Seven Ways to Experience Nurturing During the Holidays

by Carrie Saum 
This post was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Wean Green Glass and TLB sister site, Our Stable Table.

 

 Photo Credit: By bplanet, published on 02 November 2013 Stock Image - image ID: 100214808

Feeling stressed? Gruesome Holidays.
Photo Credit: By bplanet, published on 02 November 2013
Stock Image – image ID: 100214808

It’s the holidays. Enough said. In the midst of all the holiday chaos, you might find you’ve begun feeling frayed already. Here are seven ways to de-stress, relax, and nurture yourself while you nurture those around you.

Fill your home with sounds and smells you love. Do you love holiday music? Put together a playlist of your favorite tunes and hit. Holiday music might not be your thing, and that’s okay. You’re not alone. Make a playlist of your favorite songs from each year for the last 20 years instead, songs that connect you to a sweet memory or happy moment in your life. Invest in an essential oil diffuser and add lavender and chamomile essential oils, or fill your crockpot with plenty of water, a cinnamon stick and sliced orange to fill your home with warm, invigorating scents. Do everything you can to stay in your body and connect with your heartspace through sounds and smell. Make an extra effort to release your stress through laughter, and get your family in on it, too. (My favorite way to do this is with YouTube videos of babies laughing or kittens being ridiculous.)

Drink warm things. I know. This is so basic. But imagine you’re feeling cold, stressed, and mentally fuzzy. Now imagine a cup of your favorite hot beverage in your hand, the ritual of holding, smelling and feeling the steam kiss your face. It’s pretty wonderful, right? You’ll feel the warmth from your head down to your toes. Make green tea and your mental acuity might even return.

Rub your ears. Your ears are loaded with pressure points that connect to your entire body. If you do nothing else to relieve your tension, do this. In the car, during stressful interactions, in the middle of the chaos, you will find your stress level falling with each tiny stroke. Even better, have your partner do this for you and double the relaxation effect.

Get between the sheets. Create an intention to go to bed early, sleep in late, and enjoy your partner. Lose your clothes when you have the opportunity. Take advantage of extra family or friends around to get some time alone together. Ask your in-laws to get up with the kids one morning and take them to breakfast, or on a long adventure through the neighborhood while you cuddle alone in a quiet house. Skin-to-skin time releases blissful, magical endorphins. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, emotionally flooded, or disconnected, skin-to-skin contact with your partner can help bring those emotions down a few notches.

The same goes for your nursling. If you’re both over-stimulated from all the holiday commotion, take your wee one to bed with you and have a skin nap. Grandparents can get their cuddles in later, but nothing is more important than your bond with your tiny babe.

Pack in protein. Sugar and carby treats overflow every table, platter, bowl, and bag within reach this time of year. While enjoying these treats in moderation is totally fine for most folks, too much sugar turns some (many) of us into wild beasts. Mamas, it doesn’t have to be this way. Start the day off with a massive protein punch and get ahead of the sugar curve. Pastured eggs, almond butter, tofurkey, breakfast sausage, a leftover chicken leg or whatever protein source you can lay your hands on first thing in the morning will be a great way to help keep insulin levels stable and the sugar crazies at bay. Keep a bag of nuts in your purse to snack on so you don’t get too hungry. Nosh protein-heavy foods first at holiday gatherings and then decide if you want that sweet treat later.

Move for fun. Gentle yoga poses, stretching, burpees, or quick run around the neighborhood might be just what you need to reconnect to yourself. My personal favorite is a silly ragdoll, and my little guy loves it, too. We both end up giggling and happy.

Say it out loud. Family tension during the holidays…Eek! And ewww. Whatever unresolved frustrations and conflict you’ve carried through the year(s) only heightens during the holidays. Interactions with loved ones can feel strained and sticky when we leave things unsaid or incomplete. If you feel brave and it’s appropriate, talk about your conflicts and points of tension with that family member directly, kindly, and gently. If you’re feeling less brave or don’t trust yourself to say it well, say it to their picture. And make sure to say ALL OF IT, complete with wild gestures, a loud voice and colorful language. You don’t have to carry those energy-draining feelings around with you for another holiday season. Release the feelings, release the past, and move on. You’ll feel empowered and ready for a new experience on the other side.

For more ideas about how to stay healthy, well fed, and connected this Christmas, head over to Our Stable Table for our 10 Healthy Holidays.

_____________________

What are your tips for taking care of yourself and distressing? Not just during the holidays, but year round?

_____________________

 

Carri Saum Bio Pic 2

Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical fields. She has a background in paramedic medicine and spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet the health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. She has coached countless clients on topics such as nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and blogs regularly about healthy cooking and nourishing the whole family with The Leaky Boob’s sister site  OurStableTable.com and Facebook page. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.
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The Joy of Giving Holiday Giveaway

 

Joy of Giving Logos

Everyone loves a good giveaway. They’re fun, enticing, and full of hopeful anticipation. Here at TLB we take delight in working with brands that care so much about quality, families, support, and seeing babies well fed. These companies not only see our community as a valuable resource for them, but each brand we work with is carefully vetted, selected for their commitment to value supporting families. With them, TLB gets to regularly experience the joy of giving to families through our giveaways and community support.

 

Which is why this holiday season we are extending the reach of that giving. The Joy of Giving giveaway brings together 20 brands that truly know the meaning of the joy of giving. With three different bundles,  one lucky winner will have the chance to give as well by selecting two of their friends that could use a little holiday cheer, and they will each receive a bundle!

 

But that’s not all. Not only are we offering this giveaway and giving you a chance to give, every item being given away in the Joy of Giving giveaway is also being donated to a nonprofit organization that supports families (that’s over $1900 worth of products!).  And we need your help!  There are so many amazing nonprofits out there that we struggled to select just 5 of them for this opportunity, and it’s up to you to make the final selection.  We are including a short description for each of the 5 organizations with a link to their website in case you would like to learn more about them.  Once you’re ready, cast your vote for your favorite in the poll just under the descriptions!  Our hope is that they will inspire us all to find new ways to give this season.  Even a warm smile can lift a person’s spirits.

 

Happy Holidays, and good luck!

 

Birth Circle Doulas -The Birth Circle is a community-based doula program providing pregnancy support and doula services to underserved women. Doulas visit women at their homes, meet with them at their medical appointments, and provide continous support during labor and delivery. Services are offered free-of-charge to eligible women, including teens, first-time-mothers receiving their prenatal care at selected health care sites, and UPMC for You members. Working with our community to build an integrated circle of care that addresses the needs of the childbearing family.

Elizabeth House- a residential shelter program in the community of Pasadena, CA committed to the health and welfare of adult pregnant women and their children. Elizabeth House is the only 501©(3) non-profit organization in the San Gabriel Valley that specifically addresses the needs of pregnant women who also have small children and who lack adequate shelter and prenatal care. The House can accommodate six women and four children at any one time.  Clients stay 4-6 months after their babies are born. In a year’s time, an average of 15-18 family units are served. The goal of our program is not only to support these women during their time of crisis, but also to challenge them in a way that prevents issues such as financial instability child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, and drug dependency in order to provide a healthy, positive environment for their children. The long-term success of the program lies in the follow-up care and support that is provided to alumni after they transition to independent living.

Grace Initiatives – exists to empower pregnant young women to prepare for their future with their baby. Grace Initiatives offers confidential counseling, life-skills education, job-skills classes and housing options for pregnant young women, 20 and under.  Our home, Grace’s Place is located in Ocean County, New Jersey and is the hub of activity for pregnant young women from all over the region.

Teen Parent Connection – offers long-term assistance to adolescent parents of DuPage County to reach self-sufficiency by providing teen parents with support, information, and resources to help them navigate their lives as parents and as teenagers. Through the power of support teen parent connection helps young moms and dads confront challenges and create opportunities. Including doula services, classes, a parents pantry, support groups, home visits, and more.

