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Month: June 2015

The “S” Word

It’s official, our due date is tomorrow! As we prep our home for the newest Doell addition, I’m reminded how adding a newborn into the mix can mess with the schedule that I have built over the last 2.5 years. One big “wrench in the gears” is SLEEP! I often get asked how I am able to train while having kids. One key ingredient that brings balance to our home is Sleep Training. I know what you’re thinking, you’ve heard all of this before. But before you write it off, I challenge you to read this article. I asked my friend and baby guru Desiree to write a series of articles on Sleep Training because I believe in supporting moms with helpful information, and to reassure them that the process isn’t perfect! Maybe you have tried it and failed, never heard of Sleep Training before, or potentially you have used this method in the past and this is just a good refresher. Either way, I truly believe your sleepy mom body will benefit from this article.

Enjoy~~*

Rachel

Desiree 1

 

 

The “S” Word

With varying styles of attachment parenting on the rise, many questions and concerns are being discussed around the idea of traditional “Sleep Training”, thus raising the question, when should I sleep train my baby, if at all?

When it comes to parenting, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Books are great, advice is often helpful, but at the end of the day you need to find that special “something” that speaks to you as a parent, and your parenting style. Wait a sec, do you have a parenting style? Something to think about…

When should I sleep train my baby?

This is a question I get asked all the time by parents, and the answer is typically the same every time; never! My personal approach supports starting from day one by building healthy, age appropriate sleep habits. This doesn’t mean you are sleep training a 2 week old; quite the opposite! It’s a beautiful time that allows you to teach the skill of sleep, and, wait for it… this might mean rocking her to sleep; yup I said it, letting her fall asleep in your arms, and doing it often! By using gentle techniques that allow you to do this, and eventually has you transitioning to gently asking for more. The idea is never to get to the place where you have to sleep train. This is not easy and certainly comes with it’s own difficult obstacles, however, building a healthy, confident sleeper from day one allows you to avoid dealing with sleep problems, and traditional sleep training down the road. Sleep Training has it’s pluses, but trust me when I say that this is not the easiest road for anyone to go down.

Typically, by the time you are at the place you feel you NEED to sleep train, a few things are already too far gone. The distant memory of

showering on a daily basis, not to mention actually doing your hair or makeup, the feeling of dread as the night slowly approaches and you know exactly what’s in store! The endless hours of bouncing, rocking, shushing, possibly an argument or two about just letting her cry it out, followed by a plan that makes almost no sense to you, but in the moment it’s all you’ve got. Yet somehow by the end of the night you feel so overwhelmed that you do that thing you judged all of your friends for doing; you swore that would never be you! But tonight you brought your baby to bed, gave her a nice cozy feed and finally fell asleep together for one precious hour before you had to start the day all over again. Or maybe, just maybe you decided to keep her in her bed, seeing you are so dead set on her never coming to your room; you did the unthinkable, you slept in her room, IN her crib, WITH her in it. Don’t get me wrong here, co-sleeping is great! If you want to co-sleep, this should be a choice and a style of parenting you are intentionally practicing. I think co-sleeping is wonderful, and I work with many clients who practice this, so long as it is chosen and it’s working for you!

I’m going to tell you a huge secret – you’re not alone! This is happening, people, and it’s happening a lot. So let’s stop pretending we’ve got it all together; we don’t, and that’s okay! The unrealistic pressure that Moms have on themselves today is coo-coo-ca-choo! Listen I’m all for making your own baby food, breast feeding until they go to college, pretending that the baby slept throughout the night, when really…it was only 2 hours, and you had the Miele vacuum cleaner running in her room the whole time, because that’s the only way she falls asleep – that’s cool! How about we give ourselves a break, realize what a crazy hard thing this is, and chill with the “Mompetition” for a minute. You’re amazing and you’re doing a super job just the way you are, and this is NORMAL!

Now that we’ve started being a little kinder to ourselves let’s give you some tips to set you up for success! Here are my top ten general tips for setting up healthy sleep for your little one.

1. Once baby is about 6-8 weeks old, pay attention to the late nap and the 9-10pm witching hour. If your baby is napping around 6:30pm, this usually means they are ready for a bedtime routine to be put in place. Start aiming for a bedtime between 6:30-7:30pm and see how baby responds.

2. Is your baby overtired? If baby is overtired it will be difficult at nap time and bedtime. Try following the idea that anything over 1.5 hours of wakeful time for a baby under 4 months is plenty; they should be asleep by the 1.5 hour mark, or sooner if they are showing tired signs.

