Saturday, July 27, 2013

Baby Led Weaning

So I have been having a lot of people ask me about what I do with my daughter and introducing solids. Well, I am doing what is called Baby Led Weaning (BLW). The purpose of BLW according to Gill Rapley "Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solid foods that allows babies to feed themselves - there’s no spoon feeding and no purées. The baby sits with the family at mealtimes and joins in when she is ready, feeding herself first with her fingers and later with cutlery." My daughter absolutely loves it I only started this week because she is barely 6m old. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends waiting to start solids until 4-6 months (but preferable closer to 6 due to the possibility of digestive tract issues). But BLW is not to be started until 6 months. Since BLW is skipping purees, most moms choose to wait a full 6 months. This is because you want to make sure your child is ready for it. They should be able to sit (assisted or unassisted), be able to grab food (you are not supposed to spoon feed them, they need to experiment on their own and learn what they like). Spoon feeding has been linked to possible over feeding because some moms don't know when baby is full and just finish a whole jar.

The practice of BLW lets baby eat as fast or as slow and when to finish. Since I am still breastfeeding I still nurse about ever 2-3 hours. I let her try something solid once a day. Because breastmilk is very filling (she only eats about 3-4oz at 6 months old) she does not eat alot of solids. for example, I cut up a banana and she only ate about 4 peices and she was done. You should always offer the breast (or bottle of formula) first to make sure they are getting all their nutrients. That is VERY important. Do not replace a meal until your child is eating a full course meal with all nutrients (after one year old). I follow the practice "Food before 1 is just for fun", meaning I will continue to breastfeed for all her meals, but allow her to experiment with different tastes and textures. AAP states "The AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. When you add solid foods to your baby’s diet, continue breastfeeding until at least 12 months. You can continue to breastfeed after 12 months if you and your baby desire."

Today I gave my daughter a slice of apple. I cut the peel off because that is a little more difficult and i didn't want her to not be able to gnaw on it. So I cut it up in a large slice that she could hold, and she just sucked on it and used her newly growing bottom teeth to kind of scrape it. She really likes it. She obviously can not bite off a piece or  so she basically was just getting some flavor. That is what BLW is about in the beginning. Not nutrients because she gets that from breast milk, but just being able to taste different things. It's so much yummier than baby food. Have you ever tried baby food? Bland and non yummy. If you wonder about all the different flavors not being good for baby (spices and such) how do you expect to give your baby bland, tasteless food and then at 1 year expect it to be fine. I would think that would be more drastic. This way, she is introduced to anything she wants. The only limited thing is honey and too much added salt. She can eat anything she feels like.  Just put it in front of her and she will choose. Don't expect her to eat too much, remember she is still reliant on breast milk. This is just something for her to experiment with.

This is Melodie with her apple this morning. :)

I hope you have learned something new from this entry. I never knew about BLW with my son and I think he would have loved it. I plan to continue with this, and don't really plan on giving her any purees. Comments, questions, or concerns? Write below or email me at

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just a little extra

Intact VS. Circumcised Penis

I know this is probably going to cause some kind of debate or bad mouthing or something, but it is something that I have become to believe it. Anti-circumcision. Someone reading this is probably saying, ew, or that's gross, or why would you allow that? Truth is, what is the need for removing anything from your child? Some people use the Bible for reasoning. In the book of Acts, it talks about Paul's missionary helper Timothy being circumcised. Why? Because it was thought to keep him from being hindered from reaching out to unsaved Jews. This does not apply to people today because Christians need not to be circumcised in order to reach out to non-believers.

What about the fact that the Bible says God made man in his image. If this is so, then why do we choose to cut on a newborn child? The child does not have a defect, it is not causing a life or death decision, it is a part of him. It is filled with all these nerves, that a boy, one day a man, will never get back. Leave it the way God made him. That is my thought.

Granted, I did circumcise my son. I didn't know any better really. I had talked to my husband about it but he said it was cleaner and he needed to be like him. Fair enough so we did it. Now my son has a misshapen penis and will probably be that way for the rest of his life. I now fully regret getting him circumcised, having to go through a painful process strapped down to a tiny board with little or no anesthetic. Yes, that is exactly ow I want my son brought into this world. If ever I have another son, I will choose to keep him intact.

Some people say that it is cleaner, or that it harbors a larger chance for STDS. In reality this is false. If you teach your son to clean himself properly, there is no reason why it should be any less clean than a circumcised penis. All you have to do is talk to the doctor about proper cleaning practices and be sure to teach them to your child. When it comes to disease, it is actually less likely to contract an STD with an intact penis. The reasoning is because the foreskin naturally moisturizes the glands of the penis, keeping it in optimum healthy condition to resist infection. The subpreputial moisture also contains lysozyme, an enzyme that attacks and destroys the cell walls of bacteria.

Process of circumcision:
 I do not think that parents are always fully informed about what happens during a circumcision. If I had known, I would not have allowed it one bit. It's brutal and dehumanizing in my opinion.

