October Free-ness!

There’s a lot to love about October:

You’ve got the school run nailed by now. #pro

You get to dress your little ones up outrageously cute for most of the month – and yourself too!

You get to eat your kids Halloween candy once they go to bed (go on, admit it!)

There’s pumpkin spiced lattes in the world again. Oooh and pumpkin pie! Lots of lots of pie! Mmmmm.

These are all great reasons to love October. BUT, the biggest reason we adore October is, it’s KIDS FREE SAN DIEGO month! That means FREE admission to some of the biggest attractions in San Diego throughout the whole of October for your biggest kids – from the San Diego Zoo to the USS Midway Museum.

We don’t know about you, but after a packed summer of fun, and with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas costs looming, this free-ness is sweet music to our ears! You can download your free entry coupon here.

As well as all of these amazing offers, here are some of our favorite FREE family things to do a little closer to home in North County.

  • Firstly, if you don’t already, pick up a copy of Family Magazine next time you are at Babies in Bloom. It doesn’t cost a dime and it’s your new secret mom fun weapon. It is LOADED with events each and every month – a lot of which are free – so get planning!
  • October is prime tide pool season – the tides are often negative or below sea level meaning MUCH more to see! Your little explorers could kill hours on a tide pool adventure. Add a home-made picnic and you have yourself a cheap day out! Check out the best spots in North County here.
  • It’s easy to take the beach for granted when you live so close to it, but why not re-brand a day at the beach. Plan a beach treasure hunt at your local! You can bury colorful ping pong balls, small toys etc and give the big kids clues and directions from the comfort of your beach chair! Just don’t bury any important toys in case you lose them… you know, the kind that will lead to a code red melt-down if lost at sea!
  • If you love babies in Halloween costumes, you’ll love dogs in fancy dress! You and your little people will be all smiles, laughs and ‘awwwwws’ at the FREE Howl-o-Ween Doggie Costume Contest & Parade at Bates Nut Farm on October 29th. batesnutfarm.biz
  • Look out for FREE seasonal kids’ crafts at your local stores – Lakeshore Learning Store for example offers free crafts for ages 3 & up throughout October (702 Center Dr., San Marcos).

And of course, there’s always us at Babies in Bloom. We’re conscious of family budgets all year round, so we like to offer free and low cost services to parents looking for support! Check out our wide range of classes and support groups here and make us part of your Fall plans!

Happy October-ing! And happy saving!

 

The Real Definition of Babymoon

Think of babymoon and you’ll most likely picture a glowing mama-to-be on vacation with her partner, trying to squeeze in as much rest as possible BEFORE the new baby arrives.

But did you know that that kind of babymoon is a new thing?

The original babymoon is postpartum. It used to widely mean a ‘laying in’ period of home rest AFTER childbirth. A calming period where mothers heal and where parents take the time to bond with their new arrival alone.

The pace of modern American life doesn’t always allow for this kind of ‘lying in’ time does it? Though it is still common practice in some less-manic cultures throughout the world. There’s a pressure….no, almost expectation… for mothers nowadays to ‘bounce back’ shortly after birth. Don’t even get us started on the ‘yummy mummy’ pressure….

I mean, raise your hands if you had your first visitors within 48 hours of giving birth? Yep, us too. While it’s so heartwarming to see the eagerness of friends and family to meet your new baby, it’s also exhausting having to entertain and host visitors so soon – whatever type of birth you’ve had!

You might feel pressured to get dressed for starters. Probably do a quick tidy up. Go and buy some nibbles. Make coffee etc. And when visitors have gone, there is the clean-up to do. All on little to no sleep and in-between nursing and diaper changes.

Now, a ‘lying in’ period isn’t for everyone. We know plenty of moms whose worst nightmare would be to stay at home doing nothing – and that’s perfectly ok too. If you need to do the housework to stay sane – do it! A happy mama is an honest-to-herself-mama.

But, there are also many moms out there who don’t like the idea of having to juggle normal life with motherhood straight away. Some want to take things slowly and focus on establishing nursing, as well as building strength and confidence. You pick your pace, no one else.

For those pregnant mamas out there who do like the sound of babymooning – here’s an important PSA:  BOOK YOUR BABYMOON. RIGHT NOW! Pick up your phone and block out your calendar. Just do it.

DO NOT let others guilt trip you. Even parents and in-laws. This is your time. To process your birth experience. To heal. To cuddle. To love. And to learn.