3. Create a calm soothing environment for sleep. Motion naps are also fine; the stroller is a great place to have a nap and it gets you out of the house. I would suggest aiming for one nap a day at home in the crib or bassinet, so baby is used to sleeping at home but you are also not feeling housebound.

4. Try to encourage independent playtime. It’s a great way to establish a happy, confident baby that doesn’t always need you for everything they do. The idea is as long as they are happy, let them be. Make sure you include intentional play often with baby, and lots of face time.

5. Try putting baby down awake, soothing until she is sleepy but not sleeping and gently put her in her crib. Stay with her, patting and shushing until she falls asleep, picking up and putting down if you feel she needs it. Encourage self-soothing!

6. Make the room as dark as possible, (Led Zeppelin light show not permitted). Try using a sound machine, make sure the sound stays on all night, and is no louder than the volume of a shower.

7. Be consistent creating smooth, calm transitions. Babies are creatures of habit and, like us, they like to know what’s coming next.

8. Go with your intuition; it’s usually right. You, and only you know what’s right for your family. Make sure whatever it is you decide to do, you feel it’s what YOU want. Everything written in books and even in this article, are generalized, it’s not speaking specifically to you and your unique situation, so if you feel something isn’t working perfectly, it’s not you. You may wish to consult someone for a more specific personalized plan.

9. There is no “How To” guide for your baby; you are doing a great job! 10. Be kind to yourself, this is the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

Desiree Cluff www.Rockababy.ca 604-499-4044

desiree

Squat Jumps: Exercise Tips

Goal of Exercise:

Forget finding a free treadmill to do your cardio! Squat jumps are one of the best ways to train the legs for power, speed and muscle tone. Throw these in between your weight sets and turn your normal boring cardio into an excellent burn for the lower body.

Primary Muscles Worked

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Assisting muscles-
  • Calves
  • Abdominals

Vegan Mexican Quinoa Burritos: Tasha’s Kitchen

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All of these ingredients can be purchased at a grocery store like Nature’s Fare.  I used all organic ingredients.

Gluten free, Vegan, 30 min

This one pot mexican dish will have your family and guests coming back for seconds. This dish is so simple to whip up, it takes 30 min from start to finish. I like to use rainbow chard for the ‘wrap’, but you can easily just serve as is with diced avocado on top, or even better would be guacamole! I pretty sure this meal will be on your weekly meal plan because it is so easy, so healthy, so fast,  and so tasty!  If you do want to add meat to these, you can easily add cooked chicken into your wrap.  You could also use ground turkey or chicken too! The possibilities are endless!

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 Ingredients:

  • 1 large clove garlic chopped
  • 1 TB coconut oil
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 large red, or yellow, or orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans (also called chick peas)
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or herbamare
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 avacado
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2cup – 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • rainbow chard for the wraps

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Directions:

Stir-fry the oil, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeño in a deep pan for about 2 minutes, add all other ingredients except for the last 4 (avocado, lime, cilantro, chard)

Stir it all together, bring it to a boil and then simmer with a lid until the quinoa  is cooked which is usually about 20 min.

Add in the lime and chopped cilantro. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Wrap it up with your chard ‘wraps’, or your favourite gluten free wrap, or serve on romaine lettuce ‘boats’.  Oh and don’t forget to add the diced avocado!

Im sure you’ll enjoy this dish however you choose to serve it.

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Our Maternity Shoot

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When the time came to book my maternity photos, I had a ton of ideas, most of which were centred around capturing what the pregnancy of a modern woman should look like. But as the day of the shoot got closer, my idea of the perfect maternity photos started to change. After shelving my other ideas, my new focus was to capture the love I have for the men who have carried me through this pregnancy.  My heart actually feels like it’s going to burst when I think about the amount of love, laughter and support my little family has been over the past 9 months. I love working with Rebecca, because she truly understands my heart and not only listens to what I have to say, but turns my ideas into reality.

McCarthy has been Mommy’s little protector, constantly affirming me with words like ” You are beautiful Mommy” and “You are so special.” Over and above that, he often lets me know that he already loves this baby so much, which melts my heart!

Bennett has been my daily dose of laughter, constant snuggler and my reminder to always have a sense of adventure…You are my light!

Troy…Constant, strong and calm with a loving spirit that holds us all together. Thank you for reminding me to laugh on days I feel like crying, for celebrating every season of this journey and reminding me of the woman you see when I start to forget what she looks like.

I love these men with everything inside of me, and these photos truly capture what it’s like living with 3 Doell boys! Thank you, Rebecca Siewert, for delivering the most unbelievable photos and always being so accommodating while working with energetic little boys. You are one of the best!

Photography: Rebecca Siewert 

Makeup: Nicole McCluskie

My Dresses: Ginger Lily Kelowna

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