Uzazi Village – Swahili for birth, Uzazi Village is a community-based perinatal care model created by community men and women for community women and infants (and their families) who are at higher risk for poor perinatal outcomes in Kansas City, MO. Operating with a model of care that is affordable, accessible, sustainable, high in quality, is culturally appropriate, and respectful of traditional/ancestral knowing, that promotes a high level of wellbeing and improves overall potential for the individual and the community to live in harmony in order to pursue its full purpose for being. Uzazi is exists to decrease infant mortality and racially-based urban perinatal health inequities occurring in Communities of Color.

 

Which non-profit should win the matching bundle of prizes?

View Results

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Prize bundle #1:Joy of Giving prize bundle #1

Prize Bundle #1 Total Value : $693

Arm’s ReachToffee Stripe Mini Arc Co-Sleeper, $175 value

Baby Bee Hummingbirds: a gorgeous custom Bead from “Beads of Time Collection,” created with your precious and perfectly preserved breastmilk, placenta, or Baby’s first curl, and perfectly fit on a Pandora or simple chain. $36 value

Cezara: a belly support panty, any size, $49 value

ErgoBaby: a wrap and swaddler,  $105 value

Juno Blu: a gift certificate to use towards a stylish breast pump bag, $85 value

Pebble: a handmade fair trade Nutcracker and Ballerina soft toys, $64 value

Snugabell: a Toni Collection (3/4 sleeve top in Flamepencil skirt in Jett), $122 value

The Vintage Honey Shop: a teething ring necklace, $27 value

Wean Green: a Baby Feeding Starter Set, $30 value

______________________

Prize bundle #2:

Joy of Giving prize bundle #2

Prize Bundle #2 Total Value: $622

Amamante! Nursingwear: a nursing gown, $44 value

Bamboobies: a New Mama Essentials Kit (bratankdisposable padsnipple balm), $125 value

Juno Blu: a gift certificate to use towards a stylish breast pump bag, $85 value

LilleBaby: a Complete All-Season baby carrier in new Black/Camel, $135 value

Nine Naturals: a Natural Belly Oil, $36 value

Nurse Purse: a $50 gift certificate towards any Nurse Purse breast pump bag (includes free 2 day shipping), $50 value

Sloomb: a bundle of 2 Happy Little Clouds cloth diapers, $58 value

The Dairy Fairy: a Rose handsfree pumping bra, $34 value

Undercover Mama: a Basic Essential nursing shirt, $25 value

______________________

Prize bundle #3:

Joy of Giving prize bundle #3

 

Prize Bundle #3: $600

16 Minute Club: a one month subscription to the 16 minute club, $35 value

Beco: a Soleil baby carrier in Twilight, $140 value

Juno Blu: a gift certificate to use towards a stylish breast pump bag, $85 value

Melinda G: a tee-shirt soft-cup nursing bra, style #2115, nude, any size, $44 value

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: a Babyhawk Mei Tai with logo in charcoal gray and an Angel Bear kit, $110 value

Naked Nursing Tank: a luxury bamboo tank, $40 value

Nursing Bra ExpressMolded Seamless Washable Nursing Pads by Baby Nip, $14 value

Snugabell: a Toni Collection (Pencil skirt in Smoketunic in Wink), $132 value

______________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from December 12, 2014 through December 20, 2014.  A big thanks to all of the sponsors who generously demonstrated their compassion for people by participating in this giveaway.  Their support of TLB, and all breastfeeding women, and beyond, is invaluable; don’t hesitate to visit them on social media and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. entries only.
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Eating for Two: An Elimination Diet Story

by Carrie Saum
This post was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Wean Green Glass and TLB sister site, Our Stable Table.
Breast pumping at a party

Pumping at a party with The Leaky Boob family

Can we just chat about ED for a hot second? Yes. That ED.

It happens, nobody really wants to talk about it, fewer people want to hear about it, and yet it affects so many of us. ED complicates the most straightforward activities, creates more stress during a stressful season, and siphons our time, energy, and mental capacity to make sound decisions.

Elimination Diets suck. (What? You didn’t think I was talking about the other kind of ED, did you? Psh.)

I’ve been on some sort of elimination diet for over two years. First, it was because I was pregnant. I involuntarily eliminated most food for 5 months, then only added in what my incubating baby would allow me to consume after that. And what my unborn child wanted to eat was croissants and kombucha, in spite of my every intention of eating mostly protein, veggies and fruit. Then I birthed my baby and ate ALL THE THINGS. That was a mistake. Turns out, my son didn’t take well to many foods, even through breastmilk. After a few months, we regulated one of the meds he had to take for seizures, and I cut out wheat and dairy for starters. My son’s poop diapers improved a bit. I could easily blame the rest of his relatively mild GI issues and eczema on his meds, so I left it at that for a few more months.

Then he started solids.

Within weeks, it became crystal clear that not only was my babe intolerant of certain foods in my breastmilk, he wasn’t tolerating solid foods at all. He was diagnosed with FPIES, a rare food allergy. We ran every blood test. We tried every non-invasive alternative allergy testing method to help pinpoint possible triggers. He still reacted to my breastmilk, and it was getting WORSE. So, an Elimination Diet was the next stop on our journey.

I started small, became super strict about wheat and dairy. I added soy and sugar to the elimination protocol. It wasn’t enough.

You know what was enough? Cutting out food altogether.

Just kidding. But I did cut out many, many more foods. At one time, my elimination list looked like this:

Eliminated Foods:                                                                        Safe Foods:
Wheat                                                                                                   Rice
Corn                                                                                                      Quinoa
Corn Products (HFCS, Canola Oil, etc)                                         Poultry
Oats                                                                                                      Red Meat
Eggs                                                                                                      Most Veggies
Pork                                                                                                      Most Fruit
Cane Sugar                                                                                          Most Nuts and Seeds
Asparagus                                                                                            Raw Honey
Tomatoes                                                                                             Most oils
Mushrooms                                                                                         Water
Sweet Potatoes                                                                                    Wine
Avocado
Carrots
Squash
Plums
Prunes
Melons
Peanuts
Soy

It’s SO FUN eating this way!

Just kidding. Again. Have you tried going to a party where you can’t eat wheat, dairy, sugar, soy and corn? Because nothing says party like rice and kale, I became a master of RSVP’ing to Evites with a cute “I’ll be there with my own delicious green smoothie and big bowl of brown rice to share!”

Although all of my friends and family are supportive, not everyone understands the nuances of an ED. Some would kindly try to accommodate me at dinners and parties and ask me for a list of foods to avoid. Without fail, I would email the list and my friends would reply with “What the hell do you eat?!”. My answer? “Hopes and dreams.”

After a while, I found it was easier just bring my own food to the gathering and eat it on the sly while I pumped in a back room. That didn’t last long, though. I’m a social creature and need interaction. So, I donned my pump cover and armed myself with a safe-for-me treat and ventured out into the party. People were usually so fascinated or uncomfortable by the pump mooing next to me that they didn’t pay much attention to the weird food I was eating.

Later, when I could manage a night out without pumping every three hours, I brought enough food to share. Then I made it a game. I would try to come up with the tastiest, most decadent ED treat my limited options would allow and then present it as regular food. Pretty daring, right? It worked. My food was always a hit. And I rarely told people the ED backstory because good food is GOOD, regardless of what label you put on it.

Mamas, we make an obscene number of sacrifices for our miniature milk monsters. We wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s okay to be sad to give up our comforts while still being glad to be able to provide what our little ones need. And if the sadness of giving up ice cream or baguettes gets to be too much, replace it with something else that brings you joy. For me, it was something like this Meyer Lemon Coconut Tartlet , and this fun infographic only you will appreciate.

