must ask mama: round one

Monday, February 17, 2014

Today is the first day of the Must Ask Mama Series!  I am so very excited to answer some of y'all's questions along side 5 AMAZING and wise mamas!

*Before we get into this month's Q & A -- Be sure to send your questions to Lynzy ( ASAP to make sure your question is answered in the next round! We will link to your blog along with the question!

QUESTION ONE: "What should I be looking for in clothing/ what types of clothing should I be looking for as I move into the postpartum stage? I have six weeks of maternity leave, before I need to return to work (I teach K-12th grade English as a Second Language) and will need to have a business casual wardrobe for work.I don't want to invest tons of money into tons of clothes that I will only wear a short time. The most common suggestions are leggings and t-shirts, which is not work appropriate in my situation. I am excited to hear everyone's sage advice!" - Erin from Mrs. Bookworm


Veronika: "This is a great question! I think a few items that you could add to your wardrobe to get you through the transition of returning to work postpartum are pieces with lots of versatility. My suggestions are below.
* a-line/fuller skirt dresses--- they tend to be more forgiving than a pencil silouette
* a long blazer (I like the exeter blazer by the brand Talula from it goes with absolutely everything and the longer length skims the body nicely. It can dress up any outfit and even looks great with a simple v neck tee or dress shirt 
* Think about accessories- a basic tee or shirt can be dressed up by adding a bold necklace like a long chain, tassle necklace or something with a little sparkle. It also draws attention to your face.
* Stretchy fabrics, like the ones in this Banana Republic dress are fantastic---and so is ruching--- --- wrap dresses like this one: are also a great choice because they are adjustable. I wore my faux wrap dress from BR before, during and after pregnancy.  It's so versatile.

Also---there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing maternity pants back to work postpartum as long as they still fit nicely. No one will know and it will give you time to transition back to your old wardrobe and not have to buy new pants."
Lynzy: "Hi Erin! I lived in my maternity yoga pants every day around the house when I was postpartum (bought them on Motherhood Maternity) However, as far as going back to work - I would invest in just a few pieces that you can rotate for the first 2-3 months. I looked about 5 months pregnant for the first few weeks after delivery, by 6 weeks you will have lost a lot of the weight, but of course still not fitting into your pre-partum clothing. I would invest in some black pants that you can wear - that have a stretch band at the top (Gap and ASOS make great ones or even H&M!) I would also buy tops that are non-maternity but flow out at the bottom a bit (something you can wear all the time and not just "maternity" tops) I really, really love ASOS for tops like that!

Brittany: "My favorite things to wear right after my daughter was born, was yoga pants. Those carried me through the first 6-8 weeks when you are still sore and recovering. I had a few pairs of yoga styled pants that were dressy enough to pair with a dressier top and I could pull it off as business casual. Some of my favorite styled tops post baby were peplum tops and tunics. Things that are loose fitting in the tummy region were the most comfortable. Another go to top was a casual button down shirt that I could throw a cardigan or sweater over. Chunky sweaters are also great, too! Hope this helped :) "

Erica: " I had to return to law school two days after giving birth to my baby girl, and know exactly what it's like to not want to spend a bunch of money on temporary but appropriate clothes. I was able to find a few skirts from Express that had waistbands made of a stretchy material that still worked after I lost the baby weight. Maybe you can find a couple of these in neutral colors and wear them with tights to make it more teacher-appropriate? If they're still too big after you lose the baby weight, they're usually much easier (and cheaper) to have altered than pants. Button-down shirts (also from Express) were also a wardrobe essential for me during that time, and with the style I was able to find I didn't even have to go a size up to camouflage the belly poof and bigger boobs. Wearing an open blazer also helped me feel less self conscious about any muffin top action I had going on. There are of course, a few things I had to cave in and buy, but only because they were on sale and knew I wasn't finished having babies yet. :)"

