Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

being a new parent Jacksonville, FL | Jax, FL playdate

Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

What’s being a new parent like? Let me paint a picture for you. You give birth to a beautiful baby. You’re over the moon about this tiny bundle of everything right in the world. Your heart couldn’t be fuller, it’s surreal being a new parent. There really are no words. The hospital stay has been a whirlwind. Nurses coming in and going out just as you doze off each time. Your pediatrician stops in, your photographer is working her magic, and excited family and friends with smiles from ear to ear.

You’re feeling ready to get home!

You make your way home for the first time as a family of 3! It smells like home, it looks like home, it’s wonderful. As you settle in you gush over this beautiful baby and family you’ve created. WOW! Being a new parent is so incredibly amazing! Tiredness is setting in. You’re feeling like you could easily sleep for 24 hours straight. You feed baby girl really well, change her diaper, and she’s back to sleep. Your bed has never felt so good, you are fast asleep in no time.

Suddenly you wake with a jolt!

She’ stirring again. Is she hungry again you wonder? Is she just working out some gas bubbles? She’s not waking and seems to be falling back into sleep. Your husband is snoring, the house is still. You start drifting off to sleep again.

. . .

Your husband wakes you, he’s standing over you with your little one in his arms.

“Babe, I think she’s hungry. I just changed her but she is still fusing and rooting around.” You sit up wiping the drool from your chin. You work to get her to latch, it seemed to be easier at the hospital. She’s finally on the boob, you look at your phone, it’s only been 45 minutes since you laid down, wow. Okay, she ate an hour and a half ago, but she definitely seems hungry. She is sucking away.

. . .

You call your husband to come back in.

“I don’t know if she’s hungry or not,” you tell him. “She was fussing and trying to eat. I finally get her latched and she sucked like she was starving and then she fell asleep again, not 5 minutes in. I don’t know what to do. Being a new parent is wild, huh?”

You both laugh an exhausted little laugh.

Your husband, the sweet daddy he is gets the breastfeeding book out. “Well, the book says she should be eating about every 2-3 hours. She ate about 2 hours ago, maybe she’s not hungry. Should I burp her if she wakes again, maybe it’s gas?”

. . .

Cue the dog barking at a UPS driver across the street.

You wake again and find your husband passed the fuck out! Poor guy is exhausted. He’s a champ. He’s stayed alongside you as you labored, never leaving your side. He came home cared for the dogs, updated family, loaded all your stuff in the car, cared for the baby so you can rest and now he is finally getting in a good rest. Good for him! You cover him with a throw and turn the lights down for him.

. . .

Fast forward to your fourth day at home.

Breastfeeding is way harder than you thought it would be, your boobs are sore and your neck is aching. Your pumping so your husband can give a bottle so you try to get rest at night. Rest, yeah that looks like 3 hours straight, if you’re lucky. You don’t know what day it is, but you know your baby is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. You’re starting to feel overwhelmed and slightly inadequate to be her mama. You think to yourself, wtf was I thinking, I can barely keep plants alive, being a new parent is insane, what a rollercoaster. Tears and silly laughter follow and you wonder if this ever gets easier.

Your husband suggests calling your mom over for some help.

You both need sleep. Breastfeeding feels more like a full-time job than the sweet bonding experience you envisioned and hoped for. You’re running on fumes. Your fuse is short. You have threatened to cut the next person who rings the damn doorbell. You didn’t want to call your mom, but her help is sounding better and better.

Let me stop you right there!

Being a new parent is ALL the things. It’s incredible, fulfilling, fun, scary, and H-A-R-D! Being a new parent is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. You can bond, shower, eat, and SLEEP, for more than an hour or two at a time with the right care and support!

With The Jacksonville Baby Company being a new parent means you’ll thrive!

Our team knows the ins and outs of postpartum and infant care. The physical, emotional, and mental aspects that come with giving birth. We are experts in breast and bottle feeding. We know how to handle, store, and prepare breastmilk and formula. We are very well-versed in deep latching, spotting troubles before they get out of control, feeding positions, different techniques for bottle feeding, burping, diapering, cord care, literally all the things. You can sleep, eat, shower, and do so with confidence that your baby is great hands. Toddlers, extended family, and pets love us too! There is no way not to thrive with us by your side!

Contact us today! It costs you absolutely nothing!

You’ll walk away with a crystal clear vision of what your first few weeks as a new parent will be like with proper support and care. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience, we are up to date and in the know on all things birth and parenting. We support ALL people, ALL parenting styles, and are genuinely happy to do so!

[This blog is meant to give you an idea of what being a new parent can be like for some, others have a unique experience of their own. We will talk more about other experiences in future blog posts]

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect | Preparation Ahead

our bodies are not perfect | Jax, FL Birth Classes, Birth Prep in Jax, FL

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect

Our bodies are not perfect! I feel no shame in saying that. We need glasses when our eyes are meant to see with. We’re born with ears and yet hearing aids are needed. We’re sometimes given legs that don’t walk and organs that grow outside of our bodies. Our bodies are not perfect and it doesn’t hurt us or reduce our existence to admit this.

