through the early days of breastfeeding
  • Engorgement, n. an uncomfortable fullness of the breasts, experienced at any time during breastfeeding; most often within the 36 hours after delivery or when moms first wake up in the morning if their babies don’t feed at night
  • Exclusive Pumping, n. moms who bottle-feed their expressed breast milkto their babies
  • Expressed Breast Milk, n. breast milk, siphoned from the breast by hand or pump, which is used for storage or feeding
  • Extended Breastfeeding, n. the act of nursing a child past for more than a year
  • Feeding on Demand, n. the practice of feeding at the first sign of baby’s hunger cues rather than on a set schedule.
  • Foremilk & Hindmilk, n. terms for the milk produced at the beginning (foremilk) and end (hindmilk) of a particular feeding
  • Flanged Lips, n. a sign of proper latch: lips curled outwards while nursing, resembling fish lips
  • Galactagogues, n. foods, medications, or supplements that increase milk supply, such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, alfalfa, or oatmeal
  • Inverted Nipples, n. nipples that cave inward, rather than protruding fully
  • Kangaroo Care, n.: a type of bonding that involves skin-to-skin contact and baby-wearing to stimulate feelings of closeness and well-being.
  • Latch, n. the way a baby attaches to the nipple
  • Let-Down (also “letdown” or “let down”), n. a hormonal reaction to breast stimulation that causes muscles to bring milk into the ducts
  • Lip Tie, n. a tight frenulum (skin between the lip and the gum) that impedes breastfeeding
  • Liquid Gold, n. breast milk
  • Mastitis, n. an inflammation of the breast tissue, usually caused by an infection, often identified by flu-like symptoms and a rash
  • Milk Blister (also “bleb” or “nipple blister”), n. an open milk duct covered by skin, pain may persist several days or weeks
  • Nipple Shield, n. a silicone cover for the nipple that may help with breastfeeding issues
  • Overactive Let-Down, n. a forceful ejection of milk from the breasts during feeding that may cause issues while nursing
  • Oxytocin & Prolactin, n. the hormones responsible for milk production
  • Pre-Feeding and Post-Feeding Weights, n. a method used to calculate how much milk has been consumed in a feeding session.
  • Plugged Ducts (also “Clogged Ducts” or “Milk Stasis”), n. a backup in a milk duct resulting from milk being produced faster than it is expressed
  • Reverse-Cycling, n. a period when a baby nurses more at night than during the day
  • Rooting, n. an active sign of hunger evident as a baby moves the head around looking for a nipple to latch on to
  • Thrush, n. a yeast infection causing white patches on an infant’s tongue and mouth, can also cause pain in the mother’s breasts or nipples
  • Tongue Tie, n. a condition where the lingual frenulum (tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is short and tight, restricting tongue movement and breastfeeding ability.

In addition:

Dream Feed: Providing bottled breastmilk to a sleeping baby to prolong her sleep time. Do not pick baby up.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

It is that time of year again! The time when hearts and roses appear, chocolates are everywhere, and expectations run high!! What wonderful plans do you have for the special folks in your life? There are a million special ways you can let ‘your people’ know you love them. Creativity is the name of the game.

The cost of roses, really all flowers, triple in honor of this day. So unless you are wealthy or it is a must try something else. Go the the garden section at your Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a beautiful flowering plant. Then go to Dollar Tree and find a basket or pot in which you can wrap it. With a bow and a lovely card it will be equally as nice as those expensive flowers. Plus it can be planted in the garden and continue to be beautiful all season!!! Great idea!!

Purchase your honey’s favorite chocolates during the after Christmas sales. You can find many great deals in candies that are not wrapped in Christmas paper and will present beautifully in a cute gift bag, cosmetic bag, or some other item your love would enjoy!

Gift Coupons are creative and such a fun way to share your love. Type up coupons on your computer. A back rub, breakfast in bed, home cooked meal, night out, trash take out, baby sitting offer, etc., etc., etc. In a darling jar, cute package or even a paper bag this one can be a great hit! If your little ones are giving gifts this is a great one!!! Let them come up with the ideas! You will be amazed at the fun things they have in mind!!

Dinner out on Valentines Day is nearly impossible. Plan your celebration for another evening. Or, make a special meal at home. Candles, wine, hors’surves, the works!! You can have so much fun, Find some great recipes on line. My favorite chief on line is Chief Jean Pierre, He is hoot and I have loved the recipes I have learned from him. He is on YouTube. Just enter Chief Jean Pierre in the subject line and the sky is the limit!!!

Share a memorable time with those you love. It doesn’t have to be expensive and you will all know how very much you are loved!


Staying Warm Without Heat

Our friends in the south have been buffeted about by crazy storms forever. This is just one of the things you learn to live with if you live in Florida, Louisiana, parts of Texas, etc. For the rest of us there are times when we are without power and have to be creative. Here is a snug suggestion for such times:

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

We have the privilege to live in America!! Our Thanksgiving Day comes to us with a wonderful history of gratefulness. Gratefulness to God, who brought the pilgrims across the Atlantic Ocean during the storms of winter. Gratefulness to the American Indians who helped the pilgrims plant crops and grow food for themselves. Gratefulness for a new land that allowed religious freedom which was the reason they came in the first place.

At this time of year, before the Christmas holiday bustle, it is very appropriate to remember the innumerable things for which we are thankful. America has always been a nation of thankfulness and generosity. This comes from our Judeo-Christian heritage. The understanding there is a God who creates order and normality in the universe gives us a foundation from which to view the world.

Look around today and focus on the good things in your life. Take a moment to be grateful. It will greatly affect your state of mind. Write down some of the things for which you are grateful: your family, the other people in your life, your pets, the conveniences you are able to enjoy, the out of doors. The list goes on and on.

