10/11 Months

Well those 2 months just flew by, how on earth did I let my blogging ball drop quite so badly?

Maybe it has to do with the fact that Mr B has FINALLY started to crawl and I haven’t been able to sit still for more than 5 minutes before the silence starts to get worrying! If you have a late crawler I can safely say there is NOTHING to worry about. It took us till 10 months before he got going and he is fantastic at it.

Maybe it has to do with my crazy idea to get a puppy while I have an 11 month old baby. Again no sitting still!

Maybe it has to do with the recent launch of my new Facebook page/business called Bubs and Up (unashamed business plug here)

Whatever you want to put it too, chances are its just good old fashioned laziness and procrastination 🙂

But back to Billy…
Starting with the anticipation of enjoying our first Christmas together, the last 2 months have been a great adventure and I’ve loved every minute of discovery and every moment of fun. From having the camera in my hand by chance while he took his first crawling steps towards his very proud daddy to seeing him laugh hysterically while knocking down a tower. He is definitely our little destroyer (which is why you may hear us call him Billzilla from time to time), but I will happily rebuild after a Billzilla raid just to watch him enjoy pulling it all apart again.

SO I started this blog post ages ago and never finished it… Can’t remember much about Billy’s 10/11 months, Besides of course him learning to crawl. But what I do know is that this kid is amazing; smiley; funny and most of all ridiculously gorgeous and he fills my life with love, joy and many, many good times. So I’m just going to leave this post right here as my wonderful forgetful self has no idea what I was going to say 🙂

9 Months!

Ok I know, I know, I am very late in creating this post! In fact so late that I think we are only a few days away from him turning 10 months… whoops.

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Anyhoooooo, so our little munchkin is growing up. A whole 9 months have just flown by since this treasure joined our little family. The best part about having him around is that I can with all honesty in my heart say that I love him more today than I did when we first met (as if that could be possible) and I just adore spending time with him.
I think I might be one of those ‘weird’ moms who doesn’t want anyone to babysit and sees no reason what so ever to escape from my kid even for an hour or 2. Hubby and I have this arrangement that he gets Billy all to himself at least once a week and I get to go do shopping or errands etc. and as much as I sometimes look forward to it, the second I walk out the door all I want to do is run back inside, scoop him up and take him with me.

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But enough about me, Mr B is growing in leaps and bounds, although still no crawling or walking yet, he is meeting other developmental milestones quite well. In fact I was incredibly worried about his lack of movement (especially compared to other babies his age) but the more research I did and the more I spoke to other mommy’s and our doctor, the more I can see that 9 months and only just starting the crawling/walking stage was actually the norm in the past and it seems in this day and age of pushing our children to achieve and trying to make sure they hit their next hurdle/milestone we are actually making most of those milestones earlier than they used to be…. although if your baby is already doing those things I’m not saying that there is something wrong with that.
What he is lacking in gross motor skills he is making up for in other ways. Be it as simple as calling me (with a very cute mumma) to come get him when he wakes up, to using his fine motor skills to pick up a blueberry with his thumb and forefinger or point to stuff when you ask (although this may not happen all the time, it really depends on his mood). He even knows that a cow says moo and can give me a “high 5”.
We’ve been on some fun adventures together like getting a zoo pass and walking around looking at all the animals, taking a road trip down to Ulludulla, quite a few picnics in the park and of course lots of playdates.
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He is also starting to enjoy more experiences like munching into some juicy watermelon on a hot day, moving from his little bath to a big bath and having his first shared bath with his beautiful cousins, realizing he is at a birthday party (the last one we went to he pretty much slept all the way through it) and of course lots of Christmas fun (which I will try blog about separately).
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But man he is a cutie and is starting to show us his wonderful little personality traits. He is cheeky and shakes his head for no when we ask him to stop doing something, if he can help us pack away his toys or if he wants to go to bed. And of course a smile that will melt anyone’s heart. As much bragging as I can do about this kid, we do still have our odd bad day and I know just how lucky I am to be able to say that it is a rare occasion to have any tantrums or screaming and crying in our home.