Death isn’t something we want to think about, yet like birth, we will also all die. Some of us are faced with untimely deaths, this is reality. Spend any amount of time in labor and delivery or working with expecting parents and you realize that not every baby will survive while others beat all odds. I know, it’s HORRIBLE and absolutely heartbreaking to think about, but it’s true.

What’s crazier?

The natural birth culture that pregnant moms face in 2020 often leads to the conclusion that they really don’t accept the preventable death of babies. Say what?!

When we say things such as, “Your baby will come when he’s ready”, “It’s the way it was intended, the natural way” (hello tornados, earthquakes, and rattlesnakes are natural too), “It’s just a guess date, not an expiration date”, we’re ignoring reality. This reality slaps the faces of those who’ve lived through preterm birth, experienced infertility, have a chemical imbalance, and who’ve survived the death of an infant when a pregnancy becomes post-date and doesn’t beat the odds.

We should avoid saying these things altogether.

Seriously, STOP!

By saying these things it shows that the person doesn’t understand the emotional aspect of supporting a person through labor and childbirth. Learning to use better language, ask questions that challenge pregnant people to work through their nervousness, fear, or anxieties surrounding childbirth would be a better course of action or response.

Our bodies are not perfect and it’s totally cool because our self-worth is no way determined by our bodily functions!

Our bodies are not perfect and there’s more harm than I’m willing to assume the risk of by saying otherwise. Our bodies do amazing things and they do weird shit! We’re unique and have quirks. We’re different, and imperfectly perfect, sure, but our bodies are not perfect.

There is no one size fits all approach to childbirth or parenting.

There are just too many variables in play. If care providers step aside and believe our bodies are perfect and all babies will come on their own time every time, we will lose more babies. If they believe they can save every single baby by way of interventions every time, when there’s literally no way to do that, we fail by over intervention. We suffer birth injury and sometimes even death. When we believe inducing everyone at the same exact gestation can lead to more harm than good we lose babies. Vice versa just waiting until the baby is ready to come on his own can lead to post-date infant loss too.

Midwives and OBGYN’s are human beings, extraordinary ones at that!

They’re doing the best they can to the best of their ability, each and every time. Some may be too hands-off while others may be too intervention happy. It happens. They’re trying to do their very best, to save as many lives as they can, and deserve grace and kindness along the way.

Our bodies are not perfect and in many ways, we trade the risk of intervention for the risk of losing a baby.

Who should get to decide that? I believe whole-heartedly the parents should get to decide that, with or without their provider’s approval, but hopefully they’ve talked it through with their care providers, they trust their providers, and have been thoroughly and honestly counseled on the matter.

Our bodies are not perfect. The way of the world isn’t perfect.

Anyone who believes that it is foolish and has never witnessed or experienced trauma in birth. You cant eliminate all death in pregnancy or completely stop birth complications from happening. We can try, but we can’t stop it. There’s a balance that must happen.

Our bodies are not perfect, but nothing in life is!

We can be happy with how things go, we can be terribly sad, or grieve how things go, life isn’t perfect and that’s okay!

We can prepare for childbirth none-the-less!

How?

You can take a childbirth class that doesn’t set you up to feel like you’ve failed. Because there is no right or wrong way to birth, only different ways and ways you accept or ways you do not.

Take a class that helps you learn about birth, the variations, how to communicate your needs, and get answers to your questions. Find a class that is NOT focused on birthing the “right” way or on using the “best” method. The way you give birth is not the first act of love for your child. There is no right or wrong way it is simply the way your body needs to do things. If you start letting your physical functions determine your self-worth things get messy. Most aspects of birth are out of your control. Choose a class that teaches you how to advocate for yourself and prepares you for the worst and the best-case scenarios.

You can find the care providers that feel good to you!

Ask about their philosophical approach to birth. Ask the tough questions. How are your provider’s communication skills? It’s important to trust and feel good about your care providers. Are you treated kindly, respectfully, and with autonomy? You’re looking for woman-centered life-saving care, both are important.

You can line up support for after you give birth! You’re gonna need it, we all do! We may not all get it, but we sure do need it!

Our team is completely present for you as you welcome your baby home or come home with empty arms and broken hearts.

We’re there to lighten your load. We will nourish your body and ease your mind where we can. We listen empathetically, validate your feelings and concerns, and help find real solutions for the solvable issues. Our team is there to help you rest, sleep, and heal. Likewise, we’ll be there to commiserate and comfort you when there is no fixing the shit you’ve endured. People often overlook the period of time after birth, they fail to prepare and they regret it greatly. Don’t skip on fourth-trimester preparations!

Our bodies are not perfect, and we can still show up and slay!

Adjust your lens.

Trust your gut.

Trust your team!

Ask the important questions.

But at the end of the day, your body’s functions do NOT determine your self-worth! The sooner we all get with that reality the sooner we will be happy in this life!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

5 Ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up

Ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up | Jax, FL Nanny

5 Ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up

Today we’re giving you 5 ways to comfort a baby without picking them up. Not because we don’t love holding babies, we totally do! We’re giving out these goodies because sometimes you can’t pick them up, other times, you’re touched out and need other solutions. The Jax Baby Company is big on giving parents and caregivers options and solutions that’ll work for their family.

During the fourth trimester, it’s not uncommon for parents to feel overwhelmed and be exhausted.

