May is Better Sleep Month

BabiesinBloom_KelseySmithPhotography2015(PrintResolution300PPINativeFile)-41“SLEEP?” we hear many of you cry. “What’s that?!”

If you are struggling to get your baby to sleep through the night, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We know it can be HARD. And when you feel like you have tried everything, we know it can feel relentless. You’re exhausted. Defeated. Overwhelmed. You’re just not you.

‘Better Sleep Month’ is all about encouraging people to seek and establish better, healthier sleeping patterns. So what better time is there than now to take a moment and virtually hug, empower and support all our sleep deprived parents out there! It WILL get better, we promise you.

First, stop telling yourself you’ve messed up. That’s just the exhaustion talking, coupled up with the obligatory mom guilt that we all know and hate. Just because your friend’s baby is sleeping 11 hours a night at nine months, doesn’t mean you have done it all wrong. There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do this. No two babies are wired the same.

Second, it is never too late to fix it. Good sleep habits can be learned at any age says Jen Varela, our wonderful friend and Sleep Coach, be it six months or five years old.

Under the age of six months, we are not talking about sleep training, but sleep shaping. This is all about sleep hygiene and simply identifying the methods used to get baby to sleep. From around three months, small incremental steps can be taken to make adjustments in how your baby sleeps at night – this is because most infants take about 12 weeks to fully produce melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” So for example, instead of nursing him/her to sleep, simply try rocking instead. Don’t worry, baby will let you know if it is too soon to make that change. And if it is, just hit pause on this shift for a little while and then try again.

Sleep training is generally recommended for babies six months or older. This is when you use a specific method, over a period of time, and then start removing ‘sleep crutches’ to enable baby to self sooth and put his/herself to sleep.

Third, let’s be real. There will ALWAYS be tears. There is no getting away from this. But our expert Jen’s goal is always to have as little crying as possible, and to avoid ‘toxic stress.’ She believes there is a big difference between tears in arms and not. If a baby is crying in arms, there is a stress buffer there by way of the nurturing parent, vs. things like the detached ‘cry-it-out’ method. Sleep training needn’t be a battle – it CAN be gentle and successful.

Jen runs regular Gentle Sleep Coaching workshops at our Boutique, so if you feel like you need to get a better idea on methods, or just feel like you need a darn miracle, please register. She may be the Fairy Godmother you have been looking for. We promise you, no question will be a stupid question, and no case is a hopeless one. Stay strong folks – this too shall pass!

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International Day of the Midwife

unnamedIn honor of International Day of the Midwife this week (May 5th), we are taking a moment to celebrate the AMAZING work midwives do!

They strive tirelessly to ensure safe and positive birth experiences, and there is no finer example of this than the dedicated midwife in Houston who hit the headlines last month by riding an inflatable swan to a client during a major flood. Nothing was going to stop this woman from attending a birth!

13EE610BECB842B1AA07F808AC85FEAEIt takes such a special type of person to be able to penetrate someone’s life while they prepare to bring a brand new life of their own in to the world.  From building trust and forming a connection to offering support, advice and endless reassurance – midwives are rocks. What a lasting imprint they make on so many lives. We are so so grateful for their devotion, passion, empathy and strength.

Looking for a midwife?

Finding a midwife can be a daunting task. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ job – we know just how important it is to find the right person to share your incredible journey with. We have a healthy list of recommended practitioners listed here, but what are the next steps to help you try and make your birth everything you want it to be?

First, take your time. Don’t rush this. We recommend checking out potential midwives websites –especially client testimonial pages. Don’t forget to ask like-minded mama friends for recommendations too. After this research phase, you can create a short list of midwives for interviews.

For interviews, prepare a thorough list of questions covering all your areas of preferences and concerns. Ask them about their general pregnancy and birth philosophy to see if it mirrors yours. Ask them about their training and experience. Ask them what happens if you go past 42 weeks. Ask them what their newborn protocol is (these can vary greatly). Ask them anything that is on your mind. Even ask them about their own birth experiences if you choose…whatever it takes to build that all important trust and connection with them.

And last but not least, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. You will know when you have found ‘the one!’ Never stop listening to that voice inside your head, even if you have already found a midwife, but feel that something isn’t quite right. Remember, mama knows best! Do what feels right for you.

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We are Hiring!

