How Can We Help You? (Part 4 of 4)

When you are pregnant with your second do you think “How will I ever love this baby as much as I love my first?” Do you wonder “Will my firstborn be sad, or mad upon his or her baby sibling’s arrival?” Or how about “How will I ever handle TWO (or three??) children at the same time?”

Don’t worry!!! You are NOT alone. Almost all “second” time moms have these thoughts, and feelings. And it IS an adjustment, but The Baby Mavens can help you with that too, of course. ūüôā

We OFTEN times are hired by the pregnant mom of a two year old who isn’t quite sure what she needs help with when her second child arrives, but she is certain she will need help of some sort! And watching your firstborn become a big brother, or big sister is often times an experience you don’t want to miss! Wait until the very first time your older “baby” shares his most priced toy with HIS “baby”, your heart will just melt.

Sometimes the evening is a more challenging time of day for moms juggling a new baby and a toddler, or older child. There is dinner to be made, and sometimes homework to be done, and well- that baby probably wants to eat right smack dab in the middle of it all! Having a Maven there to help could look a little like this:

It’s 4pm, I arrive to a screaming toddler (he wanted the orange cup for a snack, not the red one), a crying baby in mom’s arms, and mom looking like she is on the verge too. I bend down to my buddy’s level and in a quiet voice remind him to just use his words and ask for the orange cup, he snuffles a little and says “pwease I have owange cup?” I quickly trade the offended cup out, and make a quick bottle for the baby. Then I grab said crying infant from mom, and ask “How about you have a break for a few? Can I make you a cup of tea?” She replies: “I just want a shower.” So I send Mom off to the bathroom, and shuffle the toddler into the family room with me and the baby. I settle the baby in for the bottle, and manage to read the toddler a few stories while we cuddle on the couch. The baby falls asleep, so I put her down in the nearby Pack n’ Play, and get some crayons and coloring books out for my little friend.

While he is coloring quietly, I sneak over to the kitchen and quickly throw the dishes in the sink in the dishwasher and wash the bottle. I notice there is a casserole on the counter, with directions from a friend. So I turn on the oven, and make Mom a cup of tea. When she emerges from the shower, she notices that things are a little cleaner and a little quieter so I encourage her to have a rest, which of course she graciously accepts! I peek in on the baby and her big brother, baby is sound asleep and brother is still quietly coloring away. So I sit next to him on the couch and fold a basket of laundry that was left there. I put the casserole in the oven, and get some plates and silverware out for the toddler. I know they will feed him first but that mom will wait for dad to come home to eat with him.

Just as I am sitting Big Brother down for dinner, the baby starts to make some noise and Mom comes out. She sits and nurses the baby, and we catch up for a few minutes. Then she passes the baby to me and she sits with her oldest while he eats. I take the baby over to the sink for a quick bath, and get her all snuggled up in her jammies. Mom then takes her big boy in the other room for a bath. I pop the baby in the Moby that I brought, and clean up from dinner, putting two plates aside to heat up when Dad comes home. I then take a peak at the hampers in the baby’s room, and in her brother’s, and quickly throw any dirty laundry in the washing machine. Mom and Big Brother come out of the bathroom, and head to his room for his books and bed. I bend down so that he can give his baby sister a kiss on the top of her head, and he gives me a quick hug too! (How sweet?!?!)

Mom comes out a little while later, and finds the baby swaddled in her bassinet. Dinner is just about ready, and she has a few more minutes to relax before Dad comes in. I tell her “Put your feet up and throw on that show you have been watching on Netflix! Have a great night, and see you on Thursday!”

When I leave a shift feeling like Mom has gotten to have a little break, and her babies were well cared for I totally feel a little like I should be wearing a cape! ūüôā Just call us Super Doulas!

*laurie

How Can We Help You? (Part 3 of 4)

Have you ever been so tired you couldn’t stand up long enough to shower? ¬†Too tired to cook dinner? ¬†So exhausted you fall asleep standing up while waiting for the Nespresso to brew?

If you’re a new parent, the answer is a resounding “YES!” Now for my next question – would you like to get some sleep? ¬†Even one full 8-hour night? ¬†I’m sure you’re saying “YES!” again! ¬†Well, help is on the way.√ľberforderung

The Baby Mavens offer overnight care. ¬†Yes, that’s right, we will care for your newborn(s) overnight while you sleep. ¬†ALL. Night. Long. ¬†Maybe you already knew that, but you weren’t sure what an overnight shift might look like. ¬†Here’s an example, but remember every family is different, so your needs may be very different!

I arrive at 10 pm to find mom and dad semi-comatose on the couch with their 3-week-old baby between them. ¬†He’s asleep for now, but due to eat soon. ¬†A quick check in with the parents and I learn that things are mostly going well but that mom’s PPD is causing her extreme anxiety. ¬†She, along with her physician, have decided that breastfeeding is causing her far too much stress, so she is no longer nursing. Both parents seem relieved with this decision. She is going to continue pumping as often as she feels up to it, but at this point, we will be using up the freezer stash and transitioning to formula. ¬†Mom happily reports that she is going to bed and will see me in the morning. Both parents retire for the night.