It’s important for parents to take care of themselves so they don’t crash and burn along the way. When burnout occurs relationships and careers struggle. No one wants new parents struggling or suffering, especially our team! There’s a fine line between normal levels of manageable stress and unnecessary suffering. This goes for parents and for babies! There have been no scientific studies to date that show periodic crying is harmful to anyone, including babies. It’s safe for your baby to cry for short periods so long as they’re safe, cared for properly, and their needs are met.

What we’re not saying: Leave babies to cry for long periods of time or ignore babies.

What we are saying: It’s okay to take a few minutes for Y-O-U and to accomplish other things on your list.

Here are 5 ways to Comfort a Baby Without Picking Them Up

Not only do these five ways work, but they’ll also help you and your baby build confidence through-out the day. You’ll want to practice these early on and practice each and every day throughout the day. Success will come, it takes time and practice for you and your baby! You’ll be able to go longer in between as you and your baby become pros and this! Before putting your baby down and trying these things make sure your baby is not hungry, dry and clean, as well as calm when being held. All the comfort in the world won’t help if they are dirty or truly hungry.

Swaddle

Babies are snuggled up cozy and tight in the womb. It’s warm and comforting, it’s home! The womb must be like chicken soup when you don’t feel well. Swaddling is one of the best ways when done correctly to soothe a baby! The trick is to get it snug, but not too tight, allow room for the hips to move freely, and be sure there’s no way the swaddle can get up around baby’s mouth or nose. A good swaddle, a slight sway(not bounce), and then lay your baby down. If you have a baby that’s a little older (but younger than 8 weeks) you can swaddle with one arm out! After 8 weeks swaddling is no longer recommended by the AAP. A sleep-sack would be a safer option.

White Noise

Once your baby is swaddled nice and cozy utilize a shusher or white noise machine to recreate the comforting womb sounds. This is the next layer of comfort. It should be loud enough to be the primary sound in and around the room, but not close to the ears. I always tell parents I personally recommend reserving this tool for naps, overnights, and to get in a shower!

Gentle Chest Rock

You’ve swaddled your baby, laid your baby down, and you’re utilizing the white noise machine or shusher. Now, you’ll place one hand lightly on your baby’s chest and gently rock your baby. This isn’t a full-on rock, moving your baby from side to side, but rather a gentle controlled shifting motion. You’re ever so softly shifting the weight from one side of your hand to the other.

From Crown to Eyebrows

We couldn’t share 5 ways to comfort a baby without sharing this one! A true trick up the sleeve if there ever was one! This one takes some practice, but man is it amazing! You’ll place your entire hand, palm side down at the crown of your baby’s head, your fingers facing one ear and the heel of your hand facing the other ear. The same direction a headband would sit. Then, in one slow very gentle motion stroke their head all the way down to their brows. Repeat. Do this slowly several times over and over. As you learn your baby this technique will be intuitive to you! You’ll figure out what your baby likes and dislikes, how slow they like it, and when you reach a sweet spot. It takes practice, even for us pros!

Pacifier

We highly recommend that if you’re exclusively breastfeeding you wait to utilize a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established for 3-4 weeks. This exclusivity will help establish your milk supply, ensures your baby isn’t being given a replacement for hunger, and helps reduce the chance of “nipple confusion”. After that have at it! If your baby will take a pacifier not only can it be a big help, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends it for safer sleep! If your baby doesn’t take it at first and you would like for him/her to, keep trying! Try different pacifiers, FYI, they make different sizes for babies of different ages. Some babies do better with one type over another. You can dip the pacifier in a bit of milk to help entice them!

Parenting is a wild rollercoaster of a ride! There are ups and downs, and twists and turns, but The Jax Baby Company has your back! Did these 5 ways to comfort a baby without picking them up help you? Let us know! If you’re in the Greater Jacksonville, Florida area and are a new or expecting parent, contact us! We would love to help your family prepare and thrive!

~Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Screen Time Alternatives to Entertain Toddlers

screen time alternatives jax, FL

Screen Time Alternatives to Entertain Toddlers

Today we’re sharing screen time alternatives to entertain toddlers because let’s face it, toddlers are busy little people! They’re curious, imaginative, have lots of questions, and are capable of doing amazing things! Toddlers need lots of creative outlets to explore and we as caregivers, parents, and teachers are here to provide those outlets in healthy doses! So let’s talk toddler screen time alternatives!

Sensory Play Table

Sensory play tables are a great way to engage the senses and spark curiosity! You can change out the options available each week here are just a few ideas for the sensory play table: water, sand, playdough, toddler tweezers, sorting and or lacing beads, crinkle materials, foam stamps, moon sand, Monkey Noodles , and WikkiStix

A Felt Board and A Busy Board

A busy board can provide hours of entertainment over a period of months! Toddlers can examine, explore, and keep themselves busy as they attempt to master zippers, buckles, snaps, latches, hooks, gears, levers, locks, and laces.

A felt board can be another source of fun and creativity with boundaries. Your toddler can have a daily felt board where they get to decide if it’s rainy or sunny, hot or cold. They can have a family tree or a holiday board. Maybe your toddler is learning about setting a table or sorting things in order of size. Use felt to create a screen on t.v. as a screen time alternative!