Seven Things 3

Carri Saum Bio Pic 2Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical fields. She has a background in paramedic medicine and spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet the health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. She has coached countless clients on topics such as nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and blogs regularly about healthy cooking and nourishing the whole family with The Leaky Boob’s sister site  OurStableTable.com and Facebook page. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son. 
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How to Wean Your Teenager

by Jessica Martin-Weber with Ophélia and Lavinia Martin-Weber

How to wean a teenager

It is a well known fact that if you don’t make sure you get a baby off the boob by the end of their first year or definitely by the time they are two, they will never, ever stop breastfeeding and you’ll have to go to college with them. This is a fact known by every Tom, Dick, and Harry, Cindy, Karen, and Amanda. If you’re not aware of this, don’t worry, any conversation about breastfeeding beyond infancy in person, on an online article, blog posts, and of course, social media, will eventually become about this very fact. It is an inescapable truth: if you breastfeed past infancy your child will never wean and you will find yourself breastfeeding a teenager or young adult some day. Once they can ask for it you have to cut them off or they will never stop. Clearly breastfeeding is more addictive than chocolate, alcohol, crack, speed, shopping, and independence.

Because everyone knows that 3 and 13 are pretty much the same thing, you just stick a one in front of that 3. Teens are, according to most people, really just toddlers in bigger bodies, with raging hormones, pimples, and a slightly larger vocabulary. The temper tantrums are pretty much the same. Childhood goes so fast, don’t blink because you’ll miss it if you do and the next thing you know your 6’ 1” teenage boy will be folding himself onto your lap and tugging at your shirt saying “nene please mama.” Fact.

*Disclaimer: I have teenagers, they were breastfed as babies and toddlers but they never breastfed beyond early childhood so I can’t say I have any experience with this fact myself, nor have I ever encountered a breastfeeding teenager and unless my friends are lying, neither have they. But thousands of people say it is true. I know, I read it online.

But let’s say you’ve done it, ignored all the warnings and breastfed your child after their 1st birthday and then even after their 2nd and 3rd and 4th birthdays, now what? If you haven’t already, you’re headed straight to meeting them at lunch in high school so they can have mama milk. And if you have more than one child, you really are in big trouble. Juggling all those schedules to get your kids their babas is going to get really challenging.

It’s true, I guess, you’re just going to HAVE to cut them off at some point unless you really are ok following them to college and then some day on their honeymoon. There could be bonding moments in the future as you breastfeed your grown son while his wife breastfeeds their son. If that just won’t work for you though, how are you ever going to get that teenager to stop breastfeeding? When is it really time to wean and how do you do it?

I turned to my resident experts on teens: Earth Baby, 16, and Storyteller, 13. They were a bit shocked when I initially brought it up to them:

Me: “How should a mom wean their teenager from breastfeeding?”

EB: “Wait, WHAT?”

Storyteller: “That’s a thing? I don’t think that’s a thing.”

Me: “It’s totes a thing, I read it online.”

*At this point I got “the look” from Storyteller.

Storyteller: “You should never say ‘totes again’ and now I know that’s not a thing.”

EB: “Wait, WHAT? Are you really asking what I think you are asking?”

Me: “What’s wrong with me saying ‘totes’? And yes, I’m really asking.”

EB: “I don’t think any of my friends have conversations like this with their moms…”

Storyteller: “OMG, I know mine don’t. They also don’t breastfeed. Or say ‘totes.’ People saying teenagers breastfeed are severely lacking in intelligence. You can’t say ‘totes’ because you’re too old.”

EB: “Our family is weird, isn’t it?”

Me: “They either don’t breastfeed because their mom weaned them when they were young enough or they do breastfeed in secret. Some of them have to because I read it on the internet. Why am I too old to say ‘totes’?”

Storyteller: “You do know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, right? It’s just dumb to think that kids that don’t stop breastfeeding when they are little will end up wanting to breastfeed as teenagers. Saying ‘totes’ is dumb too. What is wrong with people?”

Me: “I write on the internet, of course you can believe everything you read on the internet!

Earth Baby: “This is ridiculous.”

Earth Baby and Storyteller how to wean teenagers

Storyteller (left) and Earth Baby (right).

It took a while to get them to just go with me on this but that was an excellent example of just how hard it could be to wean a teenager. They’re stubborn creatures and smart too, they can argue until you’re blue in the face and they’ll still continue. Weaning a breastfed teenager could be intensely difficult! I can see why there are so many warnings to wean while they are still young.

Besides, can you imagine breastfeeding through the dreaded wisdom teeth stage?

After bribing them, they came up with some ideas. I shot down a few, such as the suggestion that you just tell them no, that it’s all done. Oh puh-lease, teenagers and “no” go about as well together as oil and water. I’m not so great at taking a direct “no” either so I know it’s best to save them for the big things such as “no, you absolutely can not surf on the hood of a truck going down the highway.” They agreed that “no” wouldn’t work given our family’s own personal experience with how well “no” is an effective strategy for a teenager. #itsnoteffectiveatall

Here are the ones we all thought might be most effective though, all approved by the teenagers in my house:

Gentle conversation. According to my 13 year old, teenagers are reasonable.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Moving on.

Bribe them with cake. That’s right, offer cake and tell them if they give up “bobbies” they can have cake. Also acceptable would be cake pops, frappuccinos, mini doughnuts, and iTunes gift cards.

Wean to drive. They can’t drive or get a drivers license until they give up the mama milks for good. No exceptions. It would be so important for mom to hold strong when the whining starts after they’ve started driving and start whining about how badly they need their nene.

Entertainment options. If you’re trying to wean a younger teen or maybe a tween, you could try saying no PG 13 movies because those movies are for big kids and big kids don’t get to breastfeed any more. This will work because all their friends will be talking about the next Pitch Perfect movie and they’ll totally be left out which would even be worse than weaning.

Smart phone. Like breastfeeding, all the teens are smartphoning these days. It’s simple though, mom will have to get another job to afford the bill so she can’t breastfeed any more. If they want a smartphone to fit in with their friends, they’ll be more than willing for mom to hang up her nursing bras and go to work.

Dating. Explain that any possible dates will be a little horrified if they found out they were still breastfeeding. It could really hurt their chances of finding a date… ever. But since embarrassment is worse than death for teens, simply posting a breastfeeding selfie and tagging them on social media would possibly do it. Also, would take care of the whole talking to you thing.

Prom. There’s just no way you could find an on trend yet age appropriate prom dress that has easy boob access. Show them what you’d have to wear to prom so they had mama milks when they needed it. They’ll never want to breastfeed again.

Charge. Teenagers are the largest demographic with a disposable income. Use it to your advantage, my 13yo thought that $1/1 minute sounded about fair if a teen wanted to continue breastfeeding. That would encourage them to wean real quick: buy a new outfit or get some “bob bob” and the decision would be pretty simple.

Just say no. My teenagers maintain that saying “my body, my choice” would be a firm boundary no teenager would cross. Specially if you’re already teaching them to respect themselves and others.

So, tell us, what are your tips for weaning teenagers?

 

*Please note: this is intended to be humorous with a bit of satire.
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Ask the CPST- of spit up, screaming babies, turning to forward facing, and tethering

This post features questions from readers for a CPST (Child Passenger Safety Technician) focusing on car seats and is made possible by the generous sponsorship of clek who have made their staff CPSTs available to The Leaky Boob community in order to answer your questions and help you keep your children safe. 

smelly car seat

 

Dear Julie,

My daughter spit up badly in her infant seat and now the straps smell like spoiled milk. My sister-in-law told me that if I wash the straps it will ruin them and the car seat will be ruined. The whole car smells like old spit up, what can I do? 

Sincerely,

Gagging in Florida

 

Dear Gagging in Florida,

That spoiled milk smell is always a tough one to get out of anything! The answer to this question can vary widely based on manufacturer. The first course of action would be to refer to the instruction manual that came with your child’s car seat. Typically there will be instructions included within the manual that cover cleaning the harness system. If for some reason you cannot find this information in the manual, or the information provided doesn’t help remove the smell, then it might be time to give your seat manufacturer’s customer service department a call. They will be able to give you more personalized advice based on your individual situation. Sometimes, depending on the seat you have, replacing the harness straps may be necessary. I hope you are able to get the smell under control quickly and back to enjoying car rides.