Denise: "I would hold on to your pregnancy clothes!  As not exciting as that sounds, sometimes those pregnancy pants are hold you until you are ready for your pre-pregnancy clothes.  Also the Belly Band!  I wore this during pregnancy all the time so I was able to wear my regular pants but just leave them unbuttoned.  Well, the same went for after baby.  This belly bands are great – and would work with your pants that you already have for work.  As far as tops, I really love loose-fitting button-down blouses.  I got some great ones from Old Navy right after my baby and I wore them all the time – out to the store, to dinner with the hubs – everywhere.  And they were silk so you can dress them up (for work) or down (for weekend).  I would check Old Navy and Target for reasonably priced options!"
Kilee: "This is such a common question for so many new mommas! While most of us want to be right back into our pre-baby clothes, it is highly unlikely by just six weeks post partum- so yes, be ready to buy some new things! If you had business casual maternity clothes that you like, you will probably be able to keep wearing a lot of them. I would also look for some skinny fitting black knit pants with some stretch to them and loose fitting tunic sweaters. The black pants will kind of act like leggings kicked up a notch and will look great inside tall boots or with cute flats. Long, loose fitting sweaters will hide any tummy and wear well with slim pants. I would stick to looser fitting tops and tighter or slimmer fitting bottoms."

QUESTION TWO: "My son is 2.5 years old & every mealtime I struggle to get him to eat "real" food that isn't goldfish or applesauce.  He won't touch things like pasta, chicken, etc. So do you have any ideas on how to get him to at least try things or foods that your 2 year olds like?" - Katie from Tied Ribbon
Kilee: "My kids are actually great eaters! They love salad and veggies as well as goldfish and applesauce. I can't take credit for all of it, but I think there are some habits that we have that help. First, I let my kids help me grocery shop. If they ask for something that is healthy at the store- I'll buy it. I also sometimes encourage them to choose a fruit or veggie to purchase. They frequently help me cook meals. It is definitely messy, but we enjoy it. Whenever we sit down to eat, I don't offer other meal choices. What is on the table is what everyone eats. Every meal has something that the kids like so there are foods that they view as safe and then sometimes new ones to try. I think my husband's and my attitude about the food also rubs off on the kids. We aren't picky and are enthusiastic about the benefits of healthy food. And it may seem silly, but the show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood has several episodes that focus on trying new foods and my kids can't help but memorize the little songs from the show. If Daniel Tiger says to try new foods, my kids are up for it. "

Veronika: "- I don't feel I can really answer this one, but I've heard of parents making their children's food into fun shapes and little designs on their plates to make it more appealing/more likely that they will at least try it (perhaps you could even try cutting real cheese into goldfish shapes to see if he will eat something that's the same shape). I also read that babies and children often need to try a food 10-20 times before they will eat it, so to just keep offering. Children and babies can be such picky eaters, but based on my friends who have older babies and their experiences, it tends to usually be a phase when they are consistently only eating certain foods."

Denise: "While I do not have a 2.5 year old (I only have a 6 month old) I do have 4 nephews (ages 1, 4, 5 and 12) and have seen this problem.  I would try making it a game!  Maybe pick 1-2 new foods a week (at most) and make it a game for your child to try new foods.  It could be a family Friday night tradition.  That way you aren’t throwing too many things at your child at once, and focusing on one night a week seems manageable.  If he/she starts to enjoy those foods, then you can incorporate them into meals throughout the week. "

Erica: "I too have a difficult eater so I feel your pain! One thing I realized in my case, however, is that my daughter is less picky about the types of food she eats and more picky about when she eats them. My doctor recommended I keep a healthy food tray readily available for her to much on throughout the day. We realized she is more of a "grazer" than a three-meal-a-day person. That being said, there are still a lot of foods she simply refuses to eat. One way I've been able to get her to eat more of these foods is to pair them with something she really, really likes. I keep the food she likes out of reach and tell her she can only have a bite of it after she has a bite of the thing she doesn't like. In your case, for example, I'd have a plate with chicken on it and say, "Would you like a goldfish?" When he says yes reply, "Well if you take one bite of that yummy chicken you can have a goldfish." I've read that kids sometimes need to try a type of food up to fifteen times before they are accepting of it. If you haven't tried something like this already, it may be worth it!"
Lynzy: "I do not feel equipped to answer this question. I have a 4.5 month old and we haven't made the jump from milk to food yet! I have a nephew who is 13 months old and LOVES everything - his mama introduced foods early and always offers him a variety. I will leave this question to the other mamas :)"