I move baby into the bassinet and tackle the dishes in the kitchen.  After the sink is clean and the dishwasher is running, I prepare a bottle of Expressed Breast Milk for the baby who is now awake and ready to eat.  He hungrily downs all 3 ounces and of course needs a diaper change afterwards.  Then, I re-swaddle him and settle him back into the bassinet.  With a little bit of shushing and swaying he falls back to sleep.

I gather his laundry from the nursery and start a load of his clothes. ¬†There are towels in the dryer which I fold and put in the linen closet. ¬†Now I settle in on the couch next to the sleeping baby. ¬†I doze off as I listen¬†to his sweet little baby sounds. At about 2 am he awakens me looking for his next meal. ¬†I quickly get a bottle prepared and feed him. This time he’s so sleepy it takes a little prodding to get him to take more than an ounce; he keeps falling back asleep. Once he’s all settled back into bed, I go downstairs and move the laundry to the dryer. ¬†Now I rest some more myself.

4:30 am and baby is stirring, but not really awake yet. ¬†I stick the bag of breastmilk in a cup of warm water and run down and grab the laundry so I can fold it after he has his bottle. ¬†He wakes up and has his bottle and another diaper change. ¬†He’s bright-eyed and wide awake. ¬†“No, my little friend, it’s not wake-up time yet!” ¬†It takes a bit of shushing and swaying to get him back to sleep. ¬†I finish folding the laundry and quickly put it away. ¬†The dishwasher is done, so I put the dishes away as silently as I am able, so as to not disturb the parents or the baby. All bottles are washed, the Diaper Genie is emptied, and I am able to close my eyes once again…

5:50 – my silent alarm goes off and I wake up, careful not to wake the baby. ¬†I fold my blanket to the back of the couch and fluff the pillows the way they go. ¬†I run into the powder room and brush my teeth and hair before greeting the parents for the day. I meet Mom in the kitchen at 6:00. ¬†She’s feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!

So, I ask you again, how can we help you? #TheBabyMavensDoThat

 

*Lauren

 

 

 

Top 5 Family Fun Days in Massachusetts

Winter will be here before you know it – but before your mind starts thinking about ice skating, sledding, hot cocoa and the dreaded SNOW REMOVAL — get in some fun fall activities while you still can! So what should you do?

  1. Go to a farm. ¬†Seriously, people, it’s Massachusetts and it’s Fall. ¬†Can’t you smell all the wonderful farmy smells? Cochon de fermeNo, silly, not those smells… The Food and Drinks! ¬†Along with pumpkins, fresh veggies, apples and Freshly Pressed Apple Cider you can find special treats like homemade pies, apple cider donuts and Wine. Yes, that’s right, some farms even have their own fresh WINE. ¬†Like Russell Orchards in Ipswich!
  2. Go Take a hike.¬† Put your baby in a backpack or soft structured carrier and get out there! Feel the leaves crunching under your feet, stretch your legs, get some fresh air! Try Weir Hill in North Andover; take the Stevens Trail to be rewarded with a spectacular view. If you can’t stand to leave your dog at home, try Ravenswood in Gloucester. Or maybe the popular Walden Pond is more your speed?
  3. Ride a Bike.  Perhaps the most famous bike trail is practically in your backyard: The Minuteman Bikeway is an 11-mile asphalt path with parking in several locations including Lexington, Cambridge, and Lincoln just to  name a few. Of course many local cities and towns have their own wonderful rail-trails as well. Most are, of course, stroller-friendly as well if you prefer to walk/jog/rollerblade.
  4. Are you ready for some football? What better way to spend a fall weekend than enjoying a football game?  Go watch your niece or nephew play for your alma mater, or catch the Patriots on TV or at Gillette.  Many communities even offer Flag Football for the kids to play.
  5. Rake those leaves! ¬†¬†fall-leaves-yard-cleanup-4Make a game of it, get your older kids involved, make big leaf piles and jump in them just like you did when you were a kid. ¬†Remember that many hands make light work, and you’re making memories with your kids! (See what I did there? I had you thinking this blog was all about fun, but well, we have to get some chores done once in a while.)

I am *that friend*. I admit it. Sometimes I just can’t keep my mouth shut….

When it comes to proper carseat usage anyway. ¬†I am the one who sees your precious little peanut in a picture on Facebook and inboxes you saying, “Oh, Baby is so cute, but did you know that she can’t wear that big bulky coat in the carseat, and those straps have to be waaaay tighter than you’ve got them. ¬†Oh, and yeah, about that chest clip…”

I don’t know when my passion for carseat safety got so intense, but it is. I was constantly buying new seats for my son as I learned of a “better” one on the market, or one that might allow me to keep him harnessed a bit longer than the one I currently had. For years, I have been “that friend” who everyone calls to ask for advice on installing their carseat.

*Is this seat installed tight enough?

*Is this where the chest clip goes? Is she secured snugly?

*Which seat is best for my baby?

*What is the best way to install this seat? LATCH or seatbelt?

*Can I use this mirror?

*No? – Why not? it says it’s “crash-tested”!

AND, my favorite: Can I turn my one-year-old baby forward facing? ¬†He hates to be rear-facing, and his legs are so squished! No – He needs to stay rear-facing. Take a look at some of the positions your baby or toddler plays in. ¬†He doesn’t mind crossing his legs. ¬†He isn’t uncomfortable. There is no question that rear-facing babies are the most protected passengers in the vehicle. Keep your baby rear-facing until at least age two, but as long as possible within the height/weight limits of your seat. Extended rear-facing just may save his life one day!

Fast forward to December 17, 2014. ¬†My first day of my¬†CPST Class! WOW – so informative, and humbling, too. ¬†Found out I didn’t know as much as I thought. #neverstoplearning I love being in classes/school in general (OK, fine, I am a bit of a nerd!) Being in this class was amazing! ¬†I was a sponge soaking it all in. I learned about all types of seatbelts, and how to use them safely and properly. I learned how to install a variety of carseats (infant “bucket” seats or rear-facing only, convertible seats – converts from rear-facing to forward-facing, combination seats – forward facing with harness, changes to belt-positioning booster, high-back boosters, no-back boosters ) in a variety of cars. Sometimes it’s not easy. ¬†Occasionally, one carseat just may not be compatible with a particular car. There is no one universal fit.

Confused yet? ¬†I’m not! ¬†If you would like a private lesson on your carseat, and learn how to install it properly in your vehicle, just call¬†me¬†to set up an appointment. It’s probably way easier than taking a 3-day course.

Inspiration.

laurieandmadi

This week we “launched” our Facebook page, and our website. We are so excited to start making this dream a reality! It has been a lot of months of what we like to call “maven meetings”, and late nights working on the website, finding just the right pictures to build our vision. Which brings me back to where I first started thinking about wanting to serve new families in some sort of capacity. (Which was later made clearer upon talking with Lauren!)

Few people know that that beautiful little girl in the photo above was my inspiration for starting this business. She is the first child of my best friend and his amazing wife, she was born last August. Their family lives on the other side of the country, and it was hard to be so far away for all of the milestones of the pregnancy and birth; building her nursery, mom’s baby shower, and of course her birth. Her Daddy would call me to ask for advice, about products and vaccines, as well as questions about breastfeeding and formula. (And I wish I knew then what I do now!) It got me thinking; that even from afar I could help my friends. ¬†I have used almost every baby product out there, I have worked with lots of different babies- many with issues and concerns, and I have a solid background in child development. I wanted to be able to help other families, and other new moms. ¬†I wanted to turn this “passion”, “obsession” and “love” into a career, a business. So thank you Baby Girl, and to your Mommy and Daddy for bringing you into this world.

Game Changer

I am fairly¬†certain I came out of the womb shouting orders. I probably told my mom how to breastfeed, and the nurses how to change my diaper. Yea, I am THAT bossy. ¬†I¬†recognize this flaw in myself, and it is something that I have struggled with and worked on quite a bit over the years. When my dearest friends have babies and come to me for advice, I tell them “You HAVE to get this, and you MUST do that, and you SHOULD do it this way.” Sometimes, this is just¬†what they need, and often times I am sure it is not!¬†

And then. This past weekend, I attended my Postpartum Doula workshop, another (and now I think of it as the MOST important) piece to certification with DONA International. This workshop was a game changer for me, it was that life altering. I walked in thinking “I already know so much about babies, I have worked with lots and lots of infants, and lots and lots of different babies and moms.” Well, I learned how to calm my soul and quiet my racing mouth. I learned, how to be a Doula. And being a Doula is so much more than babies. So much more.¬†

Probably what stuck with me the most is that “You should always be working yourself out of a job.” This mentality is SO very different than working as a nanny, as a nanny¬†you want to stay with the family for as long as you can! But TRUE doula work means encouraging, teaching, and supporting Mom [and Dad], helping, educating, and¬†supporting, assisting, complimenting and SUPPORTING. As a doula, I hope to help Mom and her family feel so confident in the job of taking care of baby that they don’t need me anymore. I’ve helped Mom¬†recover and heal (and rest!) from the birth. There is a huge need for this work out there, in the U.S we have high¬†expectations for Mom following her giving birth, we often forget that SHE needs some care and¬†attention as well. This is truly¬†such beautiful work, and I cannot WAIT to be fully immersed in it!

*laurie