Ride On!

Julie At Clek

 

Dear Trudy,

My son is 9 months and a big boy at 24 pounds. He hates his car seat, crying when we even start walking toward the van and when he is in it for much longer than 20 minutes or so, he starts vomiting. My husband wants to turn him around but I had planned to do extended rear-facing. I’m at a loss, what are our options? Is there anything we can do to help him? I’m not sure if he’s experiencing motion sickness in the van or if he’s just mad and ends up throwing up because he’s upset. We have older children with events and activities so just avoiding trips really isn’t possible but we’re all on edge any time we go anywhere because of his screaming. Please help, I hate seeing him so miserable.

Thank you,

On Edge Mom

 

Dear On Edge Mom,

It sounds like your little guy is having a tough time on car rides. I can sympathize with how stressful car rides are for your family right now. Sometimes kids just hate being in the car and buckled in, but a lot of times their crying is a way of communicating with us and telling us that something else is wrong. I’ll do my best to give you a few tips that will hopefully help to make car rides a little easier for everyone in your family.

If your son is still in his rear-facing only seat, then my first suggestion would be to move him to a rear-facing convertible seat. Sometimes a baby’s fussing is specific to one seat. Kids will often find infant seats to be more confining and uncomfortable as they get older, so if this is a relatively new problem, you may find switching seats solves your problem. Likewise, if the fussing started after moving him to a convertible seat, it’s possible that there is something in the seat that he finds uncomfortable – every seat is designed with different features, and while most babies aren’t picky, I have seen babies who cry in one seat but are happy in another. If the fussing just started when you moved to a rear-facing convertible seat, then you might consider trying a different seat if you have a trusted friend who might be able to lend you one. You’ll notice a change almost instantly if it is comfort related.

Some other tips that work with some children is having a variety of soft toys that they are given only in the car. At his age he might appreciate a cloth book with the corners that have the different teething textures if you can find one.

Sometimes unhappiness in the car around his age can be a bit of separation anxiety. If it’s possible to test another adult sitting in the back with him on a trip some time, that may give you a way to check and see if that is the trigger. That cause can be a little bit harder to deal with sometimes – but finding the cause is more than half the battle.

Rear-facing is absolutely the safest way for infants and toddlers to ride and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child ride rear-facing until at least their 2nd birthday. It’s great that you’re seeking out solutions to try and keep him safe and also solve his fussing. I hope these ideas help make car rides a little less stressful for your family and wish you well in finding a solution that helps your son be more content on drives.

Kind Regards,

Trudy At Clek

 

Dear Julie,

Our vehicle is from 2001 Mercury Villager and while we’d love a new van, we can’t really afford one at the moment. My parents got us a nice convertible car seat though and we’re ready to turn our 4 year old forward facing on her birthday but how do we use the top tether in such an older vehicle?

Gratefully yours,

Confused in New Mexico

 

Dear Confused in New Mexico,

First off, I’d like to commend you for keeping your daughter rear facing past the minimum recommendations! It is after all the safest way for children to travel. At Clek we are strong advocates of extended rear-facing. Our convertible seats, Foonf and Fllo, were designed to international best practices for extended rear-facing use, which is to accommodate children in a rear-facing installation until their 4th birthday.

In regards to your question about the use of top tethers in older vehicles, I’m going to answer yours specifically, and then provide some general information for other readers that might have a similar situation. I’m happy to inform you that your 2001 Mercury Villager is already equipped with not only top tethers, but lower anchors as well. Location of these is dependent on what type of seating layout you have in your Villager. Locate your vehicle Owner’s Manual and read the section that discusses installing child restraints. In that section you should find mentioned where the top tethers and lower anchors are located in your vehicle. If ever you find that you need help with something pertaining to using your car seat, first reach out to your car seat manufacturer. Most will be able to direct you over the phone, or help locate a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) near you for some in person assistance. You can also locate one online by visiting cert.safekids.org.

Now I’m going to give a little background on top tethers and lower anchors. LATCH (which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) became a standard for 2003 or newer model year vehicles. Vehicles since that date are required to have at least two seating locations with LATCH. There are also some 2001 and 2002 model year vehicles that included LATCH prior to it being mandated. Those vehicles will have this information in their Owner’s Manual.

Top tethers themselves, however, can be found in vehicles dating back to model year 2000. Approximately 80% of model year 2000 vehicles came with tether anchors already installed. Why is this important? Top tethers help to minimize the forward motion of a car seat in a collision. So what happens if your vehicle doesn’t have top tethers? Many vehicle manufacturers can provide consumers with a tether anchor kit to be able to retrofit your vehicle with a tether anchor. Some vehicle dealerships will even install the kit for you free of charge.

The Owners Manual for both your vehicle as well as your car seat contains a wealth of information and is always my first recommendation for clients when they have a question. And when questions still go unanswered, Customer Service is standing by to lend a helping hand.

Safe Travels,

Julie At Clek

 

If you have questions about car seat safety, feel free to ask on the clek Facebook page, send them a tweet, or email your question to be included next time to content@theleakyboob.com.

 

Trudy SlaghtTrudy Slaght, Clek CPST, CRST-IT As Clek’s Child Passenger Safety Advocate, a previous board member of the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, and a CRST Instructor from Edmonton, Alberta, Trudy Slaght pretty much breathes, eats, and lives child passenger safety. With her brain crammed full of valuable tips and advice, Trudy attends and speaks at various industry conferences across North America and provides everything from simple helpful guidance to advanced technical support for parents, caregivers, and even fellow technicians.
A mom of two, Trudy has been involved in the field for over 7 years, spending lots of time thinking about, practicing, and preaching the best methods to keep our little ones safe for the ride. And, even with all this on her plate, Trudy still somehow has the passion and energy to be a contributing author to Canada’s National Child Passenger Technician Training curriculum.
Julie_LR copyJulie McCuen, Clek CPST Since becoming a Child Passenger Safety Technician in 2012, Clek CPST Julie McCuen has willingly sacrificed her digits and limbs all in the name of keeping kids safe. After feeling inexplicably drawn to learning about weight limits, velocity factors, and Rigid LATCH connectors, Julie enthusiastically entered the wonderful world of child passenger safety to help families install and use their car seats properly every single time.
Despite a few bruises and broken nails, Julie’s fervent curiosity and commitment to safety hasn’t waned one bit. She’s now working towards becoming a CPST Instructor so she can pass along her valuable knowledge and insights to others who are equally eager to learn. When not working with Clek, Julie spends her time raising her three beautifully unruly children who are 9, 6, and 4 with her husband of 10 years.
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5 Ways to Deal with Food Boundaries, Kids, and Relatives

by Carrie Saum
This post was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Wean Green Glass and TLB sister site, Our Stable Table.

Allergic reaction

My son, E, has a rare, severe food allergy called FPIES. (I’ve written about it here). Holidays and family gatherings are chock full of well-meaning parents and aunts and uncles and cousins who want to help us keep E safe, but just don’t always know how. Or remember how.

Last Fourth of July, Echo was a busy little guy. He explores and inspects everything. No speck of dust goes unnoticed by him. At the time, we struggled to keep him safe while he picked up every crumb from the floor. It terrified Lance and me. During this time, we visited my family in another state. We prepped them, lectured them, and conducted a family meeting within the first ten minutes of arrival. E needed us to help him be safe. Everyone agreed E’s safety was important and they would help.

My brother was watching TV in the living room a few minutes after our family meeting. He put a can of root beer down on the side table, not thinking about tiny baby hands that find everything they’re not supposed to have in mere nanoseconds. E raced over to the shiny can, grabbed it and pulled it down immediately, dousing himself in sticky caramel colored corn syrup. I freaked out. My brother felt terrible. We immediately hosed E down and scrubbed the soda off of him from head to toe. We held our breath for the next several hours to see if he would react to the corn syrup. (He didn’t.)