Books on Tape/CD

While there’s no replacement for sitting and reading with your child, books on tape or CD are a fabulous supplement. The Pout-Pout Fish, Is Your Mama A Llama, and The Caboose Who Got Loose are treasured favorites with the toddlers we’ve worked with! As they hold the book in their hands the story is read to them. The characters come to life from the pages and your little ones will have lots to share with you.

Songs that Teach

Kids love to sing and dance so why not get some learning in there! There are songs that teach just about anything, so using them as screen time alternatives is super-duper smart! The cleanup song, the ABC song, sight words, planets, days of the week, months of the year, and the teeth brushing song are just a few examples! Songs are the way we teach our kids, teach our kids, teach our kids, songs are the way we teach our kids new concepts and procedures!

Blocks

From wooden and magnetic blocks to bumpy sensory blocks to Legos, toddlers love to stack, build, show off their creations, and of course, knock ’em down! A castle, a house, a bridge, and a ship, all magnificent time-consuming projects that require concentration and focus!

Art

Art is a form of self-expression! For toddlers who are eager to talk and share their ideas, art allows them to do so in a magical way! Finger paints, macaroni necklaces, watercolors, acrylic paints, paper mache’, crayons, pencils, glue, sticks, and strings, there are endless possibilities!

Hot Wheels

Wheels that spin at record speed as they jump ramps made of books through hallways and kitchens, working doors, a variety of colors and car and truck types, hot wheels do not disappoint! Toddlers and Hot Wheels go together like pb&j!

Yoga

Okay, I’ll admit when I first heard if kids yoga I thought there were no way kids this young would be still long enough to do yoga! I was right! Well, I was also wrong! Kids yoga is so much more than being still. It’s fun, silly, involves movement, and mindfulness. Our partner, Grow Family cracked the code for kids yoga and provides our community with something as unique as your toddler! Check ’em out!

Many of the things listed in this blog can easily be packed into a travel box or bag so your little big guy/girl can be entertained on the go! At The Jax Baby Company, we’re not anti-screen time, we’re all about options! We know these screen time alternatives will be a huge hit!

Our team of fully vetted, compassionate, and knowledgeable specialist are here to assist at the most pressing time in your life! You owe it to yourself and family to have the best at home!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth

Lochia and Fundal Massage at the Hospital

lochia and fundal massage Jax, FL Labor and Delivery

Lochia and Fundal Massage at the Hospital

You’re probably wondering what kind of sweet treatment and yummy foods they’ll be serving up at the hospital after you give birth to your baby! I can promise you that lochia and fundal massage are not on the list of “good times” you’ll cherish. So, what the heck is lochia and fundal massage if not a kickass Asian wrap and relaxing new mama massage technique? I’ll explain!

A “New Mama” Massage Technique it is!

Fundal massage is definitely not relaxing though! It’s more like a Medieval torture practice. I’m sorry, I typically steer clear of scaring pregnant people, and you shouldn’t really be fearful of it. While it sucks, it’s necessary! So what is it? It’s a massage or kneading on the uppermost part of your uterus. When you go to your provider’s office and they check on baby, remember how your provider palpates your growing belly and measures you? They are measuring your fundal height. Essentially measuring from your pelvic bone to the top of your uterus. This tells them about how many weeks you’re measuring.

Shortly after your baby is born fundal massage a.k.a, the dance of doom is performed by your nurses and or care providers to help get your fundus (the top of your uterus) to shrink down and return to pre-pregnancy size. Why? In short, it’s to keep your uterus contracting so your bleeding will slow down and you risk of hemorrhaging is reduced.

Fundal massage facts:

  • Nursing your baby helps your uterus contract and shrink in size faster.
  • Breathing through the fundal massage will help you relax through it.
  • Contractions after birth are known as after pains.
  • They get worse with each baby you have.
  • They will perform fundal massage after both vaginal and cesarean births.

You probably guessed it by now. Lochia isn’t a yummy wrap!

By definition, lochia is a vaginal discharge occurring after childbirth.  It contains blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. The discharge should smell similarly to menstrual blood. Any foal odor or green or yellow discharge should be reported to your care providers right away. This discharge lasts about six weeks, sometimes less. Basically lochia is the longest, most fun-filled period of your life!

There are three stages of lochia:

  • Stage 1: Lochia rubra contains blood, vernix, lanugo, and membranes. It is bright red in color because of the large amount of blood it contains. Lasting about 3-5 days after childbirth
  • Stage 2: Lochia serosa is thin and brownish or pink and contains exudate, erythrocytes, leukocytes, cervical mucus, and microorganisms. Lasting until about the 10th day postpartum. If Lochia serosa persists more than 2 weeks after birth it should be reported to your care provider because it can sometimes indicate late postpartum hemorrhaging.
  • Stage 3: Lochia alba is just lochia that has turned whitish or yellowish-white. It usually begins around week two after childbirth and typically lasts through the third to sixth weeks after childbirth. It contains fewer red blood cells and is mainly made up of mucus, leukocytes, fat (no weight loss here ladies, sorry), and several microorganisms.