For infant circumcision, the baby is placed on his back and his arms and legs are strapped down to prevent movement during the procedure. The baby will either have a topical anethetic applied to the surface of the penis or have numbing agents injected into the penis or around its base.
The person performing the procedure can choose from one of several different clamps or specialized devices -- most often the Gomco clamp, Mogen clamp or Plastibell device. While there are differences in these devices, they perform the same basic function: separating the glans from the foreskin, protecting the glans, and crushing or cutting a ring of skin from the penis. The clamps provide for an immediate procedure, while the Plastibell device stays attached for several days before falling off.

 Yes, your child may not remember it, but would you? I feel horrible for allowing my son to be put through this. It's awful, and just like in my situation, may not be done right. It does happen. There have been incidents where it gets on infected that they have to remove a peice of the head of the penis, that child will grow up having painful problems. Also, if to much skin is removed, as the child gets older, and begins to have erections, they can be painful due to to much stretching. I understand that many people have no problems, but is it a chance you are willing to take?

Discuss the options with your child's pediatrician before birth, do your research, and make an informed decision. Only about 20% percent of the earth's population is actually circumcised. It's America that has made it more popular, but it is slowly fading again. Don't choose unnecessary surgery just because you think it's traditional or you want him to be like daddy. Choose what is best for the child. Again, if you choose the circumcision, it's not wrong, and it does not make you a bad parent. Know your options.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Safety in the Car

One of my newest discoveries of being a mom is car seat safety. With my son, I started forward facing him at 13 months. I was annoyed with not being able to see him, and I thought it was a big boy step. Little did I know, I was potentially putting my child at risk for death in a car accident. I thank God that We never got into an accident. After having my daughter, I started learning a lot more. According to the AAP, it is recommended to rear face until at least the age of 2 or until they max out the height and weight limit of the rear facing seat (hopefully around the age of 4). A child's spine does not complete ossification (the process in which cartilage is transformed into bone) until around the age of 4, causing many more injuries when a child is forward facing. Here is a video of the comparison of a rear facing child and forward facing child.

A lot of people will argue about the safety of rear facing in a rear end collision. The fact is that only a very small percentage (under 10%) is a rear ending collision, and most of the time, it's when a car is slowed down. So the danger is there but not nearly quite as high as a forward facing child. When you are hit from the side or the front, the car hitting you is usually going at full speed. So as you can see the danger is much worse. Because the ossification process is not complete, it causes what is called internal decapitation. Rear-facing car seats cradle your child’s head and back protecting his or her spinal cord. Unlike a forward-facing car seat where a child’s head can be thrown violently forward stretching the spinal cord and breaking it. This is internal decapitation.

Car seat safety does not end with ERF (extended rear facing), the next step is turning your child around safely. This is recommended around the age of 4 when they outgrow their limit for rear facing and it is more likely their spine has ossified. At this point, you would continue them in a harnessed seat. around the age of 6-8, most children are ready for a high back booster with seat belt only (mostly of which have now outgrown a harness seat). Age means nothing, it maturity at this point. Can your child sit still, and understand that she/he needs to stay safe by nut unbuckling their seat? Also are they capable of sitting up straight at all times rather than leaning over, causing serious risk in the event of a crash? If the answer is yes, then your child MAY be ready for the high back booster. Around 8 years old, is a great time to test for booster. There is less holding the child so they really must be mature enough. The no back booster is mainly for height at this point. The lap belt should be on the lap not on the abdomen (mistaken alot), and the shoulder belt (there MUST be a shoulder belt for their protection) must be in the middle of their shoulder and acorss their chest not their neck. Around the age of 10+ your child may finally be ready to sit in the seat on his/her own without and seat. The child should be able to pass a five point test.
The Five Step Test
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfotable at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If ANYTHING on this list is a "no" your child would be safer in a booster. It sounds crazy, and I have had people argue that my child will be made fun of. I have spoken to several parents and children at this age who still use a booster (one of which is almost 12) and they have never been made fun of. Besides are you more worried about a possibility of ridicule or a possibility of death?

Now, although I turned my son FF at the age of 13 months, at 22 months I turned him back around. It wasn't hard, and he doesn't even mind. I plan on keeping him RF as long as possible. Same with my daughter. I see no acceptable reason with my children to turn them FF. People will argue with the fact that their child is uncomfortable, but most children, if you never turn them FF don't know the difference so they adapt as they grow. My son was a little frustrated the first day we switched him back around but now he just bends his legs. There are many ways a tall rear facer adjusts. Whether it be criss cross, putt the feet above them on the seat, hanging over the side, they will find what is best for them.

I hope you have learned something as i did, so that you may make an informed decision about when you choose to switch around your child. You may choose to switch them at one year, and that is fine, but at least you know your options. Yes the car seat says 1 year and 20lbs, that does not mean you HAVE to switch them. Remember that. We as parents want to keep our children safe. So why not take advantage of what is available to us?