In spite of everyone’s best intentions and total agreement to make the holiday and visit safe for E, he still managed to find the chinks in our armor. He wasn’t being naughty, and my brother wasn’t being negligent. Its just part of navigating life and holidays with kids who require extra care.

In our case, this is really important and for some children, it is a life and death concern. But it doesn’t matter if your child has a full-blown allergy, slight sensitivity, or you just don’t want them eating certain things. This is your kid. Your boundaries are important, especially when you are making choices to keep your child safe or healthy.

Here are a few ways to bring a little sanity during to your holiday season, and navigate gatherings when your kid has a restricted diet or you’re just not ready for them to have certain foods introduced to their systems just yet.

1. Prepare. E-mail or text every friend and family member attending the holiday gathering a few days in advance. In clear and concise terms, share what your child needs to enjoy a safe holiday. For example, “Hi Loved Ones! Just a quick reminder that Buddy is allergic to Red Dye # 5, and throws up when he eats foods containing this dye. PLEASE DON’T FEED HIM ANYTHING AT ALL without my permission first, otherwise we could end up celebrating in the Emergency Room instead of around the table with you. If you want to know more about his allergy, please read (link), or give me a call. Thank you so much for helping us keep our guy safe! Also, it would be a huge help to us if you would be willing to keep an eye out for stray food ”.

2. Enlist help. When getting together with friends or family that may not be familiar with the guidelines you have for food when it comes to your child(ren), have a family meeting early in the gathering and ask them to be guardian angels. My eight year old niece, Sav, saw E reaching for the soda and alerted us to what was happening the second before it happened. She gave us a half-second head start, which is all we needed to ensure E didn’t get his fingers in his mouth. She appointed herself as his guardian angel and for the rest of the holiday weekend, she alerted us when he found a stray french fry and gently took it from him while explaining to him how it could hurt him if he ate it. Sav felt important and E had the added benefit of another person watching out for him. Plus, he followed her around like she hung the moon and they formed a very special bond.

3. Babywear. Wear your baby or toddler as much as possible. The easiest way to keep your kiddo safe is to keep them close. If they like being worn and are small enough, wear them. Trade off with your partner, or another trusted family member. I know it’s not ideal and many littles won’t love this for the duration. But even if it’s just for 30 minutes, it’s 30 minutes you don’t have to worry about their safety. It reduces your anxiety, which will reduce theirs in turn. You can also take that opportunity to scope out gathering for potential problems.

4. Be firm. Don’t be afraid of hurting people’s feelings. My sweet mom, (who would never intentionally do ANYTHING to harm her grandson), once gave E a coffee can to play with. She forgot to wash it out. He had the lid off and was shoulder deep in Folgers remnants before I could even process what he had. I instantly became upset with her, and although I regret the level of reaction now, I don’t regret reacting. I apologized to her later for my tone, but not for reacting. She can’t be cavalier with food, and although I never believed that was her intention, I was ready to stay somewhere else if it meant my son would be safe. I told her this with as much kindness and clarity as possible. I know it hurt her feelings, and it made me sad knowing I hurt her. But her feelings were secondary to my son’s health. Even people who love our kiddos don’t always connect with the vigilance required for FPIES and other allergies and health concerns. Although I never WANT to hurt anyone’s feelings, and typically find a kind way to state (or restate) boundaries, sometimes it happens and I try to work it out with the offended party pretty quickly.

5. Party later. Celebrate in your own way. When all else fails, stay vigilant during your festivities. Then crack open a bottle of wine or martini shaker when you get home after the kids are asleep. If you don’t drink, it’s no problem! You can still mix up a relaxing mocktail.   My favorite? Kombucha Christmas Cosmo. Don’t worry, you don’t have to come up with a recipe on your own, you can find this easy recipe and more at OurStableTable.com.

Carri Saum Bio Pic 2Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical fields. She has a background in paramedic medicine and spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet the health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. She has coached countless clients on topics such as nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and blogs regularly about healthy cooking and nourishing the whole family with The Leaky Boob’s sister site  OurStableTable.com and Facebook page. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.
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TLB Sponsor Black Friday Deals and Beyond

Jessica and Kitty A.

Happy Holidays, dear Leakies!

Many of the wonderful sponsors of The Leaky Boob who believe that you deserve to receive quality support, encouragement, and information, would like to extend special discounts and offers to you this Holiday season!  From Black Friday, to Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, and beyond, please take a look at the list below to see if there is just the deal you were looking for!

If not for you, then why not for a friend?  Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a season of giving.  Who do you know that would just love to receive one of the special items below?

From The Leaky Boob and all TLB community sponsors, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and wonderful Holidays!

 ___________________________

Black Friday, November 28

___________________________

16 Minute Club  Home-delivered lactation support goodie boxes for new moms
Receive a 30% discount code for Black Friday weekend when you sign up to receive emails from 16 Minute Club here

 

A Mothers Boutique  Nursing bras, maternity/breastfeeding clothing & accessories
Up to 75% off various items at mothersboutique.com with more and more deals each day; featuring maternity and clothing, and bras!

 

Amamante! Nursingwear    Designs with Mothers in Mind and Babies at Heart
20-50% off at lactationconnection.com with great brands like Bravado and Snugabell’s PumpEase.  Nursing mothers can always use a deal for their budget!

 

Arm’s Reach     Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet. Sleep Better. Sleep Closer. Sleep Safer
FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $150 placed on armsreach.com
- 20% off select styles (Mini Arc CoSleeper in Toffee Dot & Toffee Strip, Mini Arc Convertible in Santa Fe, Aurora Contempo Crib) at armsreach.com

 

Bamboobies     Cloud-soft nursing pads, organic, fair trade, leak-proof, bamboo
Free for shipping Black Heart Bamboobies nursing pads in the Black Heart freebies event (while supplies last)
30-50% everything at buybamboobies.com

 

Bébé Au Lait      Stylish nursing covers with an open neckline so mom can see baby
30% off everything at bebeaulait.com

 

Cezara             Belly support panty: pregnancy, postpartum, & after Cesarean
$10 off the Cezara belly panty at cezara.com, use code Thanksgiving2014

 

Clek                  Carseat excellence: smart, timeless, tested, safe travel vessels
Special promotions here for US sales, and here for sales in Canada

 

Freja Toys        Eco-friendly knitted baby-wearing dolls, baby toys, bf necklaces
25% off everything at frejatoys.etsy.com

 

JunoBlu           Fashionable breast pump bags for On-The-Go moms
Up to 30% many favorite Mom and Baby brands like Undercover Mama, Bamboobies, MilkMakers, and Juno Blu of course,  at ohbabyblackfriday.com with code OHBABY2014

 

KoalaKin          Hands-free nursing pouch, adjustable, comfortable
30% off any KoalaKin at koalakin.com with code KoalaBlack

 

LílléBaby         The most COMPLETE baby carrier for stylish parents on-the-go
20-25% off carriers at lillebaby.com

 

Little Spruce Organics  Everything organic! diapers, baby & nursing apparel, toys
20% off all regular priced items at littlespruceorganics.com with code blessings2014
– Check out clearance items too, and a special 30% discount on all Engel organic wool/silk Sports apparel

 

Momzelle         Breastfeeding clothing, maternity wear, nursing tops for hip moms
Up to 40% off all nursing tops and dresses at momzelle.com/us

 

Mrs Patel’s         All-natural treats and teas to help increase milk supply
35% off all products (excluding packages) at mrsmilk.com with code thankswknd14 (can’t be combined with other discount codes)

 

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear  Your baby’s heartbeat recorded in a cuddly teddy bear
30% off everything at mybabysheartbeatbear.com with code GOBBLE

 

Naked Nursing Tank    Breastfeed in any top without showing your tummy!
15% off all tanks at nakedtank.com with code BLKFCBRM

 

Nine Naturals  All-natural, quality beauty products for pregnant and nursing moms
– Spend $75+, get 15% off with code BF15 at ninenaturals.com
– Spend $125+, get 20% off with code BF20
– Spend $200+, get 25% off with code BF25

 