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In fact I think that the most growing and changing to happen in our home is with me! Even before I had kids I thought I knew exactly what I was or would be doing. I’d see a screaming toddler in a shop and immediately think to myself “oh no poor kid, its clearly the parents fault”. Now I want to walk up to all mothers and give them a big hug and just tell them it’s going to be ok… well maybe not all mothers, but I am definitely not little miss judgmental anymore and have opened myself up to so many more ideas, methods and journeys. I had this great idea about what I would do if I was in a certain situation or what was good for my future child, I would look at other parents and think wow you really know how to discipline your kid. Now that our son has arrived I’ve come to realize that this little person in my arms has a personality all his own, a future only he can choose, a life only he can live and I have no control and shouldn’t want any control over that. My job as his mommy right now is to love the heck out of him and be his home and his safe place. If he is having a tough time facing something, if he doesn’t want to do something, even if he doesn’t want to go to someone else and only wants me, I need to respect his individual self and treat him like I would any other human being who would come to me in need. Most people can tell me I am babying him but as far as I can see he is still a baby and needs me to do exactly that, as he gets older I’m sure I will have to change the way I approach certain situations but for now all he needs from us is patience and love (oh an food of course)!

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8 Months

So my darling son turned a huge 8 months old this week! Wow only 4 months to go before he hits his first birthday.
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He is growing so quickly day by day and its scary and wonderful to see each new step. He is such a wonderful son, such a joy in our lives and is developing his own little character. He has a gorgeous little giggle and it works up into a contagious laugh, its amazing to hear.

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This month we went camping for the first time, which was amazing. Billy loves the outdoors especially watching the trees and birds. He was enthralled by everything we did and saw. so wonderful watching him learn.

We also had our biggest scare when our angel had his temperature rise over one weekend to a very high 39.2 deg. But thankfully it was gone just as soon as it arrived and even though it took him a few extra days to stop being clingy I am just grateful his wonderful amazing little body could fight it off so efficiently.

So to my big boy, the love of my life (except you of course my darling husband), we are so happy to have you as part of our lives for theses last 8 months and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us 🙂

7 Months

I feel like I say this every time I do a new post but where has the time gone?
Can’t believe that he is getting so much closer to his 1st birthday, I feel like I have only just had him… he’s not allowed to grow anymore!
I must admit that there isn’t to much new to report on this month. He has basically just spent this whole month improving on the many skills he has already picked up.
He can now sit completely unaided and never falls over anymore. He is still eating like a champion and kiwi has become his absolute favourite right now… especially since they are in season and so flipping tasty! His fine motor skills are amazing and he has a great pincer grip already. The gross motor skills are still a bit slower than other babies his age but he has finally rolled so I know he can do it, he really is very lazy and just can’t be bothered.

He is getting cheekier and funnier and is really adding some funny sounds to his vocabulary, especially the squealing 🙂 He is growing into his personality and I can already see he is going to be quite the little character and he already has us in stitches most days

Since there isn’t to much to report I’ll just update you with some nice photos.

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Carob Balls

I was just quickly baking an impossible pie for dinner when I realised I hadn’t made any treats for Sean to take to work this week.
We had recently tried some protein balls from Boost and they were delicious so I thought I would try and invent some of my own. And this little bit if heaven is what I came up with:

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Recipe:
1 cup of Almonds
1 cup of Medjool dates
1/2 cup of Goji berries
1/2 cup of Dried cranberries
1-2 tbs of Carob (depending on taste)
1 tsp Vanilla extract.

Add to a blender (or in my case the Bellini Kitchenmaster) in the order listed above and blend together until ingredients are moist and sticking together.
Roll into balls and then roll through coconut if you want or even some carob powder and enjoy!

6 Months …

This was actually supposed to be a 25 week update cause working off calendar weeks he is only 26 weeks this week but according to his monthly schedule he was 6 months 2 weeks ago so what the heck I thought I would do it half way between and hope for the best… But then my darling little angel sprouted a tooth and I haven’t had a moment to myself so I could write!