Brittany: "I would give smoothies a try, and toss in some spinach leaves for him to get some greens! You cannot taste the spinach, and you can add whatever fruit he likes for taste. Also, another fun way to get him to try new foods is to make his favorite characters out of the foods. And, maybe he can even help you. I saw a blogger make Halloween candy corn out of fruits for her daughters breakfast. Just a thought :)" 

QUESTION THREE: "My question for you ladies is: How and when do you start transitioning your baby to sleep on their own? At what age can you just put her in the bed and she falls asleep on her own (instead of feeding and rocking her to bed)? Marli is 10 months and I am not sure if I should start easing her into this when she's a year!"  - Linh fromA Beautiful RAWR


Lynzy: "Okay so my little babe is 4.5 months old and she was very colicky for the first three months (we are talking - screamed from 3 pm - 11 pm every night without fail). She was forming some bad sleeing habits around 3 months and the best thing I ever did was to get her into her own room into her own crib. We started at three months and we have an entire bedtime routine. It goes like this:   Bath at 7 pm followed by a massage and PJs - then a book. She will then nurse and +/- a bottle as well. Right after she is done eating and burping she is placed in her crib and she goes to sleep in less than 5 minutes, however, we did sleep train her a bit at 3 months - which I believe is the reason that she is very good at soothing herself and putting herself to sleep. I always put her in the crib awake."
Denise: "I have a 6 month old so my advice is limited.  However, I would think Marli is most definitely ready to fall asleep on her own in her crib!  But I also see nothing wrong with rocking/singing to her before bed.  Just put her down before she falls asleep!  Sometimes I think people expect a baby (or child) to go from play time to sleep time in 3 minutes and that is just not practical.  My husband and I had to learn this when we were first letting Georgia sleep in her crib.  I know I couldn’t go from laughing and goofing off to zonked out asleep in 3 minutes, so I can’t expect my baby to either.  I would say establish a good night time routine (bath, quiet massage, story time, sing one song) and then lay your child down before falling asleep.  If you do this for a week, I bet she will learn to fall asleep on her own!"

VeronikaI want to know the answer to this one myself!  I think our plan is to eventually give a bottle before bedtime but not at bedtime. We've been really good about sticking with a night time routine---we do the exact same thing every night--- play for a bit in the nursery, bath time, diaper/PJ's and then she has her bottle while being rocked in the glider. Harper is pretty stuck on the idea that she needs to have her bottle to go to sleep, so this will be a challenge for us too!
Because I will be facing your exact same scenario soon, I think we will work towards developing a bedtime routine that has the same level of consistency as our current one, but with some added elements like story time. I think reading before bed is a wonderful thing to do, but right now Harper is at an age where she just wants her bottle and wants to sleep. I think after her bath I will hold her and rock her in the glider and see if she will fall asleep that way. As a mom who works outside of the home, I cherish that evening time with those extra snuggles."