NursePurse      Stylish breast pump bag for all your essentials – laptop too!
Free shipping and 20% everything at nursepurse.com with code FRIDAY20

 

Nursing Bra Express   Nursing bras, nursingwear, baby slings, breastfeeding covers
10-15% off every nursing bra at nursingbraexpress.com

 

Pebble            Fair-trade baby hats, rattles, decor by 1000’s of Bangladeshi women
Free Shipping for orders over $25 at kahiniwalla.com in the Continental US
– Orders over $50 receive a free Holiday Ornament Set ($19.95 value) while supplies last

 

Rhoost             Eco-friendly childproofing and grooming products
15% off at rhoost.com with code holidaypromo15

 

Rumina          Comfortable, supportive, hands-free pumping bra in a nursing tank
Free shipping and 20% off the entire Pump&Nurse Collection at ruminaformoms.com with code TankU14

 

Sloomb            Merino knits and natural diapering for your little hipsters ♥
15% off most products at www.sloomb.com

 

Snugabell        Hands-free pumping supports, secure, comfortable, fabulous
10% off PumpEase with additional 10% going to support local breastfeeding advocacy.  Use coupon code THXMAMAS at checkout to give AND save!  snugabell.com or Amazon.com (more information here)

 

The Dairy Fairy   The only nursing bra that multitasks as much as you do
20% off each item in your order at shop.thedairyfairy.com with code Txgiving20

 

The Vintage Honey Shop  Mamas rock, babies chomp! Teething/nursing necklaces.
20% off everything at thevintagehoneyshop.etsy.com with code BLACKFRIDAY

 

Undercover Mama   Breastfeeding wardrobe solution! Stylish strapless camisole
30% off everything at undercovermama.com with code GIVE30

 

___________________________

Small Business Saturday, November 29

___________________________

16 Minute Club  Home-delivered lactation support goodie boxes for new moms
Receive a 30% discount code for Black Friday weekend when you sign up to receive emails from 16 Minute Club here

 

A Mothers Boutique  Nursing bras, maternity/breastfeeding clothing & accessories
Up to 75% off various items at mothersboutique.com with more and more deals each day; featuring maternity and clothing, and bras!

 

Amamante! Nursingwear    Designs with Mothers in Mind and Babies at Heart
20-50% off at lactationconnection.com with great brands like Bravado and Snugabell’s PumpEase.  Nursing mothers can always use a deal for their budget!

 

Arm’s Reach     Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet. Sleep Better. Sleep Closer. Sleep Safer
– FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $150 placed on armsreach.com
20% off select styles (Mini Arc CoSleeper in Toffee Dot & Toffee Strip, Mini Arc Convertible in Santa Fe, Aurora Contempo Crib) at armsreach.com

 

Bamboobies     Cloud-soft nursing pads, organic, fair trade, leak-proof, bamboo
Free for shipping Black Heart Bamboobies nursing pads in the Black Heart freebies event (while supplies last)
30-50% everything at buybamboobies.com

 

Bébé Au Lait      Stylish nursing covers with an open neckline so mom can see baby
30% off everything at bebeaulait.com

 

Cezara             Belly support panty: pregnancy, postpartum, & after Cesarean
$10 off the Cezara belly panty at cezara.com, use code Thanksgiving2014

 

Clek                  Carseat excellence: smart, timeless, tested, safe travel vessels
Special promotions here for US sales, and here for sales in Canada

 

Freja Toys        Eco-friendly knitted baby-wearing dolls, baby toys, bf necklaces
25% off everything at frejatoys.etsy.com

 

LílléBaby         The most COMPLETE baby carrier for stylish parents on-the-go
20-25% off carriers at lillebaby.com

 

Little Spruce Organics  Everything organic! diapers, baby & nursing apparel, toys
20% off all regular priced items at littlespruceorganics.com with code blessings2014
– Check out clearance items too, and a special 30% discount on all Engel organic wool/silk Sports apparel

 

Momzelle         Breastfeeding clothing, maternity wear, nursing tops for hip moms
Up to 40% off all nursing tops and dresses at momzelle.com/us

 

Mrs Patel’s         All-natural treats and teas to help increase milk supply
35% off all products (excluding packages) at mrsmilk.com with code thankswknd14 (can’t be combined with other discount codes)

 

Naked Nursing Tank    Breastfeed in any top without showing your tummy!
15% off all tanks at nakedtank.com with code BLKFCBRM

 

NursePurse      Stylish breast pump bag for all your essentials – laptop too!
Free shipping and 20% everything at nursepurse.com with code SHOPSMALL

 

Nursing Bra Express   Nursing bras, nursingwear, baby slings, breastfeeding covers
10-15% off every nursing bra at nursingbraexpress.com

 

Pebble            Fair-trade baby hats, rattles, decor by 1000’s of Bangladeshi women
Free Shipping for orders over $25 at kahiniwalla.com in the Continental US
– Orders over $50 receive a free Holiday Ornament Set ($19.95 value) while supplies last

 

Rhoost             Eco-friendly childproofing and grooming products
15% off at rhoost.com with code holidaypromo15

 

Sloomb            Merino knits and natural diapering for your little hipsters ♥
15% off most products at www.sloomb.com

 

Snugabell        Hands-free pumping supports, secure, comfortable, fabulous
10% off PumpEase with additional 10% going to support local breastfeeding advocacy.  Use coupon code THXMAMAS at checkout to give AND save!  snugabell.com or Amazon.com (more information here)

 

The Dairy Fairy   The only nursing bra that multitasks as much as you do
20% off each item in your order at shop.thedairyfairy.com with code Txgiving20

 

The Vintage Honey Shop  Mamas rock, babies chomp! Teething/nursing necklaces.
15% off everything at thevintagehoneyshop.etsy.com with code VHHOLIDAY

 

Undercover Mama   Breastfeeding wardrobe solution! Stylish strapless camisole
30% off everything at undercovermama.com with code GIVE30

 

___________________________

Sunday, November 30

___________________________

16 Minute Club  Home-delivered lactation support goodie boxes for new moms
Receive a 30% discount code for Black Friday weekend when you sign up to receive emails from 16 Minute Club here

 

A Mothers Boutique  Nursing bras, maternity/breastfeeding clothing & accessories
Up to 75% off various items at mothersboutique.com with more and more deals each day; featuring maternity and clothing, and bras!

 

Amamante! Nursingwear    Designs with Mothers in Mind and Babies at Heart
20-50% off at lactationconnection.com with great brands like Bravado and Snugabell’s PumpEase.  Nursing mothers can always use a deal for their budget!

 

Arm’s Reach     Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet. Sleep Better. Sleep Closer. Sleep Safer
– FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $150 placed on armsreach.com
20% off select styles (Mini Arc CoSleeper in Toffee Dot & Toffee Strip, Mini Arc Convertible in Santa Fe, Aurora Contempo Crib) at armsreach.com

 

Bamboobies     Cloud-soft nursing pads, organic, fair trade, leak-proof, bamboo
- Free for shipping Black Heart Bamboobies nursing pads in the Black Heart freebies event (while supplies last)
30-50% everything at buybamboobies.com

 

Bébé Au Lait      Stylish nursing covers with an open neckline so mom can see baby
30% off everything at bebeaulait.com

 

Cezara             Belly support panty: pregnancy, postpartum, & after Cesarean
$10 off the Cezara belly panty at cezara.com, use code Thanksgiving2014

 

Clek                  Carseat excellence: smart, timeless, tested, safe travel vessels
Special promotions here for US sales, and here for sales in Canada

 

Freja Toys        Eco-friendly knitted baby-wearing dolls, baby toys, bf necklaces
25% off everything at frejatoys.etsy.com

 

LílléBaby         The most COMPLETE baby carrier for stylish parents on-the-go
20-25% off carriers at lillebaby.com

 

Little Spruce Organics  Everything organic! diapers, baby & nursing apparel, toys
20% off all regular priced items at littlespruceorganics.com with code blessings2014
– Check out clearance items too, and a special 30% discount on all Engel organic wool/silk Sports apparel