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Our little man has grown in leaps and bounds this last month, from saying his first word to sitting up all by himself. And of course we are loving every minute of it!
As I said he has gotten his first tooth, so now I have a sooky, clingy, dribbling little angel! I must admit compared to some teething stories I think we got one of the easier bubs for this stage but its still hard to be needed 24/7! It is very strange to see such an obvious growth in his development though and he is really starting to look more like a baby than just a plain newborn and it breaks my heart a little cause he is growing WAY to quickly now 😦

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Probably one of the most noticeable achievements from this past months is his ability to talk. Whenever he wakes up from a sleep I greet him with a “Hi” or a “Hello”, now when I turn towards him the morning he smiles up at me and clearly says HI! Oh boy it gets my day started off in just the right way. Then we have had all the usual mumble jumble that comes with baby talk but we have also had the very clear “mumma” and “dadda”, although dadda is still said in a mumble jumble kind of way whereas mumma is said as one off words. So YAY mumma wins, not like this was competition or anything 😉 although I must admit after a weekend spent with daddy my Mondays are full of dadadadadadada, so I think I need to watch what Sean says to him when I’m not in the room! Flip is this kid gonna be a chatter box, just like his mommy! If he is happy he’s chatting, if his hungry he’s chatting, if he’s upset he is chatting…. There isn’t going to be much quiet time in this household and we love it!

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We have also noticed how strong he is getting. He can sit up by himself for a short while and just loves standing. In fact tummy time is pretty much a thing of the past because he would much rather be on his feet than lying down so we haven’t made much progress with the rolling over (oops). But I am sure once he is sitting for longer and moving around more he can get a handle on the whole rolling thing. It did have me a little concerned at first but he is so strong in other ways that I think he is more lazy than under-developed. Plus he is concentrating more often on his fine motor skills than his gross motor skills so we will just have to see what happens next. He has a great pincer grip of his food and toys and can control his hand movements so well.

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We’ve done a couple of firsts this month.
First Father’s Day, first foods, first painting, first beach outing, first words, first time sitting up alone, first time playing outside in the garden and first teeth and tomorrow is his first pool party with some of his friends. (In fact this kid has more of a social life than I do).

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But the most amazing thing that has happened this month is I have fallen more in love with him, I wouldn’t have thought that could really be possible!
I still love every moment with him, every feed, every cuddle, every cry, every moan, every new experience…. Everything about him makes my heart beat faster and my life feel fuller!

I love you little monkey man!

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20 Weeks

Ok so this post is a bit delayed. It was supposed to be ready for when he turned 20 weeks (he is now 23 weeks). But anyhoo…here is our beautiful son 20 weeks inside and 20 weeks out!
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He has definitely grown 🙂

Present for our neighbours

Our lovely neighbours have 2 (maybe 3) chickens in their little garden. Every now and then they pop over the wall and scrummage through our garden which I don’t mind at all cause they are really cute.
But the best part about having these chooks as neighbours is they lay enough eggs for us too. It doesn’t happen too often but we have had a couple of boxes of eggs just rock up on our doorstep since we have moved in here. Which we are really grateful for.

So I thought I would do something in return to thank them. Since I had a big baking day yesterday so I was on a bit of a roll and Billy had a HUGE morning sleep today I thought I would quickly bake them some cupcakes as a thank you gift.

I started by finding some lovely scrap booking paper I had lying around and an old egg carton (which I thought was quite fitting for this gift). I measured the top and cut my paper to fit so it wasn’t just an ugly carton and I stamped Thank You on the top.

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I then baked some cupcakes, decorated them, and placed them inside the box and voila. A lovely little gift to say a small thank you 🙂

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I even had time for a quick cuppa since my son hadn’t woken up yet.

Monthly madness

In order to save some money and stress less I have started to do monthly plans for our shopping and thought I would share our little secret to knocking a few pennies of the budget.

I start the month by sitting down with a Calendar, pad of paper, pen and recipe books/iPad, usually on a Sunday cause that’s Daddy and Billy’s day. This month I started the week before the start of the month as next weekend is a rather busy one with a Babyshower and Fathers Day celebrations etc so there wouldn’t be time to do any of this stuff.

I then go through the calendar and my phone and make sure all our appointments, bill payments, events and birthdays are all marked down. If there is a birthday and I have to buy a gift I might spend a few minutes thinking about the gift and writing some ideas down. The I move onto or monthly meal planning.