Final thoughts on lochia and fundal massage…

Nope, not really! Women are pretty badass. We can menstruate, deal with cramps, power through pregnancy aches and pains, survive the heartbreak of miscarriages, battle infertility, grow an entire human, bleed three shades of post-baby cray, make milk for another human, and still manage to keep the tiny humans alive whilst having zero issues with hanging a new roll of toilet paper for the umpteenth time. Shit’s pretty clear, lochia is just another magnificent thing we do!

If you are expecting a baby and are in the Northeast Florida area we teach some very unique classes! It’s the place to learn all the things you’ll wish you’d known about if you miss out on our classes! Get in touch and lets rock this!

Also, Costco makes some pretty amazing Asian wraps if you’re hungry now. You’re welcome, friend!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Potty Training Tips for Success

potty training jax, fl | Nanny for Potty Training Jax, FL | Jax, FL Night Nanny

Potty Training Tips for Success

Potty training is another crazy adventure you’ll embark on as a parent. There are plenty of people out there to tell you exactly how potty training is done, spout off sure-fire ways that work for every kid, what you’re doing “wrong”, and how you can do it “right”. The Jax Baby Company are not those people. We don’t believe in a one-size fits all model of parenting. Each person, family, and situation is unique and should be treated as such.

Our first potty training tip is the most important piece of the potty training puzzle. Watch for signs of readiness.

You’re paying attention to the individual child. Often times we get in a hurry to get to potty train the child and we forget that the child is an individual and his timing is his own. This doesn’t mean we’re waiting for the child to head off to kindergarten, but we are saying that he may be 3 before he is ready. Ask yourself, is my child ready to potty learn? How do I know when my child is ready? If your child isn’t showing most of the signs of readiness you’re almost guaranteed a child who protests potty training and endless accidents too. So, what are the signs of potty training readiness?

Here are some general signs:

  • your child is telling you before they wet or soil themselves
  • wanting to be changed after they poop or pee in their diaper/pull-up
  • pointing to the potty or wanting to sit on it
  • hiding to pee or poop in their diaper/pull-up
  • waking up dry after a nap
  • removing her diaper/pull-up on his own
  • if your child can follow multi-step commands such as: please hand me the cup and plate and then wipe your mouth
  • your child has reached the “I do it” or “me do it” stage
  • your child seems to be looking for more independence and is needing less help

Make it a family affair!

Look, everyone poops and pees, even mommy! Have them join you in the bathroom from a very young age, as soon as they can sit on a little potty, let them sit with you. Read a short book to them while they sit and you sit. Children of all genders can start potty training by sitting on the toilet. This isn’t a must, but I tell you what, you’ll save yourself from having to do a lot more cleaning up by having them sit.

Avoid potty training during a big transition.

By big transition I mean a divorce, marriage, or a death in the family, moving or having someone move in or out of the house, daycare switch or introduction to a new nanny, a very recently weaning from breastfeeding, someone in the home has just given birth, or you’ve brought a new dog or puppy into the family. These are huge changes and while children are resilient they still need time to adjust and settle in and potty training in itself is a huge transition.

Make sure you and all caregivers are 100% on board with the process and have the time to commit and follow through.

Patience, consistency, and time are key factors in potty training success! Be consistent, totally chill and positive throughout, wash, rinse, repeat. They will get it, it may happen quickly, or not, both are normal. While it can be frustrating, do not let it get at you. Children can begin potty training or potty learning as some call, it as early as 10 months and as late as 3 or 4 years old. Most will start between 2 and 3 years old. In the United States, most boys average about 39 months old while most girls average about 35 months. This age has risen since the 1940’s. We won’t even get into discussing Elimination Communication (EC) in this blog series, that’s for another day. Potty training will happen in time, don’t feel pressured to rush, you, your child, and your home will survive the accidents along the way. Promise!

The Jax Baby Company stands by your parenting choices, potty training style, and individual needs.

Our team is there, in homes helping families just like yours develop a plan, set the ball in motion, and adjust as needed. We hope you found these potty training tips helpful and you’ve gained confidence from your reading. More sleep, healthy snacks and meals, expert advice, science-based resources and all of it comes from judgment-free and friendly specialists. Don’t wait, put us on your team today!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Exhausted Parents Share Their Stories | Part 1

exhausted parents caught on camera Jax, FL | exhausted parents sleep training Jax, FL | Night Nanny Jax, FL

Exhausted Parents Share Their Stories | Part 1

Talk about being exhausted, no one knows the meaning of the word exhausted better than new parents. It’s a story for the ages, parenting infants is the ultimate form of tired! Time and time again baby cams show just how exhausted parents are. Stories are shared amongst exhausted parents in parenting groups. Parents open up and commiserate with one another over their lack of sleep and odd behaviors. The reality is exhausted parents make more mistakes than those who are well-rested. Just a heads up some of these stories are funny, others are terrifying, all end well, I promise.

Don’t let exhaustion sneak up on you and disrupt your quality of life.

Mike opens up about one of the worst days of his adult life.

I was alone for the sixth night in a row with our 6-month-old daughter and our son who was two and a half at the time. Teresa, my wife worked nights and I worked days. We worked opposite shifts, it was working for us up until this point. Our daughter was running a low-grade fever all day. We assumed teething since she was starting to chew on her hands and drool like crazy and there were no other symptoms. Teresa kept on eye on her, monitored her temperature, and she seemed fine otherwise.