Please list any comments, questions, or concerns below.

AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age. - See more at:
AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age. - See more at:
AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age. - See more at:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Formula or Breast

One of the first decisions you must make as a mom is how to feed your little miracle. There is no right or wrong answer besides the one that is best for you. With my first, I attempted breastfeeding. I lasted about a week. My son just wouldn't latch correctly, and I just felt like I couldn't do it. So I switched to formula. At first I felt like a failure. Now that I think about it, I still provided for my son. He was able to eat, and we bonded through touch rather through feedings. I never really thought much about it until I became pregnant with my daughter. This time, I did LOTS of research. My favorite website was It has wonderful articles on breastfeeding. It gives you tips and resources you can use to help you before, during and after you breastfeed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Formula Feeding.

In my personal experience, the great thing about formula feeding, was that I could let my husband do some feedings. It allowed my husband and family members to get some kind of bond with my son. Also, because formula is thicker and takes longer to digest, feedings were farther apart. My son ate about every 4-6 hours which allowed me to get more rest. One thing that I did not particularly like was the cost. One can of the formula that my son needed (he had really bad acid reflux) was $15.68. Granted I had WIC (Woman, Infant Childrens Program) so I did get help with it. They gave me 7 cans a month. at the end of the month I still needed 2 cans, and 1 large container ($23.98). So for those that are out of the income bracket and have to pay fully out of pocket that ends up beings about $165 a month. It does go down once the child starts solids (recommended 6 months of age by the AAP). But with all the other expenses of diapers, clothes, and any other expenses, The first 12 months is very costly for a formula feeder. Also, another disadvantage was having to make bottles all the time. Luckily my son preferred his formula cold, so I could make a few bottles at night and stick them in the refridgerator. I do know there are some babies who will only drink warm formula so you are having to make the bottles and warm them up at night.

Advantages and Disadvantages Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding my daughter has definitely been a learning experience for me. I love the fact that I have this special bond with my daughter that no one else can have. I love that at night I can just put her next to me and she nurses with out me ever having to get out of bed. I also love how cheap it is! If anything all you would need to buy (if you choose) is a breast pump and supplies. Some disadvantages were, because I HATE pumping, she solely depends on me for her meals. My husband does not do it at all. Not because he chooses not to but because he just doesn't have milk coming from his chest. No harm, no foul. Also when you are out in public, baby still needs to eat. So where do you choose to do this? I will go over nursing in public later in my blog, for now I will just discuss my choice. I don't go to the bathroom, or sit in a hot car. I choose to nurse openly and freely. I have never had anyone give me weird looks or bash me in any way. I have nursed at the zoo, at walmart, at the park, any where my little girl is hungry she eats. No, I don't flash my breast out for the whole world to see, in fact most of the time you can't even tell what I'm doing. You just have to get that courage, but I will go over that later. Just know that you have every right to nurse in public as another baby has to bottle feed in public.

Whether you choose to formula feed or breastfeed it doesn't matter. It's what you feel is best. I've done both and know that I choose breastfeeding for the future as well

Feel free to discuss your loves and dislikes of either formula feeding or breastfeeding. Or if you have any questions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New and BTDT Moms

As a mom, all you want is to do what is best for your child. You want to take every action you can to make sure they are raised properly. So what do you do? You research EVERYTHING. Whether it be asking other moms (such as friends or family members) or looking online. A great tool for mommy advice for me has become Facebook. Why? Because Facebook allows moms from every part of the world to come together and share experiences that you could not get otherwise. The best way to go about finding the right group for you is to find out what interests you. Do you plan to formula feed? Breastfeed? Do you believe in spanking? Or not? Are you a "green" parent (cloth diapers) or do you prefer the easier route of just buying disposables (I apologize for the reference of cloth only as I am not quite fully informed on all aspects of Green parenting). It's all about what YOU as a mother wants. Here is my list and what I will mainly be covering on my blog:
Nursing in Public
Anti-Circumcision (admittedly I circ'd my son before I was educated)
Peaceful Parenting (Gentle Parenting though I am still learning and have many flaws)
Curious about anti/delayed Vaccinations
Extended Rear Facing (Car Seat Safety)
Extended Breastfeeding (Beyond the age of 1)
Interested in homeschooling
There are many things that I agree with and am still learning about. I want the safest possible route 
for my children. This does NOT mean that the way you choose to parent and raise your child is wrong, it is just not my choice. I have started this blog to bring all my decisions viewable to others, not to change your mind, but to let you know there is more that one way to do EVERYTHING. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you would like to discuss, you can email me at If there is something you would like to see discussed, or for me to look into, or if you just want clarification on something I have written (such as reputable links other than my biased opinion) please ask! I am not afraid of rejection or criticism. I hope you find the page helpful and educating!

~Kyra Mayberry

(Bottom: Me and my daughter Melodie, born January 30, 2013)

(Right: My husband Justin, and my son Waylon born June 9, 2011)