MEAL PLANNING:
It sounds like hard work but meal planning saves us so much money it’s worth the hard work doing it. I plan absolutely everything so I don’t have to worry about loading Billy into the car and making a quick grocery run cause I have to admit quick is no longer something we can do since Billy arrived 🙂

I have a pretty basic spreadsheet that I use with each week divided into days and meals and then whether its for hubby or me. In a typical week I try and make sure we get a bit of everything so each day is something different

So a typical week is:
Mon-Fri BF for Sean is egg and porridge.
I alternate between toast, fruit and porridge depending on how much time I have before we have to go somewhere.
Sat and Sun I try make us something nice like pancakes, French toast, egg and bacon or we may even pop out for a nice breaky if the weather is good.
Mon-Fri morning snacks are fruit (I list 2 fruits each so I know how many to buy and we never have rotting fruit in the bowl)
Mon-fri lunch Sean is leftovers and if there is enough for I will have it too otherwise I try have a salad wrap or soup etc (sometimes frozen leftovers that would be to small for both of us to share in a meal)
Afternoon snack is something baked or a sandwich etc (more on that in a minute)
Dinner:
Mon is usually pasta,
Tues is vegetarian,
Wed is fish,
Thurs is chicken or beef (depending on Sun roast),
Friday is homemade junk food night (pizza, nachos, burgers etc),
Saturday is open (usually I use this night to finish off anything in the fridge)
Sunday is roast night.
And of course by noting any events etc we will be attending through the month I can plan our meal plan around them and because Sat is always a free day if I need to switch things around or don’t feel like what’s on the plan it doesn’t make any difference I still use it all up at some point.

I love going through my recipe books or looking up funky new stuff online so our meal plans are never boring and often we won’t have the same meal again for ages (unless its a favourite).

Now that I have this all sorted it’s onto my next big task this one takes quite a while so get comfy.

ONLINE SHOPPING:
I start by doing a quick stock take of what I already have and what I am running low on.
I then start listing everything I need for the month starting with pantry stuff (I buy these in the first big shop as they don’t expire). Then the meat (cause it gets frozen), the first shop is always the most expensive. Then I divide the fresh food into weeks and write them down accordingly. Next I hop online and place my first big order, thanks to my super clever sister in law I now do click and collect with Coles which means we don’t pay for delivery and its a nice day out for me at the shopping centre, I also use this day to get any gifts, clothes, non grocery necessities so before you head to the shops have a think about your needs for the upcoming month. The other 3 weeks fresh food usually aren’t to big a shop so I just run into town once a week to quickly collect it. Because I have it all listed out I just grab the list and head out the door.
This way of shopping is great, I know what I want and can get in and out without to much worry and I never shop when I am hungry either as that just makes me buy crap that looks appealing… Dam u marketing!!! Because I have thought through everything already I never buy to much or to little and there isn’t much waste in our house 🙂
I find shopping with a baby quite hard cause he isn’t quite ready to it in the trolley and its impossible to push a pram and trolley when shopping so I usually strap on my trusty Moby baby carrier or ask my amazing Mother in law to come with. Both of these work a treat so if you are struggling try one if those options and see how u go 🙂

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PREPPING:
My darling husband can put away quite a bit of food during the day (he is by no means large, just hungry). Personally I think it’s cause his job (as a mechanic) is such hard manual labour so he needs to keep up his strength. But it means I have to think up clever lunch box ideas so he doesn’t get bored. So at the beginning of the month I do some baking prep work. I bake about 24 muffins, 12 savoury things and a batch of cookies and then freeze it for him to just pop out every day.
It takes pretty much all morning but its worth it in the long run, he was popping into McDonalds or the service station to grab a bite on the way home but now he has something a lot healthier and its saving us about $5-$10 a day (which if you average it out, that’s a saving of $140 a month).
In order for him not to get bored with it we alternate between sandwiches, the muffins, mini quiches, and ham and cheese crackers.
I also use my Sundays to do any prep work for the week. I will usually just cut up all the veggies i am using in my meals and put them in Tupperware in the fridge so I don’t have to chop again during the week.
Or I may take out the meat I am going to use and let it defrost in the fridge so it’s not a train-smash if I forget to defrost anything (we don’t have a microwave). Obviously if you choose to do this you can’t refreeze meat so be very careful. I also try prep some steamed finger foods for Billy to naw on as we are starting Baby Led Weaning and he is really enjoying the huge variety of food.
If I am doing well for time I will usually go online and pay any upcoming bills so we never have late fees.
Since having Billy I have not been as good with remembering things so I find this a great way of making sure I am in top of everything. When I get a bill I put its dues date in my phone’s calendar straight away and that’s it sorted till I do my monthly calendar 🙂