Around 11:30 p.m. she woke, but instead of wanting a bottle like usual she was exceptionally unhappy, crying and kicking. I felt her and she was burning up. I checked her temperature and she was running a temperature around 102.6. At some point, Teresa called to check in on her. Call it mom intuition, but she knew Audrey wasn’t feeling well. I unswaddled her and tried to feed her a bottle which she mostly fought me on. Then I decided to give her some fever reducer. Well, she fought me on that too, but I was able to get her to take it. Finally, she fell asleep in my arms and I put her back down.

She woke again and again.

I gave her another dose of Tylenol around 3:30 a.m. When she woke again around 5 a.m. and I went in to get her something felt odd. I checked her temperature and it was still at 102-103 ish. I called Teresa who was due to be home by 7:30 a.m. to let her know I was going to call our pediatrician. She asked when the last time was I gave her the fever reducer and then reminded me I could alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours if needed.

So I went to get the Motrin and could not for the life of me remember the last time was I gave her a dose of Tylenol. I told Teresa I remembered giving it at 11:30 p.m. when I went in the first time, but couldn’t remember the time of the last dose.

All went quiet on the other end.

Teresa was silent as she checked her call log on her phone. She insisted it was 1:30 a.m. when she first called not 11:30 p.m. when I gave Audrey the Tylenol. I was sure it was 11:30 p.m., or was it 1:30 a.m., I couldn’t say for certain and that scared the shit out of me. I looked at the bottle of Tylenol and that scared the shit out of me. What came next was even worse. Teresa was panicked and left work immediately.

From the time our call ended and the time Teresa got home from work, Audrey had thrown up all over the kitchen and her crib while I attempted to clean it up. Her pediatrician called back and advised us to go to the hospital, but we were already on our way at that point.

That day was a blur.

I cried, Teresa cried, and Audrey cried helplessly. We felt like horrible parents when we were really weren’t, we were just exhausted parents They drew blood from her tiny veins, gave her I.V. fluids and bombarded us with lots of questions no good parents should have to answer. There we were, two parents scared shitless and I knew at that moment sleep deprivation almost cost me my most precious gift, our daughter.

Audrey made a full recovery.

Teresa continued to work nights, and I cut back on my hours during the day to help at home more. One of the best things we did though was hired The Jax Baby Company to come in one day and two nights a week overnight so we could both sleep all night long. Liz was terrific. She made the nights run so smoothly. We knew if she needed to wake us she wouldn’t hesitate, but week after week she handled it all seamlessly so we could both rest. We both agree, hiring help is the best investment exhausted parents can make!

Elizabeth recalls the night she knew she needed to call in reinforcements!

It was late or early, I don’t really remember, but I was up a few times through the night with our daughter. This time she had soaked through her diaper and clothes. So I got her cleaned up and put her back to sleep in her crib. The next thing I know it’s 6:30 a.m. and my husband’s calling my name from the other room. I walk in to see why he’s calling me and low and behold there she was soaked and crying. Staring at me with a confused look on his face my husband says, “Where’s her diaper?” I patted her bottom and then had to stop and try to remember the night in fragmented bits and pieces.

Holy shiitake! I had actually put her in a clean sleeper and totally forgotten to put a diaper on her. We laughed so hard we cried and if I’m being completely honest I peed myself a little too! Thank you pregnancy and childbirth! This is baby number three, not my first rodeo! That was the moment I knew I needed some solid stretches of sleep and I’d have to call in help to get it. Cue hiring help one night a week for a couple of months so this mama could get a full 10-hours of uninterrupted sleep!

All parents make mistakes, some are funny, others not at all!

However, exhausted parents can’t keep at it for an extended period of time. Eventually, it catches up to them. Sleep can’t be caught up on or stored up on. Healthy sleep habits from day one are important. Our team at The Jax Baby Company is here to help parents get the sleep they so desperately need while getting their little ones off to a phenomenal start as well!

A special thank you to the parents who willingly participated in this blog series. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Exhausted Parents Who Share Their Stories!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

If you’ve not seen the video below of Kyle Baker’s wife, Joanna Baker and their daughter, check it out! All ends well and it’s totally relatable, but man they could have really benefited from having a postpartum and infant care specialist there at night!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Pregnancy | A&P Series

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Pregnancy | Aches & Pains Series

Backaches and sore feet from an expanding uterus and carrying additional weight is expected by most pregnant people, but carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy? Nope! The possibility of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and placenta previa, sure! But, most people never consider (CTS) carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy. Let’s discuss this topic in this “Aches & Pains of Pregnancy” series.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy?

CTS is a condition that causes pain, numbness, tingling, burning, as well as other symptoms in the hand and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy happens with the median nerve in the narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist is compressed or entrapped. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding CTS in pregnancy. Additional hormones, water weight, as well as increased blood volume in pregnancy are thought to be partly responsible for carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy. Of course, how we’re using our hands, wrists, and arms prior to and throughout our pregnancies could be part of the problem as well.

Whose at risk?