Kilee: "Each of my kiddos has been different. The first one I let cry it out, the next didn't fall asleep easily until about 16 months and then my third started doing pretty well at about 7 months. I think the earlier you can start to push them to fall asleep on their own the better. That might mean letting them fuss a little before going to get them or having Dad rock them to bed instead of Mom. Sometimes I think babies and kids are more capable than we give them credit but will enjoy being rocked or held or fed if it is offered."
Brittany: "We transitioned our daughter to her crib at 8 weeks old. After a few unsuccessful nights we went back to the bassinet in our room. She didn't sleep any better in her bassinet, but we figured we would just go back to how we had it since nothing changed with her sleeping. We learned soon after that she had severe reflux and we quickly invested in a rock n play. We kept that in our room for a few more weeks and realized she was sleeping so much better. We decided to give it a shot, and we moved her rock n play into her nursery at 4 months old, and she did great. After about a month we moved her back into her crib and she became a very good tummy sleeper and we haven't looked back :) 
Honestly, our pediatrician told us at 4 months to start putting our daughter in her crib while she was awake. That didn't really work for us. We tried, and found she slept worse, so we just let played it by ear. At around 6 months we noticed that after she was done with her night time bottle, that she was happy and drowsy. We just began to put her in her crib at this phase and she would end up putting herself to sleep. Although, I still enjoy rocking her to sleep when she is drowsy just to have that little us time before she goes down. I think it comforts her to know I rocked her for a bit before I put her down to put herself to sleep. We use the Dr. Ferber's method now for anytime nighttime fussiness, and it works wonders!! I highly recommend it. It is a comfort cry it out method, and our daughter has never cried for more than 10 minutes with it. You basically just go into their room and comfort them every 3, 6, 10, and then 15 minutes after that. We've never gotten to 10 before. It isn't for everyone, but figured I'd mention it incase you were interested. Good luck :) "

QUESTION FOUR: " I'm a full time working mommy and wife. I need tips/advice on how to deal with my son's unpredictable tantrums!!! My son will turn 3 on Thursday the 23rd, Owen is a smart boy who loves to make people laugh . Of course, we have the moments where we have a huge meltdown, jumping up and down whiny scream comes out of no where and if course it happens in the grocery store or my favorite church !! The tantrums at church have caused my husband and I to change our scheduleSunday mornings (daddy was leaving before for music practice) we decided to change up our schedule maybe leave all together, if we see a change we will stick with it but of course I'm asking for tips/ advice on how to mange/ control the tantrums and whining." - Amanda

Denise: "Oh my goodness I am SO unequipped to answer this question so I am going to say PASS to these other mamas and I can’t wait to read what they say (and bookmark it for my future reference!) "

Erica: "My daughter is just getting into the "terrible twos" phase and we're beginning to have to deal with tantrums and whining as well. I know how difficult it can be, but I think the most important thing to do is not cave in. I've often done the opposite just given my toddler what she's whining about to shut her up, but I think the less I do this the faster the tantrum stage will end. I read in a recent toddler update email of mine that it's also important to call your toddler out when he or she is whining, every time they start doing it. Remind them that as long as they are using their whiny voice, they will not get what they want. Sometimes I think my toddler is just whining or yelling to get a rise out of me, and in those cases I correct her behavior once and then simply ignore her until she stops. This isn't always as easy in a public place, of course. When I'm in those situations, I calmly take my toddler outside (or somewhere more private) until they cool off (if I can). I'd love to tell you that these methods are guaranteed to work, but my toddler still has meltdowns fairly often so that would be a lie! Just try to do the best you can and remember that toddler tantrums happen. :)"
Kilee: "This is a tough one. A huge part of it is the age you are at, but it also might just be his personality. My first never did, but my second little boy can throw a tantrum that is unreal! I can't believe how worked up he will get over nothing! In our case, I've learned that there is no talking him down from it. He has to decide to get over it and change his emotions. The fact that he is so passionate is a blessing because it comes out in his humor and his loving side, but it is so hard to deal with when he is mad. I doubt you will like this advice, but honestly just learning to not react to his tantrum and showing him love afterwards is my best advice. You just gotta wait it out patiently. It shows him that you can control your own emotions, you understand he is expressing himself in the only way that he can at that moment and that you are there for him when he decides to pull out of it. Then whenever my son is done with his fit- if I show him love I have the chance to hug him and hold him and talk through with him what he was feeling and what might be a better way to respond next time. I know it is hard and embarrassing and frustrating, but it really can be a way to get closer to him rather than pushing him away for his bad behavior."
Lynzy: "I am definitely not equipped to answer this question! I will leave it to the other two mamas :)"

Don't forget to send your questions in to Lynzy ( ASAP to make sure your question is answered in the next round! We will link to your blog along with the question!

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