Binkie Discrimination

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Medical professionals will all fuss over when (and if) you should give your child a binkie. “Nipple confusion” seemed to be the concern. I’m just going to throw this out there… and maybe I just have a really smart kid… but Munchie never had any confusion between the nipple that soothed him and the nipple that fed him. (The rate at which I am using the word nipple is bound to be making some readers uncomfortable at this point… and that makes me giggle.)

Munchie had a binkie in his mouth within HOURS of being born. Why? Well, our justification was quite simple. He is going to suck on something… and we would rather it be a binkie than his thumb. Binkies are far easier to take away at some point in the future. (Not a fan of severed body parts.) We knew we wanted Munchie to be a binkie baby, long before he was born. I like the Soothie pacifiers… so I registered (and received) a ton of them.

Munchie had a Soothie in the hospital and did quite well with it. When we came home, he enjoyed it for a rfew more days… and then started spitting it out. NOOOO!!! My aunt came over and I expressed my concern. “He hates his binkie and he is going to start sucking his thumb!!! What am I going to do?!?!” Let’s face it… if he sucks his thumb, he will need braces for sure. I can’t take a thumb away… and he is going to suck that thumb until he is 20. My kid is going to be the weird thumb sucker, sitting in the corner. My aunt looked at me and said, “Maybe he just wants a different kind of binkie.”

Now… why the hell hadn’t I thought of that? My mom and aunt went out to the store and returned with a PILE of binkies. Every shape, color, brad, size. I didn’t have any idea that so many varieties existed. We busted open all the packages and started our “product testing.” For about an hour, we were sticking different binkies in Munchie’s mouth. Put the binkie in, he would spit it out. Get next binkie and repeat.

After extensive testing, we found the kind of binkie he liked! Being the genius that I am, I didn’t think to organize the binkies in any way… and the manufacturer didn’t print the binkie brand and style on the item, itself. You know what that means? We had two binkies (they came in a two pack and we found the twin) for Munchie… and no way to know what kind they were! (Don’t make this mistake.)

Yesterday morning, we lost our first binkie… which meant we were down to one. Not good. In fact, quite a nightmare! I raced from one store, to the next, hoping and praying I would find our binkie clones. Three stores later… I FOUND THEM!!!!

Munchie now has three binkies. I now know the brand, style, etc… that he prefers. Trust me… we have experienced something quite the opposite of nipple confusion… straight up NIPPLE DISCRIMINATION!!! Suck on THAT… you crazy nipple confusing experts!

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Confession: I am Terrified of Bathtime

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I don’t know what it is… the tiny bathtub, the tiny accessories, or the tiny human I am required to clean… but I am terrified of bathtime. Am I using too much soap? Did I rinse all the soap off? Is the water too warm? Too cold? Am I scrubbing too hard? Did I clean out all of his rolls and creases? Does that look like a rash? How did my baby get a freckle? All of this running through my mind, with the constant fear that his is going to freeze when the air hit him… or slip under the water in his tiny little tub. 

No need to call CPS or anything. Munchie isn’t dirty… he is perfectly clean. Thankfully, we have plenty of family who love baby bathtime and come over to help (or help in their own homes) on a regular basis. Daddy is good at Munchie showers, too. I don’t know how they can do it. I guess I just feel safer when my child is fully clothed and a little more… grippy and not so… slippy.

So that’s my confession. Once Munchie can sit up on his own, I don’t think I will worry so much… but for now… I’m a hot mess when it comes to bathtime. If you are in the same boat, I suggest finding a relative, friend, neighbor, responsible looking stranger, etc to help you out. 

One thing I fear more than bathtime? Neck cheese. (Definition: The crusty dried milk that gets trapped in baby neck rolls.)

Woah… Did She Really Just Say That? Awkward.

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Some people make “baby sharing” extremely awkward. We aren’t overprotective parents. In fact, we tote our kid around much more than other first time parents. He was at a wedding at eight days old, has already been to a community crab feast (with hundreds of people), a couple of pretty big summer parties, church, etc. We don’t mind taking Munchie places… but we do draw the line when it comes to having people over to the house. So far, visitors have been pretty limited. (Family, close friends, people dropping off meals, etc.) This has helped to eliminate unnecessary chaos and helped keep us all from getting overwhelmed. When people ask if they can come visit, I take a look at the calendar and let them know what days we are free. I schedule no more than one non-family visit per day. Manageable… that’s the goal.