Anyone really, but people with jobs, hobby’s or sports requiring repetitive motion are at an increased risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in pregnancy. One study concluded that the prevalence of CTS is relatively high in pregnant women. Several studies have looked at whether there is a correlation between computer use and carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy. However, the evidence is conflicting and these factors haven’t been established as a direct cause. Women are more at risk than men in general, go figure. Those who’ve fractured their wrist or have suffered nerve damage from diabetes are at a greater risk for CTS. If you have arthritis it puts pressure on the median nerve, again increasing your risk. Your weight, thyroid, and kidneys can all have a bearing on CTS in pregnancy.

What are the warning signs or symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy?

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy don’t usually come on full-force, they typically start gradually. It often begins as tingling and or numbness and comes and goes it can be in your fingers and in your wrists or both, rarely in your pinky finger though. The palm of your hand may ache or hurt. You may find yourself shaking your wrists out to relieve the pain or discomfort. You’ll likely experience some weakness in the hand and may drop things.

What can be done about it carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy?

Rest your arms frequently. Ice them for 20 minutes at a time. Very gentle massage with lotion or oil. Avoid or limit tasks or hobbies with frequent repetitive motion if at all possible. Seek a doctor’s note if your job is requiring you to perform tasks that are exasperating the discomfort. You should report any discomfort in pregnancy to your care providers, CTS is no different. Your care provider will tell you what you can take by mouth to help with the pain. It’s possible that permanent nerve damage can occur, but isn’t as common. In almost all cases CTS improves tremendously by six weeks postpartum, by one year postpartum it’s typically relieved entirely. There are cases where surgery can help if symptoms persist beyond one to three years.

Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy is definitely not what we think we’re signing up for, but unfortunately, sometimes it sneaks up on us.

If you’re experiencing CTS in pregnancy you may seriously want to consider having help after your baby is born. Most of the time it starts to relieve itself shortly after you give birth, but it’s not unheard of to experience weak hands or arms which can effect the ability to hold your baby safely. Diaper changes, buckles, and straps are another area of concern when your fingers and hands aren’t functioning as they should. At The Jax Baby Company, we offer daytime, nighttime, and weekend hands-on help and support! We’re just one email, call or text away, (904) 924-4182!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Butternut Squash Bisque | 4th Trimester Recipes

Butternut Squash Bisque | 4th Trimester Recipes Jax, FL | 4th Trimester Jax, FL

Butternut Squash Bisque | 4th Trimester Recipes

This creamy butternut squash bisque is warm, filling, and basically euphoria in a bowl. Believe me when I say that you’ll want to bookmark this one! Soups of all kinds are just one of my specialties! Not only can you make soup from almost any combination of food it’s also comfort food. When you’re throat is sore and your nose is runny, soup it is! Crap day, soup! Rainy day, you guessed it, soup! Give me all the soup!

Meal prepping for new families is one of the things that The Jax Baby Company loves to do and soup is one of my favorite ways to nourish a new mom.

In China, after giving birth mothers “sit the month” or zuo yuezi. The main goal is to restore the mother’s yin and yang after childbirth so the mother can care for and bond with her new baby. Moms are served soups and broths and aren’t allowed to eat or drink anything cold. I personally love making soup for new moms, but this mama loves her ice cream so if you want some of that too, we’ve got you!

I share with you my perfected Butternut Squash Bisque recipe.

Serves 6-8 | Prep Time= 10 mins. | Cook Time=60 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 and 1/2- 2 cups of diced carrots
  • 2 whole butternut squashes
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of green onions (optional)
  • 2 figs (optional)
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste

Getting Started:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  2. While the oven pre-heats rinse and dry your butternut squashes. Slice each squash lengthwise and rub each of the cut sides of the halves with butter or oil of choice. Place cut side down onto a baking pan. Dice onions, carrots, and green onions. Keeping each separate. Slice each fig (optional) into 4 slices.
  3. Once the oven has pre-heated, bake the butternut squash on the center over rack at 400°F for about 40-45 minutes or until a fork can be poked into and pulled out of the squashes easily.

Meanwhile…

  1. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until browning occurs or about 4-6 minutes. Then add the diced carrots and bay leaves into the pot. Stir and cook until the carrots until they’re al dente, about 3-4 additional minutes being careful not to chop up the bay leaves.
  2. To the pot add chicken stock, and salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Not sure? Go light you can always add more later. Bring it to a slow boil, reduce heat, and simmer on low until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Once you remove the butternut squash from the oven you want to carefully (don’t burn yourself) scoop out the squash and add it the pot with the veggies and stock. Stir well and cook until everything is soft.
  4. Remove the bay leaves at this time.
  5. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream. Heat through, but do not bring to a boil.
  6. Serve warm, top with 1-2 slices of fig, and pinch or two of green onions, and salt and pepper to taste and a dash of ground nutmeg.
  7. Go ahead and enjoy it!

This butternut squash bisque is easy to tweak to your liking.

Vegan? Omit the cream, use vegetable stock, and use EVOO instead of butter. Want to add some spice? Reach for some curry! Thinking you’d like to add-in chicken like one of my sons did? You go for it! And please, let me know what you think! We love to hear from all of you!