You may not notice a huge saving at first or at least till you get the hang of keeping an eye o the specials and making use if what you already have. But our weekly shop has gone down from about $150-$200 to about $100 (on average). This also frees up my time considerably as I don’t wander through the shops trying to think of what might be nice to eat and then not ending up using it and of course it saves on multiple trips to the store so we saving on fuel too. Environmentally, you are leaving less of a carbon footprint by only making a few trips and only doing it when necessary, you are creating less food waste and (hopefully) you are using less packaging and plastic bags too.

Adapt this plan as you see fit, I know this may not work for everyone. But good luck with whatever you try do, I know it can be hard at first but I promise you will reap the rewards 🙂

Breast is best, especially for us!

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So I have bee meaning to write ths blog in time for breast feeding awareness week, but thanks to my little monster angel of a son it didn’t quite make it out at the beginning of the week but rather the end… Oh well this is my life now, all my well laid out plans up in smoke. But the smiles I share with my darling boy make up for the frustration my type A personality feels by the end of a week. But I digress, I want to share our breast feeding story so others who go through the same thing can find encouragement.

My little boy was born with a tongue tie and heart shaped tongue, from the moment he was laid on my tummy the mid-wives, who so wonderfully helped bring him into the world, watched him like a hawk. Their biggest concern was if he would be able to feed cause tongue tied babies usually have a problem manuevering their tongue in order to suck at the nipple. But our little man latched like a champion although I don’t think its as strong as normal cause I can pull him off really easily and he dribbles out the side of his mouth, however it’s never been an issue!
But then my milk came in (for any preggie ladies reading, you start with colostrum for the first few days and only on about day 3/4 do you get your full milk…colostrum’s the good yellow stuff). That’s when our struggle started, it flowed into our poor child’s mouth like niagra falls!
He would pop of gasping for air and my milk would squirt in all directions (mostly on his little face). It really bothered him and me and would make feeding quite stressful for us both. Especially the evening feeds when he was tired, we would both just end up in tears. My nipples we starting to hurt and he couldn’t cope with the large amount of milk my breasts were making so they we becoming way to full and engoured, and I kept getting small lumps (which I think was mastitis).
In between feeds my breast would fill up and he wouldn’t be hungry so they would just start leaking everywhere and fill up a breastpad in seconds. Then at about 3 months it all started to change, my milk started to regulate itself and I started to panic that I wasn’t making enough for him and he was always hungry. I even. Started him on. Solids at 4 months thinking he was hungry, but we ended up stopping cause he wasn’t quite yet ready. Gratefully that was not the case, all that was going on was my body (and this always amazes me) had started to figure out how much he needed and had adapted to that.
So panic averted he was still getting plenty and was even adapting his drinking to the speed at which it came out meaning our feeds only take about 7mins on each side.

For anyone struggling with the same problems, hang in there! Don’t give up feeding, breast really is best for your little one in fact we now aren’t rushing off to feed him solids at all cause the more research I have done the more I am convinced that feeding them anything to early other than breast milk can actually not be helpful to them at all.

What helped us through this time:
1. Speak to people about it, you aren’t alone!
I found this the most useful, we are lucky enough to have a breast feeding support group run by the midwives here in our area and they were fantastic. They gave me plenty of hints and tips and made me feel quite at ease about all the stuff I was worrying about. Also try and find a group of like minded mums groups or just a bunch of mums with babies and with the same issues so you can off load, have a cry and get some hugs from.

2. It is a big deal!
I felt awful for complaining or talking about it, I would often hear things like “oh how I wish I had that problem”, or “that’s nothing to complain about”. But you know what it was a big deal to me, having Billy crying and not eating stressed me out and concerned me. Just because it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen when breast feeding doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. I know we were lucky and I know other people have it worse than us but its all relative and if its bothering you don’t let people bring you down or make you feel like you shouldn’t talk about it… It is a problem!