 

Momzelle         Breastfeeding clothing, maternity wear, nursing tops for hip moms
Up to 40% off all nursing tops and dresses at momzelle.com/us

 

Mrs Patel’s         All-natural treats and teas to help increase milk supply
35% off all products (excluding packages) at mrsmilk.com with code thankswknd14 (can’t be combined with other discount codes)

 

Naked Nursing Tank    Breastfeed in any top without showing your tummy!
15% off all tanks at nakedtank.com with code BLKFCBRM

 

Nursing Bra Express   Nursing bras, nursingwear, baby slings, breastfeeding covers
10-15% off every nursing bra at nursingbraexpress.com

 

Pebble            Fair-trade baby hats, rattles, decor by 1000’s of Bangladeshi women
Free Shipping for orders over $25 at kahiniwalla.com in the Continental US
– Orders over $50 receive a free Holiday Ornament Set ($19.95 value) while supplies last

 

Rhoost             Eco-friendly childproofing and grooming products
15% off at rhoost.com with code holidaypromo15

 

Sloomb            Merino knits and natural diapering for your little hipsters ♥
15% off most products at www.sloomb.com

 

Snugabell        Hands-free pumping supports, secure, comfortable, fabulous
10% off PumpEase with additional 10% going to support local breastfeeding advocacy.  Use coupon code THXMAMAS at checkout to give AND save!  snugabell.com or Amazon.com (more information here)

 

The Dairy Fairy   The only nursing bra that multitasks as much as you do
20% off each item in your order at shop.thedairyfairy.com with code Txgiving20

 

The Vintage Honey Shop  Mamas rock, babies chomp! Teething/nursing necklaces.
15% off everything at thevintagehoneyshop.etsy.com with code VHHOLIDAY

 

Undercover Mama   Breastfeeding wardrobe solution! Stylish strapless camisole
30% off everything at undercovermama.com with code GIVE30

 

___________________________

Cyber Monday, December 1

___________________________

A Mothers Boutique  Nursing bras, maternity/breastfeeding clothing & accessories
Up to 75% off various items at mothersboutique.com with more and more deals each day; featuring maternity and clothing, and bras!

 

Amamante! Nursingwear    Designs with Mothers in Mind and Babies at Heart
20-50% off at lactationconnection.com with great brands like Bravado and Snugabell’s PumpEase.  Nursing mothers can always use a deal for their budget!

 

Arm’s Reach     Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet. Sleep Better. Sleep Closer. Sleep Safer
– FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $150 placed on armsreach.com
20% off select styles (Mini Arc CoSleeper in Toffee Dot & Toffee Strip, Mini Arc Convertible in Santa Fe, Aurora Contempo Crib) at armsreach.com

 

Bamboobies     Cloud-soft nursing pads, organic, fair trade, leak-proof, bamboo
Free for shipping Black Heart Bamboobies nursing pads in the Black Heart freebies event (while supplies last)
30-50% everything at buybamboobies.com

 

Bébé Au Lait      Stylish nursing covers with an open neckline so mom can see baby
30% off everything at bebeaulait.com

 

Cezara             Belly support panty: pregnancy, postpartum, & after Cesarean
$10 off the Cezara belly panty at cezara.com, use code Thanksgiving2014

 

Clek                  Carseat excellence: smart, timeless, tested, safe travel vessels
Special promotions here for US sales, and here for sales in Canada

 

Freja Toys        Eco-friendly knitted baby-wearing dolls, baby toys, bf necklaces
25% off everything at frejatoys.etsy.com

 

LílléBaby         The most COMPLETE baby carrier for stylish parents on-the-go
20-25% off carriers at lillebaby.com

 

Little Spruce Organics  Everything organic! diapers, baby & nursing apparel, toys
20% off all regular priced items at littlespruceorganics.com with code blessings2014

 

Momzelle         Breastfeeding clothing, maternity wear, nursing tops for hip moms
Up to 40% off all nursing tops and dresses at momzelle.com/us

 

Mrs Patel’s         All-natural treats and teas to help increase milk supply
Free bag of one of our milk-making tea blends with purchase of 2 or more boxes of Fenugreek Bars at mrsmilk.com with code mrsmonday14 (can’t be combined with other discount codes)

 

Naked Nursing Tank    Breastfeed in any top without showing your tummy!
15% off all tanks at nakedtank.com with code BLKFCBRM

 

Nine Naturals  All-natural, quality beauty products for pregnant and nursing moms
Free Body Balm with every purchase at ninenaturals.com!  Our gift to you!

 

NursePurse      Stylish breast pump bag for all your essentials – laptop too!
Free shipping and 20% everything at nursepurse.com with code MONDAY20

 

Nursing Bra Express   Nursing bras, nursingwear, baby slings, breastfeeding covers
10-15% off every nursing bra at nursingbraexpress.com

 

Pebble            Fair-trade baby hats, rattles, decor by 1000’s of Bangladeshi women
Free Shipping for orders over $25 at kahiniwalla.com in the Continental US
– Orders over $50 receive a free Holiday Ornament Set ($19.95 value) while supplies last

 

Rhoost             Eco-friendly childproofing and grooming products
15% off at rhoost.com with code holidaypromo15

 

Sloomb            Merino knits and natural diapering for your little hipsters ♥
15% off most products at www.sloomb.com

 

Snugabell        Hands-free pumping supports, secure, comfortable, fabulous
10% off PumpEase with additional 10% going to support local breastfeeding advocacy.  Use coupon code THXMAMAS at checkout to give AND save!  snugabell.com or Amazon.com (more information here)

 

The Dairy Fairy   The only nursing bra that multitasks as much as you do
20% off each item in your order at shop.thedairyfairy.com with code Txgiving20

 

The Vintage Honey Shop  Mamas rock, babies chomp! Teething/nursing necklaces.
15% off everything at thevintagehoneyshop.etsy.com with code VHHOLIDAY

 

Undercover Mama   Breastfeeding wardrobe solution! Stylish strapless camisole
30% off everything at undercovermama.com with code GIVE30

 

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December 2nd, and Beyond!

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Bébé Au Lait      Stylish nursing covers with an open neckline so mom can see baby
30% off everything at bebeaulait.com
Through December 2.

 

Cezara             Belly support panty: pregnancy, postpartum, & after Cesarean
$10 off the Cezara belly panty at cezara.com, use code Thanksgiving2014
Through December 3.

 

Clek                  Carseat excellence: smart, timeless, tested, safe travel vessels
Select carseats on sale in the clearance section; here for US sales, and here for sales in Canada

 

Freja Toys        Eco-friendly knitted baby-wearing dolls, baby toys, bf necklaces
20% off everything at frejatoys.etsy.com
Through December 9

 

Rhoost             Eco-friendly childproofing and grooming products
15% off at rhoost.com with code holidaypromo15
Through December 31!

 

Snugabell        Hands-free pumping supports, secure, comfortable, fabulous
10% off PumpEase with additional 10% going to support local breastfeeding advocacy.  Use coupon code THXMAMAS at checkout to give AND save!  snugabell.com or Amazon.com (more information here)
Through December 2.

Unless specified, discounts apply to US residents only.

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Twelve Days of Thanks

Today I’m grateful for… you. Friends, community, family.

Beco 12 days of thanks

This Thanksgiving season, our community is focusing on what we all have to be grateful for and paying it forward. Because we know how hard it can be to juggle everything, in having our hands full we sometimes forget it a blessing.

So we’ve teamed up with Beco Baby Carriers for 12 Days of Thanks to hear your gratitude stories from your life and then to pay it forward. Sharing stories every day for the next 12 days, we’ll be drawing 5 winners for a Beco Gemini and sending 5 Beco Soleils to Serenity Infant Care Homes for the foster families caring for newborn babies.