1532153_10152949975452465_6360651513538681897_n We are growing and looking for a new member of our boutique team! The position is primarily for Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11 am – 5 pm. If you are interested, please send a resume and cover letter to rochelle@babies-in-bloom.com

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BabyFest 2016: The Highlights

A BIG thank you to everyone who joined us on Sunday for BabyFest 2016. We were so thrilled to meet you, your bumps, your partners and your little ones.

With everything from advice and support on birthing options, babywearing and breastfeeding, to natural baby care products, fresh local produce and a fun photo booth, we’re hoping you not only left with all your essentials, but also left feeling inspired, excited and empowered. Oh, and full of yummy treats from our local food trucks too of course!

If you couldn’t make it down to us this time, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few expo highlights for you:

Dr KimSUPPORT FROM THE VERY START: Those eight weeks before your first prenatal check can feel like forever right? And what about all those questions and worries you have week on week – they seem to keep growing as fast as you’re growing don’t they?

Dr Kim Van Dusen from The Parentologist took to the stage to talk about the importance of a support system, not just after the arrival of your little one, but from the very moment you find out you’re pregnant – whatever stage it might be. Dr Kim runs a weekly ‘Behind the Bump’ group at Babies in Bloom to help moms-to-be and new moms up to 12 weeks postpartum, to feel confident, connected and supported the whole way through their journey. For more details on this group, visit our calendar page here.

fashioIRRESISTIBLE FASHION: How adorable are these handmade leather moccasins from Cage and Lantern?

How clever are these no snap, no zipper onesies from EZONEZ?

And look at how fun these onesies burritos from Baby’s Got Soul are.

This year’s expo was just bursting with cool, funky and colorful fashions.

And speaking of color….

cloth diapersMYTHBUSTING: CLOTH DIAPERS

Just LOOK at this wall of color.

Beautiful, huh? Lucky Diapers, Z Creationz and GroVia were once again out to prove that cloth diapers are far from dull with their fun eco-friendly designs and hands on demos, while Spray Pal showcased just how easy it can be to keep cloth diapers clean.

The very funny and captivating Kim Rosas, from Dirty Diaper Laundry also entertained visitors with her frank talk on cloth diapering,  addressing common misconceptions around cloth diapers – from the ‘yuck’ factor and inconvenience, to concerns over whether cloth bindingdiapers can delay walking in infants. We’d highly recommending checking out her website –there is nothing this advocate doesn’t know about cloth diapers!

BENGKUNG BINDING: We loved this example of belly binding on the In Due Season Doula Services stand. As well as promoting VBAC support, they were there highlighting the possible recovery benefits of binding postpartum, which you can find in detail on their website.

babywearing1 - CopyBABY WEARING: In addition to Babywearing San Diego celebrating the physical and emotional benefits of babywearing on their stand, Ali and Karen, our babywearing consultants from the Babies in Bloom boutique, also took to the stage to talk about, and demo, the different kinds of carriers out there, from a ring sling, wrap and mei tai carrier to the more structured ones available on the market.

But don’t worry if you missed it, you can still come in to the boutique with your questions, schedule a private consultation or join the monthly Babywearing 101 class – the second Saturday of each month at 11am.

MEET THE MIDWIVES: This was without doubt our busiest talk of the day. Some of Babies in Bloom’s favorite midwives held a lively Q&A session answering anything and everything, from how actively involved Dad can be in the delivery, to the different types of birthing experiences available, be it in hospital, a birth center or home.  It was a really wonderful and warming opportunity for parents to air any concerns they might have and be reassured by these charismatic experts. No question was a stupid question. You know when you can just tell when someone LOVES their job! These ladies definitely do!

SLEEP COACHING – For many parents, Jen Varela, walks on water. A certified gentle sleep coach, Jen closed the show on a high with her top tips on how to get your baby better sleep habits. For those that missed her, she also runs workshops at Babies in Bloom, so check our calendar for future dates. It’s never too late – if you are struggling with sleep patterns and routines, a solution is out there for you.

UNTIL NEXT YEAR…

If we could go on talking about each and every stand that added such positive energy and expertise to this year’s event, we would! It was a strong team effort by all companies involved to deliver such an inspiring range of products, information and support to growing families in our community. A full list of our exhibitors can be found here.

BabyFest proudly celebrates the wealth of options available to parents today and every parent or parent-to-be’s right to choose which one is best suited to them and their family. No judgement, just support. Always.

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