So far, people have been very respectful of our schedule… until this week. Someone, who has made scheduling a visit extremely difficult… tried to make ME feel guilty that their schedule didn’t allow them to see Munchie when he was still “little” and them expressed how disappointed her kids were going to be that they didn’t get to see him when he was “little.” I responded with… “Well, Munchie was never very ‘little’… so I guess everyone missed out on that!” But what I really wanted to say was, “Oh, well you don’t have to see him at all, considering he is too big now… and maybe you should teach your kids not too overreact and just to appreciate people making time in their day for you to come into their home.”

I want to kick the refrigerator… that’s how frustrated I am right now. Did you seriously say that? Way to make things awkward.

One day, Munchie is going to ask me why some people always have to insert a comment, into a perfectly normal conversation, and make everything super awkward. When this happens, I will just look at him, sigh, and shake my head… maybe even roll my eyes. Sometimes I wonder if people make awkward comments, just to get attention… or if they are just that ridiculous. One thing, I know for sure. When it comes to dealing with awkward people… “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

This Baby Makes a Nice Pillow

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My friends post pictures of their kids, all snuggled up with the big family dog. A baby laying on a Lab. A toddler using the family Golden Retriever as a warm and cozy pillow. Well… not in our house. In fact, it goes the other way entirely. Trickery, the dog with no concept of personal space, thinks the baby’s butt is a pillow. (A smelly pillow.)

In most families, the dog come up and licks the baby. While this does take place in our home… our baby also tries to lick the dog. (He was only successful on one occasion.)

Some people are concerned about mixing children and pets… but I’m all in favor of it. Teaching kids and animals to interact with one another is super important. They learn to respect one another. So far, I am beyond pleased with the progress we are making with this in our home… and in the homes of our family members. I will just need to teach Munchie that we can’t run around licking all of the animals we see.

Story Time – Mommy vs Daddy

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After toiling over numerous baby books throughout my pregnancy, it seems experts agree… you need to read to your baby. Some people think you should start reading to your baby while they are in your big ole belly. Personally, I don’t see how a kid can tell the difference between reading a book and the sound of my voice. So… I just talked a lot. It’s kinda the same… agreed? (Yes.)

Confession: While pregnant, I would catch myself thinking, instead of talking… like Alex and I were connected on some telepathic level. Fortunately, my crazy behavior (at least this one) wasn’t obvious to others. I very well could have been committed. I would catch myself “thinking” a conversation with him, shake my head, and be all like “seriously?!?!”

Well, now that Alex is out and about… I’m thinking we should actually start reading. We have both started reading to Alex, however, Mommy story time and Daddy story times are very different.

Mommy Story Time – We pick out a book from Alex’s library, snuggle up on the couch, and read. I read the words, point to pictures, talk about the characters, and use silly voices.

Daddy Story Time – Patrick and Alex snuggle up together, turn on the iPad, and enjoy the Game of Thrones saga… as it has been written.

So, here is the question… is one more right than the other? While I obviously want to be the one who is always right, I have to wonder… is my method of story time archaic and stifling to my son’s future? Daddy is sitting over there, using technology that will be an intricate component of Alex’s future. He is reading words of a far higher caliber than Mommy is reading. By choosing children’s books, am I depriving my son of a vast vocabulary down the road? Then again, is Daddy limiting Alex’s creativity and abstract thought process? Will the monotone colors and sounds bore our baby? (Then again, I guess babies really only see contrasting colors… so the black on white text appearing on the screen might be stimulating.)

Who is right and who is wrong? Nobody. We are both spending time with our child. We are both reading to him. Exposing our little Munchie to different avenues of obtaining information is completely fine. I would like to believe Patrick is stimulating the logical side of his developing mind, while I work to poke and prod the creative lobe.