Christmas, the Holiday’s, Celebrations Are Coming!!!

Usually this time of year I am sending you many suggestions for gifts you and baby can give to friends and relatives. I have provided url codes for framed photos of baby, molded clay, for making hand and foot print ornaments, projects for your older kids and more!!! We had a wedding this week. Our daughter married the man of her dreams. It was lovely and much awaited. We are exhausted!!! Ha! Ha!

I am going to recommend you look back in my blogs to October and November in years past. There will be many ideas for you and your family to enjoy. My recommendation: begin ordering now. In order to receive your items, add the photos and hand prints, and get them off in the mail you need time!!! Adding stress to your life is not the best. So order your projects today and get them out. Then you are free to enjoy the holidays!!! Your gifts will find wonderful places in the hearts of those you love, and you will be happy!

Netflix Twelve Part Series    ‘Babies’ Episode: #12 Toddlers

Researchers reveal the social skills toddlers naturally possess, abilities ultimately separating humans from other species.

The scientists in this episode research inner motivations and understanding of toddlers of differing ages.  Their results surprised them.  At much earlier ages than expected children understand someone is in need and want to help.  These findings coincide with the findings of the previous episode when very young children were shown puppet shows of helpers and hinderers.

It is fascinating to see in research what parents are aware of in daily life.  Children model the behavior they witness.  

Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, USA Berkeley, USA

When do children begin to understand that others like things differing from their own preferences?  Ms. Gopnik’s son understood at 2 that she liked a pineapple dessert while he did not. Toddlers are very good at reading facial expression, voice intimation, etc.

Experiment:  Will babies give the treat the adult likes or the treat they like?

The older children, 16 – 24 months of age will give you the one you like even if they don’t like it.  They have a clearer idea of the desires of others.   70% of the time they give you what you like.

Felix Warneken,  Associate professor of Psychology. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Cooperation, team work, altruistic behavior, for the good of others: What is the origin of these behaviors?  To what extent would toddlers help?  They have the desire to help and support from very young ages.  Warneken ran several experiments.  He found even chimpanzees have a communal group understanding of helping each other.  This is true in many species.

Laura Schulz, Professor of Cognitive Sciences. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts,   USA

How do children learn so much so quickly? Kids watch adults doing things.  How hard are adults trying to accomplish the task they are workin on?  Kids learn how hard to try.  Then children try.  They have a different toy/project so they can’t imitate.  They have to try themselves. The adults leave. How long do the kids persist?  He keeps trying…..  When he saw adults struggle they were highly motivated to keep trying.  The toddlers took the ques from adults.  Working very hard when the adults did!  When older these kids work harder for their goals.

We have housed international students over the years. When beginning on this journey we were told American youth are approximately 5 years more mature than students of their same age from other countries. This information has proven true. Why are American children more mature than kids of the same age from other places? I believe it is that American children are expected to carry their own weight around the house at younger ages. They are expected to clean up their rooms. put away dirty clothing, make their beds, dress themselves and more. In other countries others are hired to do these things for children. Because of this they do not learn to do them. There are also countries where the mothers take care of these chores. How then do children learn them?

Shared social community is obvious even to young children.  Families teach these values and behaviors to their children.  Children learn to practice these altruistic behaviors from birth.  Model well, your children are always watching.

Netflix Twelve Part Series    ‘Babies’ Episode:#11 Nature and Nurture

Resolving the debate of nature vs nurture three scientists show how genetics and environment work together as infants discover who they are.

The long-term debate over which is more important in child development, nature vs nurture is very interesting.  In this episode scientist weigh in on both sides of the argument.  

Philippe Rochat, Professor of Psychology, Emory Infant and Child Lab, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. USA

What is going on in the minds of infants?  What will guide them.  How do they become aware of their own thoughts and inclinations? The Mirror Mark Test ~ the child touches himself in the mirror, seeing it as himself.  Before 18 mos. does the child have any self awareness? Babies look into a mirror in a box as their own reflection.  Then they look at a person mimicking them.  Baby smiles more at the other than self.

Robert Plomin. Professor, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychological & Neuroscience,  King’s College, London, UK. Professor Plomin participated in the famous twins research studying 15,000 sets of twins followed 25 years to understand the biological impact of many things.

1994 – 2019.   The Twins Early Developmental Study. Nature. (Genetics). Vs Nurture (Environment)

15,000 pairs of twins.  Computerized birth records became available in 1993. 55M bits of information.  Tested every year for 25 years.   Personality tests.  Data from parents, the twins, their teachers     Tested for:  temperament traits. Early appearing personality traits:  fearfulness & anger, activity level, sociability & shyness, & impulsivity – attention span. All traits studied: verified genetic similarities in traits especially in identical twins. This study provided information on the largest number of twins ever researched.  The breakthrough was the year before the study began birth records were digitalized.  This allowed massive retravel of records never possible prior to this time.

Maria A Gartestein, Professor of the Gartestein Temperament Lab, Washington State University. Washington, USA

Studied temperament as a basic building block of personality. Does temperament develop over time?  In 2017 this study began with babies 4 mos of age..  How does positive expression between moms and babies, warmth, interaction between them affect their development?  Babies returned at 6 months.  Reevaluated every two months during the first year.

The experiment: Show strange dramatic unusual masks to babies, record their reactions.  Looking for eyes enlarging, brows moving, crying.  Moms are next them to help if needed.   Began at 4 months of age.  Largest changes at 8, 10, & 12 months.  

Findings:  After 8 mos. babies became more aware, resulting in stronger reactions. Moms who were more sensitive to their babies, connection, etc. had babies who were less fearful and negatively reactive.