Serenity Infant Care Homes, Inc. was founded by three social workers in response to the need for foster homes and programs. Incorporated in 1990, Serenity serves the children of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Serenity Infant Care Homes, Inc. is a non-profit agency whose mission is to provide quality foster care homes for abused, abandoned and neglected infants, as well as for drug affected infants that require special emphasis. Having served over 1500 children and families since the program was incorporated in June 1990, Serenity’s goal is provide treatment and resources to ensure that the child is ultimately placed in a safe, secure environment. The primary goal of Serenity is family reunification but should those efforts fail, Serenity is committed to seeing the children in their care in a secondary, permanent home.

 Join us in celebrating all we have to give thanks for and supporting other families with their full hands full of children and hearts full of love.

Twelve Days of Thanks

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KoalaKin Fall Giveaway

KoalaKin, with its one-of-a-kind hands-free nursing pouch, loves to support new moms in their journey.  Vivian, founder and creator of KoalaKin, wants to show her support by offering a KoalaKin nursing pouch in a free giveaway.  I’ve asked her to tell us a little about the other ways that she likes to support new moms:

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Vivian, creator and founder of KoalaKin.

 

TLB: For every product created, there is a story behind it, a motivating drive that moved a person to invest their energy, creativity, time, and resources to make that product.  What drove you to create the KoalaKin? 

Vivian: I’m all about making life easier for moms, especially in those first few months with their new baby. That is the most critical time for their breastfeeding relationship and I’ve seen SO many moms give up breastfeeding because it was too hard / complicated / time consuming / painful, etc…

It seems to me that many moms are willing to give BF a try, but if the level of “investment” or sacrifice is too high for them (always such a personal thing), they will give it up.

 

TLB: How can the KoalaKin help with this? 

Vivian: I created the KoalaKin to “decrease” that level of investment and sacrifice, in the hopes that this will help moms stick with it longer – until it gets easier and more manageable.

In other words, the KoalaKin is there to help get moms through the difficult times by perfectly positioning the baby at the breast, freeing up mom’s hands, promoting a healthy, ergonomic posture, and allowing moms to be more mobile. All in the hopes they’ll stick w breastfeeding for as long as they can / want. Because the longer they do it, the better off babies will be.

That’s what the KoalaKin is all about.

 

TLB: Are there other ways that you and KoalaKin are there to support moms? 

Vivian: Yes!  One thing I created for new moms is a guide on what to expect when breastfeeding their newborn (in the first 3 months).  And then there’s social media.  My desire is  to create a non-judgmental space where moms can gather and share information that will help them in their breastfeeding efforts / journey.

And here is where:
Facebook
Twitter
KoalaKin Blog 

KoalaKin_Logo_Fnl_NOshad_newGrn_web2

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Vivian is offering one KoalaKin Hands-Free Nursing Pouch to one lucky Leakie!  
Color and size to be chosen by the winner
Retail Value: $89.99

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Koalakin Hands Free Nursing Pouch (5)

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 20, 2014 through December 1, 2014.  A big thanks to Vivian and KoalaKin for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. entries only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Move Over Kim Kardashian, Breastfeeding Breaks The Internet!

by Jessica Martin-Weber

So KK wants to break the internet with a picture of her butt, breastfeeders know that to break the internet all you have to do is put a picture up of a baby being breastfed and the internet loses it’s mind. Move over Kim, you think balancing a champagne glass on your butt is hard while holding a bottle of champagne? Try balancing an empty bottle while being hooked up to a breast pump and expressing breastmilk as milk shoots over your head right into the bottle on your butt. Now that is talent.

 

Breastfeeding Kim Kardashian Jamie Witwerr

In case you’re wondering, the above image was created by Jamie Wittwer and posted on twitter, it is photoshopped and it’s one of the cutest and most funny knock-off’s of KK’s champagne photo in Paper Magazine I’ve seen. Sometimes, photoshop is just fun and having fun is… well… fun.

There’s an ongoing conversation happening about what women can show of their bodies and why. From bikini selfies to breastfeeding selfies, from Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper Magazine to Olivia Wilde breastfeeding in Galmour Magazine. Typically the reactions to such images range from “oh no, a woman’s body is showing!” to “good for her, I think it’s beautiful.”

Whatever you think of whatever type of pictures, there is a rather interesting dichotomy at play, while there are some that don’t like any of the photos and think all women should be covered head to toe all the time (burkas for all!), there are those who appreciate one but loath the other. Judging from the comments posted on social media and the numerous articles covering these images, the reasons seem to be taking issue with photoshopped versions of the female body, the over sexualization and objectification of the female body, the messages underlying such images that girls and women are to be valued based on their sex appeal, or being grossed out with a baby sucking on the female breast, that “nobody wants to see that,” that breastfeeding is a personal bonding moment and such intimacy shouldn’t be shared, judging how narcissistic those breastfeeding moms must be to take and post a photo of themselves feeding their baby, and my personal favorite: that peeing and pooping are natural too but nobody wants to see pictures of that posted anywhere. Some good points are made in the critics and there are certainly some concerns we should be wrestling with both as individuals and as a society but nonetheless, there is a rather obvious double standard here for some: sexy images are good, nurturing ones are bad. “Breast is best” (stupid saying) but sexy is better.

How hypocritical of our society to encourage breastfeeding, even to the point of moms feeling pressured to breastfeed but then only value them when they appear in such a way that they’re a MILF. Do the “best” thing for your baby, be the “best” mom, but we don’t want to see it, we just want you to be invisible or “do-able.”

Alyssa Milano pointed out the hypocrisy of some of the reactions when Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover came out, not to criticize Kim, just noticing that there seems to be a double standard: naked women oiled up and looking sexy in digitally altered images including full frontals are fine and labeled “artistic” and “bold.” But an image of a woman feeding her baby at her breast is argued against as disgusting, inappropriate, and narcissistic, plus those that are so concerned that the mother’s full attention isn’t on the child that is actually at her breast feeding 32 times a day.

Question: every time you share a meal with someone do you never, ever, ever stop gazing lovingly in their eyes and have candlelight every time? Wouldn’t each meal time having to be an intimate bonding experience get exhausting?

Milano’s tweets got some cheers and some leers, not everybody has a problem with this double standard.

Alyssa Milano Kim Kardashian tweet copy

Personally I’m not a big fan of Kim’s photos in Paper Magazine and truthfully I don’t care. I’m shocked that somehow I’ve managed to write about KK at all here at all (let alone more than once) but here she is in the public eye and people are talking about her (including me too I guess) and she’s brought up some questions that even get my attention. The only real commentary I have is as long as she was ok with it, was aware and approved the photoshopping, then who am I to say anything? It’s not my style, I don’t particularly care for it, I certainly wouldn’t do it, and I can see the artistic value of it even if it doesn’t appeal to me. There are lots of other controversial questions about it that I find more interesting, such as the question of racist undertones and history of the artist. Overall though, it doesn’t bother me. I sat down with my older children ages 11, 13, and 15, showed them the images and asked them what they thought of them and I’m grateful for the conversation that came out of that. They got hung up on the unrealistic position of the wine glass and the lack of pubic hair (“why would anyone do that? Doesn’t it hurt? It looks like a little girl, how is that sexy?”) and after sharing their reactions, concerns, and thoughts on the images, decided it wasn’t for them. I’m ok with my daughters seeing images like this and if I had sons I would be ok with that as well. And I want them to see images like the one of Jamie Wittwer above and images of average people like you and me too.

And I want to laugh at it all sometimes. Maybe even break the internet.

Break the internet Kim Kardashian breastfeeding

Jamie Witwerr thinks it would be fun to break the internet with breastfeeding, join her and post your breastfeeding photos on social media.

The Paper Magazine images haven’t been without controversy but there does seem to be quite a few that praise the images and Kim’s flaunting of her body but are quick to say disparaging comments about breastfeeding photos.  The double standard is just one facet of how women are policed by society and overvalued in one aspect (for their sexuality) and undervalued for their many other facets, including but not limited to motherhood.

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What do you think? Is there a double standard for how women are viewed?

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