Looking for help after you give birth? What to rest in, nourish your body and bond with your baby during the fourth trimester? Let The Jax Baby Company care and tend to your needs so you can focus on what matters most to you!

Happy Birth and Parenting,

~Elizabeth

Washing Your Newborn Baby | Step by Step Guide

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Washing Your Newborn | Step by Step Guide

You don’t have to be a brand new parent to get butterflies in your stomach when you think about washing your newborn baby. Lots of parents who’ve done it before worry about “doing it right” or doing it all wrong. Much like riding a bike it usually comes back to you after a time or two. Step by step we’re walking you through bathtime and helping you gain the confidence you need when washing your newborn! If you’re about to embark on baby’s very first bath using a tub with water, you’ll want to go over and read “Baby’s First Bath, Level Up With These Tips” to get all the best tips ahead of this step by step blog.

Did You Know: It’s not necessary to wash your newborn or infant every day.

Newborns and immobile infants don’t get “dirty” often. You’ll want to wash your baby two to three times a week maximum to avoid drying out their skin. Until your baby begins scooting, crawling, or playing with pets on the floor or other infants out in public a simple wipe down with a warm wet cloth in between baths is sufficient.

Did You Know: A little dab will do ya! You don’t need to use much soap at all.

In addition to being bathed too often, using too much soap can also dry out your baby’s delicate and oh so soft skin. You can just put a tiny drop or two of your soap of choice into the bath water for washing your newborn baby, reserving a single drop for washing his hair. That’s all you need.

Step #1: The Set Up

Choose a time when your baby isn’t tired and hungry to bathe him. Begin by placing the baby bathtub either in the sink or on a level surface, not too close to the edge of the counter. If you’re using one of those blooming sink inserts you will use it in the sink. If you’re using a bather that sits inside the tub you’ll either be in the tub with your baby or kneeling beside the tub. If you’re getting in with baby you want to have a second person to assist you with getting yourself and baby out. If kneeling, please protect your knees!

Step #2: Washing Your Newborn

Make sure all supplies are easily within reach, make sure the tub is plugged, add the water, and then your sweet babe! Immediately place one washcloth that you’ve wet over your baby’s genitals, remembering the 3 T’s of Bathtime.

Your baby will pee in the tub and it’s okay and there’s no need to drain the water! If poop happens, you’ll want to drain and start again. Fun times! While we’re talking pee and poop believe it or not sometimes little girls can pee up and everywhere just as little boys can. Pro tip, I recommend always starting by placing a wet washcloth over their genitals as soon as the diaper comes off and baby is placed in the tub.

Wash and rinse in this order: top to bottom, front to back. Beginning with baby’s hair use a single drop of soap of choice (tear-free may be a good option for you) onto the other wet washcloth and gently begin washing your baby’s hair. Pay close attention not to get soap in her eyes or mouth. Wipe behind her ears and then under her neck, in his little neck creases where milk gets trapped. Rinse carefully avoiding his eyes, nose, and mouth. Work your way down the front of your baby. Use the towel over his/her genitals to clean the diaper area well. How you clean your baby’s genitals depends on if your baby is a boy or a girl, is circumcised or intact. Check carefully to be sure your baby doesn’t have any hair wrapped around his toes.

Washing a baby’s backside isn’t as easy as the front, but in time you’ll become a pro at washing your newborn baby! You can either tip your baby carefully onto his side and wash the opposite side of his back and bottom and then repeat. Or, you can gently transfer your baby to lay face down onto your hand and arm always keeping his face out of the water while you wash then rinse.

Step #3: The Wrap Up

Remembering timing in the 3 T’s of Bathtime wrap it up as soon as possible, even if things are going really well. Pull the plug from the tub being careful to make sure the water is making it in the sink and not your countertop and floor.

Holding the towel on your chest using your teeth and toss the right side over your right arm and left side over your left arm. Then, standing as close to the counter and your baby as possible carefully lift your baby from the bath and transfer him to the center of the towel on your chest. Wrap up your baby burrito!

If your baby is happy you may be able to transfer him to the place you’ll lay him to dry and dress him. If he is upset, take a moment or two to calm and comfort him before continuing being mindful of the possibility of pee and poop. Place your baby on his back and dry him well. Then put his diaper on. If you are planning to use lotion on his skin, nows the time to do it. Start by rubbing the lotion in your hands to warm it first. Begin at the top and work your way down your baby’s body. You can use the towel to cover the areas you aren’t applying lotion to, to keep your baby warm.

When you’ve finished the top half of your baby’s body put his shirt/top on. Then finish applying lotion to the bottom half and put his pants/bottoms on. Before putting on his socks check his nails and clip them if they need to be clipped. Brush his hair/head with a soft bristle baby brush. Use cotton balls to dry his ears. Avoid putting anything into his ears including Q-tips you can damage his eardrums.

That’s it! You’re done!

Whether your baby blissfully obliged or painfully protested his bath you’re awesome! You’ll get the hang of washing your newborn and he’ll get the hang of being pampered and may even become playful with time!

Bathing is a topic our educators teach in our newborn care class and our team of postpartum and infant care specialists provide one-on-one assistance with baby’s first bath in the comfort and serenity of your home! Contact us to find out more!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke