Good Baby Stuff

Hello, toddler!


Look Ma, no hands!

Look Ma, no hands!

I’ve got a full-blown toddler on my hands. Little C turned 1 a few days ago, and he walks! He’s not a baby anymore.

He doesn’t look like a baby either, he’s wearing clothing for a three-year old. Above all, I’m shocked at how fast this year has gone by, and also, how slowly. 

I look at pictures of him a year ago when he was a newborn, and I start to cry. We’ve come so far. He walks! He eats! He plays! He giggles! This time last year I was just coming back from the hospital with him.

He’s left behind all the vestiges of babyhood. He doesn’t use a bottle (he never did), nor a pacifier. The Arm’s Reach cosleeper bassinet was folded up this weekend and put in the basement. The loaned Exersaucer from Zach has gone back. It’s all gone! Toddlerhood is truly here.

If I have another baby, I hope to remember some things:

Bring handwipes to the hospital, and clean socks, and slippers.

Hire the lactation consultant right away. 

Ignore any advice to wake up the baby every 2 hours at night to nurse. And no night pumping either, that’s crazy!

Remember that breastfeeding does get supereasy over time, even if you have an imperfect latch and just about every other condition in the book. Your body will make it right eventually. 

Don’t get so freaked out about mastitis. Stay home, call the house-visit doctor, drink fluids galore and remember the pain will go away in a few days.

Get prescription medicine asap for baby eczema and use it. This is not a condition that will clear up on its own.

Don’t bother with all that Ferber Cry-It-Out sleep stuff.  Just accept that you might not sleep through the night for one year and ignore people that tell you otherwise. This way, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if Baby No. 2 does actually sleep through the night earlier on than Cillian.

Don’t stress about the baby weight in the first while. It took about 9 months for me to lose it all. And happily, I wasn’t even trying.

So on that note, the time has come to wrap up this blog. Thanks for reading and I hope you found some good baby stuff.


What Cillian is doing now: Napping in his crib. He often naps three hours each afternoon, which will come in handy when I am working from home starting next month.


Breastfeeding: My Brest Friend nursing pillow


Mealtime used to happen on this pillow, every few hours!

Mealtime used to happen on this pillow, every few hours!

One of my most searched and most read posts is one I wrote about breastfeeding, mastitis and potato slices.  Man, I’ve been through everything when it comes to nursing. Crazy thing is, once upon a time, the whole idea made me quite uncomfortable. I knew I was going to try it, but generally speaking, I didn’t like looking at breastfeeding mothers and even the though of myself nursing was very abstract, and not something that exactly filled me with pleasure.

It was so hard to get nursing started (as it is for nearly everyone). The pain, the frustration. This My Brest Friend pillow was a great help, and I used it constantly for about 3 months, then only when I nursed when sitting on the sofa. The lactation consultants all seem to like it best, as it’s nice and flat. 

Breastfeeding is very technical at the beginning: sit your chair up nice and straight, deflate that little hemmoroid donut they give you (invariably way too inflated) so that there’s just a touch of air in there, put the pillow on nice and high under your breasts. Then there’s the baby. Undress him so he’s skin-to-skin with you. Make sure he’s on his side. Latch him on while holding your boob with your hand closest to it. Compress your breast to make it flatter and therefor easier to get more of it in his mouth. 

Sigh. I could go on and on. It’s tough going. Like learning to ride a bike with a newborn in a basket on top.

However, take heart. Here is my one piece of advice. Whatever breastfeeding problem you may have, it will probably go away. My friend Y told me “Eventually it will come as naturally as blowing your nose.” And true enough, it happened at around the five-month mark. No more problems. No more pain. Just easy, breezy nursing. Thank god. Cause I hate cleaning bottles and making formula, and I only did it a handful of times.


What Cillian is doing now: Sleeping. It’s 11am and he’s still going strong, SINCE LAST NIGHT. Yep. He fought me to stay up until 11, crying and writhing like crazy, finally fell asleep. Woke up briefly to nurse at 7:30, played on my bed a bit, fell back asleep. It’s like having a teenager in the house.

Ultimate breastfeeding book of answers



Mommy read this book all the time!

Mommy read this book all the time!

Thank goodness for this book. At one point I was reading it every second week. They should hand it out in the hospital.

I’ve been through so much I should become a La Leche League leader or something. I ought to put this knowledge to use. Let’s see…I’ve had:

-inability to latch the baby on to one breast, cured at the five-day mark by Anne-Marie Desjardins the lactation consultant

-cracked, bleeding nipples. Granted, almost everyone gets those, but mine resulted in mastitis

-mastitis three times, requiring antibiotics (cloxacillin each time did the trick)

-a non-drainable breast abscess as a result of the first case of mastitis, also cured with six weeks of cloxacillin. The lump didn’t hurt and it didn’t liquify, thanks to the magic of modern medicine

-two more cases of minor mastitis

-recurrent blocked ducts

-nipple blebs on both sides. Had to sterilize a needle and poke the white blisters so the backed-up milk could come out

-nipple blanching (that’s when they turn white). I thought it was a yeast infection because of the intense burning pain, until I noticed they were turning white after feedings. As per the book’s advice, I took vitamin B6, 100mgs for three days, then just 25mgs a day. It took the pain away, even though they still turn white. How freaky is that!

-nursing strike, which lead to

-milk oversupply, such that Cillian was clamping down to shut off the valve, so to speak

That’s just about every breastfeeding-related affliction you can get. I would still do it again though, because motherhood makes you crazy.


What Cillian did today: Rolled over many times, and wiggles backwards too. Ate half a big piece of lasagna. Drank water out of a glass. Played in the park with Poh poh and uncle Joseph. 

Breastfeeding, mastitis and raw potato slices


What's this I hear about using potato slices to cure mastitis?

What's this I hear about using potato slices to cure mastitis?

If you’re breastfeeding and prone to getting mastitis, you’ll know those telltale symptoms in no time. Breast pain. Not tenderness pain of a blocked duct (I’ve had those too) but a really acute pain. Redness. Everytime your boob moves, whether getting out of bed or bending down to pick something up, not to mention nursing, you’ll feel it. My last bad case, I didn’t think I could even get out of bed. 

Make sure you have  some potatoes around all the time. This sounds like one of those iffy old wives tale remedies, but I can assure it you it works for minor cases. On two occasions I could feel the mastitis coming on, and I took a tip from Dr Jack Newman’s website, which says to use  raw potato slices on the sore red part of the breast. I wish I knew this the first three times I had mastitis. Yes. I’ve beaten three bad bouts of mastitis using crateloads of cloxacillin, and two minor ones using the humble potato.

(And I did try other remedies, warm compresses, warm showers and baths, massaging the area, bed rest, constant nursing. You name it, I did it.)

This is what you do, courtesy of Dr Newman’s site (this info doesn’t appear in the book)

Within the first 24 hours of symptoms, you may find that applying raw potatoes to the breast, in slices, to be very helpful in reducing the pain and the swelling and redness of the infection.  Many mothers have reported that this is extremely effective, works quickly, and often eliminates the need for further treatment.

·         Cut 6-8 washed, raw potatoes (preferably lengthwise) into thin slices, approximately 1/8” to ¼” thick.  Place in a large bowl of water (room temp.) and leave out.

·         Apply wet potato slices to breast and affected areas.  Leave in place for 15-20 min.

·         Remove and discard used slices.  They should feel hot and softened. Apply fresh slices from bowl. 

·         Repeat process two more times, totalling approximately 3 applications per hour.  Take a 20-30 minute break and then repeat procedure.

I can assure you from my own experience, this works really well to take away the mastitis, but you have to catch it in time. Three days later and there will probably be too much infection for it to work. If you have a raging fever, you’re probably too far gone and should just get antibiotics. Don’t let it turn into an abscess! I had one of those, too. 


What Cillian is doing now: Jumping on his Jolly Jumper and howling…basically getting himself nice and tired for bedtime.