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7 posts tagged mother

the newbie: Meals for Tots


By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

I always wondered why parents seem to carry around Goldfish and string cheese for snacking. I thought I’d be the one with healthy carrot sticks and avocados, which do make it into my bag sometimes but are usually eschewed for the above-mentioned crackers and cheese.

Snacking issues aside, at 18 months, I can’t complain too much about June’s eating habits. She generally will at least taste what we put in front of her, and she even likes things like whitefish and Indian food.

But truly, on most days it’s a struggle to get a vegetable onto her plate (they usually end up on the floor after a bit of head shaking and a dramatic hand thrust of “No!”). I’ve been trying the puree route and sneaking, for example, pureed cauliflower into her pasta sauce—she loves tomato sauce. And I’ve also had some luck with broccoli in her mac and cheese.

But then I’ll see an instagram photo of a friend’s baby chewing on a whole beet, and I’m like, “How does that happen?”

I’d love to hear about any favorite recipes—with puree tricks or without—that other parents use to get that balance of veggies into the day.

Anybody willing to share?


the newbie: Car Seats


By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

We don’t drive often because we live in a city, but when we do take road trips— to the “big” grocery store, upstate for the weekend, over to Grandma’s house—I would love for it to be a good experience for 17-month-old June.

So far, that’s not happening. We’ve had her seat facing backwards, as recommended, since her first drive. Lately, though, she’s bored and restricted just facing the car seat and a mirror—she wants more action. Because she’s now at the weight where we can face her forward, we did that last weekend for a two- hour drive to see friends.

At first, June loved it! She watched everything go by, asking her favorite question (“What’s that?!”) with glee and wonder. Then she fell asleep for an hour. Bliss. But the last half hour of the drive was… well, bad. She woke up, looked around for five minutes, and proceeded to vomit four times in 60 seconds.

We found a rest stop, used approximately 100 paper towels to clean her up and get her changed, and then kept the windows down and a bag at the ready while finishing our drive.

So… carsickness and the facing-forward change. Has anyone else dealt with this one? Any tips or tricks to offer?


the newbie: Separation Anxiety

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

While June has had a lot of time with Grandma, her regular babysitter, and the other parents and babies in our apartment building, she’s starting to get a little clingy with me — even in familiar places! Last week we went to our usual appointment at the YMCA, where I drop her off in the childcare room and then get a workout in, and she clung to me in terror and screamed.

It seemed so strange — she knows this room and these babysitters. She usually sniffles a little bit but then gets distracted by all the great toys they have and the enthusiasm of the staff, not to mention the other kids, who mesmerize her. But this time, she cried and cried as I left the room. I felt awful, but I told myself that she would be fine. I was sure that I’d return to find her happily playing with the dollhouse or the cars.

No go. About 20 minutes into my Total Body Fitness class, one of the childcare providers came to get me to tell me that June was still crying. I put away my equipment and went to get her — she looked so fearful and worried that it broke my heart.

I know that separation anxiety is normal, and she’s almost 14 months old so maybe it’s just really taking hold of her now. Still, what’s the best way to deal with it? My instinct is that I need to continue to walk away and give her experiences where she has to work through this new fear, but that’s awfully hard to do!

Any advice?

the newbie: Baby’s First Birthday

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

Miss June will be turning a year old at the end of this month. I can hardly believe it! I remember those first few days at home after she was born—how scared and in love and tired and hurt and overwhelmed and overjoyed and on-the-edge I felt.

The daunting task of giving birth is well behind me, but now I have to face… the First Birthday Party. The expectations—from grandma and other mom friends and even co-workers—seem high. Too high, maybe, for a party that the guest of honor won’t remember. I mean, have you ever been to a first birthday party where the celebrated baby didn’t burst into tears at some point? The whole thing is overwhelming. Wrapping paper! Toys! Cake! Flashbulbs! Everyone is looking at you, kid.

We’re planning a backyard gathering, something simple. I’m thinking picnic blankets and cake and bubbles for everyone to play with. But… is that not enough?

I’d love to hear what others did for a first birthday. I want it to be low-key, enjoyable, and not too overwhelming for baby June. Any ideas?

the newbie: Should I Worry?

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

So now that I have this little 10-month-old crawling around everywhere and getting into all kinds of situations that I never thought of as dangerous (Pulling on drawers! Opening closets! Climbing onto a step!), I find myself wondering what I should truly worry about and what’s just part of being a baby.

For example, June regularly bangs her head… On the top of a chair she’s decided to perch underneath, on the floor when she loses her balance trying to stand, on the side of the couch as she pulls herself up. Sometimes these little bumps lead to a few tears, other times she just muscles through. Still, a daily head bump. Is that okay? Or should I be padding everything and keep her sitting on the ground so she’s always safe?

Also, my daughter eats grass. We spend a lot of time in the park and though I spread out a lovely blanket, she likes to crawl to its edge and pick clovers. Eventually, they go into her mouth. I fish out as much as I can, but let’s be honest—some of that greenery is getting digested. Is that okay?

Finally, I wonder if I should talk to June more. It’s really a one-way conversation at this point, and sometimes I get tired of my own chatter. “There’s a bird! Did you see the bus? Isn’t the grass pretty?” Scintillating. So I sit in silence with her. She doesn’t seem to mind, and I love our quiet moments. But then I’ll hear another mom reciting the Pythagorean Theorem or something, and I get nervous that I’m missing a teaching moment.

So: Head banging, grass eating, moments of silence. Are these normal parts of babyhood?

The Newbie: Baby Grooming
By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

In addition to my questions about brushing imaginary teeth from last week, I have a few other baby grooming conundrums, and I’m hoping you guys can offer some advice.

I’ll be honest: Baby June was born with a ton of hair. While some of it fell out, there’s still quite a bit on top that’s long, and it gets pretty crazy. I’ve seen headbands and bows, but she tears those right out. I have a soft brush and comb set, but it honestly doesn’t seem to tame the mane. I keep wondering when she should get her first haircut. Is it crazy to take an 8-month-old to a barber? In the meantime I’m enjoying her 80s hair band look.

Also out of control? The fingernails. I can’t seem to keep up with the rate at which June’s nails grow! It feels like every other day she scratches herself (or me!) with a long, sharp nail. I sit her down and try to use the tiny clippers a couple of times a week, but it’s incredibly nerve wracking. Full admission: I’ve cut her once. It was her thumb, it bled a little and we both cried (oops!).

Are these issues on other moms’ minds or am I just crazy? I’d love to hear your hair and nails tales!