This is another case of parents doing this differently. You may read to your baby from the newspaper, picture books, or trashy magazines. (I would venture to guess there are babies who sat through 50 Shades… no worries… I don’t judge.) The point is… the HOW doesn’t much matter here. Just get it done. Stop over reacting… don’t be a crazy psycho mom… just pick something up and read. Snap… pick up your baby and read them my blog! (Proven to make your baby the most intelligent kid on the block.)

The Giant Bathtub

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I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this moment… since before Munchie had even popped out…
Munchie’s first swim!!!

I was raised in a family that absolutely loved the water. Be it the ocean, lake, river, stream, pool, or puddle… you couldn’t keep us away. My little sister was on the swim team at the age of four… kicking ass and taking names… making kids twice her age cry, in the middle of the pool. We grew up as pool rats and loved every minute of it. (Alright… we all remember those cold mornings of practice… blue lips, goosebumps, and shivers… but looking back… we can’t deny… we loved it.)

Given the family history, I was determined to get Munchie in the water ASAP. At one point, I even considered a water birth… but then I realized I wouldn’t be able to have drugs… and the thought bubble quickly popped. We would just have to wait for the pool.

Well, last weekend (Saturday, July 27… to be exact), the day had come. My c section incision was healing up nicely and I gave myself medical approval to get in the water. (I might not be a doctor… but I was pretty sure mine would be giving me the thumbs up pretty soon anyway.) We loaded into the car, drove out to my parents’ house, got 6 week old Munchie in his swim gear (size 6 months, but it fit perfectly), and headed outside.

I took Munchie in my arms and began our descent into the warm water. WOO HOO!!! He loved it!!! He immediately jumped from my arms and started swimming all around like a little fish. Sike. Just making sure you were still with me. He did float on his back (with some help) and kick around a bit, though.

I am beyond thrilled that our first swim was a success! I’m sure by the end of next summer, he will be swimming on his own. You might say it’s a long shot… but I have big plans for our little man. SWIM, MUNCHIE! SWIM!

I Got 99 Problems, But a Bink Ain’t One

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It seems like every medical expert will agree… you need to put your baby in their own bassinet, crib, or container of choice… on their back. Swaddle them up, put them in a sleep sack, no pillows, blankets, toys, or anything cozy or fun. Well, Mr Medical Expert… I have some news for you. When I get to my own house… and my child is screaming… and you aren’t there to help… I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get my baby to fall asleep. If you have a problem with this, you are by all means welcome to come to my home and stay awake with a screaming baby. I will just pop in some ear plugs and nod off while you “work your magic.”

Let’s be real. No one follows all of the rules laid out by medical professionals 100% of the time. (Heck… half the time, the professionals can’t even agree on the “correct” way to do things.) As (new) parents, we just have to wing it. What works for one kid won’t necessarily work for the next. You know how my baby naps? Usually, however he passes out. Tummy time (as previously mentioned) always results in Munchie face planting and falling asleep. I, like any responsible parent, check to make sure he is breathing and then just leave him alone. I’m not going to risk a little peace and quiet by moving the sleeping baby. I might be a little crazy… but I’m not a freaking lunatic!

Since Munchie has colic (and Mommy diagnosed reflux), he doesn’t like sleeping flat on his back. (Such sleeping position also results in baby vomit… everywhere.) So… he sleeps in his Monkey Rocker. We swaddle him up, stick him in, and add a cozy blanket. Every morning, he wakes up around 6am and refuses to go back to sleep… UNLESS I plop him face down on my chest. I tuck the covers in really tight on either side of me, so he can’t fall off the bed, and we can sleep like this for another 2-3 hours. Doctor approved? No. Mommy and Daddy approved? Yes.

I can’t function if I don’t get sleep. Without rest, I’m a useless mom, wife, and human being. I have to do whatever it takes to get sleep sometimes. I’m not the first, or last, mom who will feel this way… or not directly follow medical advice. Keep in mind… if you want to judge me for the way I let Munchie sleep… you are more than welcome to come and take the night shift in our home!

So… I’m curious moms… what kind of medical rules did you bend to maintain your own sanity?