3. It’s gonna be ok.
Right now it’s hard, you feel like you could tear out your hair but it will all come to an end and you will both be ok. It’s hard to look to the future when you are struggling with the now but there is a end in sight and once you both figure out what you are doing you will instantly notice the difference. Looking back I can now pat myself on he back and say “see, I told you we would get through this”. You will be able too as well, just hang in there.

4. Do what works for you.
We were given lots of advice, some worked some didn’t. We stopped doing what didn’t work and kept doing what did. Here are some of the things that we were told…
* Lie down or on your side when feeding as this helps slow the flow down. (This didn’t work for us but it might for you)

* Once you feel your let down pop the baby off and let the heavy flow run into a towel until its not as strong and then pop your bub back on. (This really worked for us and little Billy now does it himself)

* Express milk between feeds or just before a feed so that you don’t have the let down when your baby is drinking. (This worked well but we heard different views it. One being that your body will think your baby needs lots of milk cause you are expressing so much and will not regulate itself accordingly. That would be great if you need the extra milk for when you go back to work but since I am staying home for at least the first year we didn’t keep this one up. It did however help a lot when my breasts filled up between feeds and it was uncomfortable to lie down and sleep)

* Part of having such a strong flow was that Billy was getting extremely gassy from gulping it down so we we advised to burp him during the feed. So he would feed, I would feel the let down; pop him off (always remember to break the seal first or you will have raw nipples); let the flow out into a cloth and sit him up for a burp (don’t force it though, if they don’t burp it’s fine). Once it’s normalised pop him back on and let him drink again. Offer the other breast and do the same for that side then once you are finished feeding lay the baby down for a minute or so gently raise him into a sitting position or upright against your shoulder (the higher the better when we did it) until the trapped wind is out. This worked wonders for us and he now burps himself during or after a feed.

4. Breast feeding is truly best!
Now I know not everyone can breast feed and I understand that if you need to move onto formula or someone else’s breast milk (which I fully support) then please don’t feel like I am saying you have failed as a mum or as a parent. You as a child’s caregiver needs to make whatever decision is best for the health and well being of your child, family and you.
For us however I felt like breast was (and still is) best and reading up on it I can see why. The nutritional benefits of breast feeding far out way anything else you can do check out why here.

5. Connecting.
I have found breast feeding invaluable in creating a bond between Billy and I. Whenever he is on me he stares up at me, laughs, plays around and generally feels better for not only having something to eat but having the warm comfort of being on my lap and getting a cuddle from mom. This isn’t going to last forever so for now I will take it whenever I can.

6. Relax.
Sit in a quite room, no distractions for you or your baby. Get comfy, make sure your arms feel supported. Don’t be in a rush or make your baby feel like they need to rush. Always drink water before or during and if you need it have a nice healthy snack on hand like almonds or an apple. Get your darling baby settled and ready, take a deep breath… Now another one. Look down at your precious bundle of joy and smile. Then try and feed. This was my routine on a good and bad day and boy did it make a difference to baby and my frame of mind. Don’t forget your baby can sense your emotions so if you are stressed they will be stressed. This doesn’t help anyone 🙂

Some resources :
http://theleakyboob.com/
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/
http://hm4hb.net/
http://www.babyledweaning.com/

Obviously there are many more resources out there so do some research if you need it especially when pressured to stop beast feeding by family etc cause its nice to be able to lovingly and calmly explain the facts and health benefits and these links only skim the top, but hopefully it helps.

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Billy is now 5 months old and going strong. We still have days when breast feeding takes a lot more work and he is now getting easily distracted so a quiet rooms is very helpful. His latch still isn’t super strong but he feeds great, sometimes when he is really tired we still have issues with feeding him and when he is done there is milk all over his gorgeous little face and it dribbles down his cute squishy cheeks. But we a getting there and so will you and we aren’t planning on stopping till he wants to.
Stay strong, stick to your guns and chat to a professional, try not to listen to too many old wives tales or the pressure to give up. Most of all GOOD LUCK, you and bub are both learning something very new so have patience and don’t forget to smile 🙂