It’s a good idea to manage your friends and families expectations in advance. Message them all ahead of your due date to let them know that you and your partner would appreciate the time to yourselves in the early weeks. Let them know that you will be touch when you feel up to visitors.

And when you ARE up for visitors, don’t be afraid to ask for things. Ask them to come at a time that suits you and baby, not a time that suits them. Ask them to bring food. Even ask them to do a chore or two while at the house. Real friends honestly won’t mind and will probably appreciate being told what you need from them. While they have come for cuddles, they’ve also come to support you at the start of this crazy ol’ journey we call parenthood.

If There Is Just One Thing You Do This Month, Do This…

It’s September and the school runs are back in full swing. While we are all talking about how ghastly the morning traffic is, it’s also the perfect time of year to talk about car seat safety, because September 17 – 23 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

This means you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of hard hitting statistics flying around. Stats like: Car cra

shes are the leading cause of death of children 1 to 13 years old.

It’s easy (and normal) to not want to think about such gut wrenching facts, so more than often we switch off as a method of emotional self -defense. But the truth is, the BEST defense is ALWAYS knowledge.

That’s the real idea behind National Child Passenger Safety Week – NOT to terrify parents, but to inform and support.

But we get it – parenting 2017 can feel like a LOT of noise. And we’re not just talking about inside the home! We live in a world where parents feel judged and are made to second guess their choices on a daily basis. Opinions, be it welcome or unwelcome, are constantly being fired towards us, through media as well as face to face interactions. It’s really hard to know what to tune in to right now isn’t it? Are people trying to help me or just sell me something?

But when it comes to child passenger safety, getting an expert opinion is ALWAYS a good idea. Because right now, there are currently hundreds of parents driving around with their kids in the wrong or poorly fitted car seat. It’s certainly not because they can’t be bothered, it’s simply because they just don’t know they’ve got it wrong.

There are parents out there who spent hours doing research online and in shops to find exactly the right seat, only to then install it incorrectly, reducing effectiveness.

There are parents who purchased the right seat, and who installed it correctly, but haven’t yet realized that their child has outgrown the seat, because darn, our kids grow so fast right under our noses!

Laws change. Cars change – do you know for sure that you have reinstalled the seat in your new vehicle correctly? Let’s be honest, car seat installation can get tricky!) Even care givers change – is Granny and Grandad using the car seat correctly in your absence?

So, your job this National Child Passenger Safety Week is to MAKE THE TIME to do a little car seat check-up.  In fact, it’s National Seat Check Saturday on September 23rd, so put the date on the calendar.

  • First, go online and get up-to-date with the latest CA laws to make sure you are following them correctly.
  • Then, dig out the instruction manual for your car seat (or find it online) and pay careful attention to the recommended weight / height restrictions – is your child in this bracket? If you’re eager to move your child to the next seat, remember, each time you “graduate” your child to the next seat, there’s a reduction in the level of protection for your child. It’s best to keep your child in each stage for as long as possible.
  • Also, look online for installation videos from professionals, plus details of how the harness should sit for a proper fit – is your harness currently snug enough? Do you put the chest clip at armpit level? Do you know why you should?
  • Finally, where possible, we highly recommend getting a professional safety inspection from a qualified child car seat safety technician like our wonderful Katie here at Babies in Bloom  – she has had hours of training and hands on experience with all types and brands of car seats. Check out her recent TV appearance on CBS 8 here, where she highlights the most common user errors she encounters. You can book consultations with Katie at Babies in Bloom here.

It’s not that much to do for huge peace of mind is it? So go on, have a car seat check-up this month and know for sure that you have the right seat for your child, fitted in exactly the right spot in your car. And don’t forget to share what you learn with anyone else who may look after your child!

Sex After Baby

sex after babyCue bad (like, really bad!) 90’s dancing.

Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be….

And by this, we mean let’s talk specifically about sex AFTER baby. The good, the bad and the plain ol’ feeling ugly.

How long did you wait? Or for those currently pregnant, how long do you think you will wait after birth to have sex….?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a test. While most healthcare advisors recommend somewhere in the range of four weeks to six months postpartum, it’s not concrete. In truth, it might be earlier, or it might be a lot longer – it all depends on when you feel ready. Both physically and mentally.

When it comes to sex, the majority of us will opt to use humor to talk about it. Because it’s not easy to talk about sex seriously is it? We blush. We avoid. We conceal. We hold back.

Well not today!

We’re going to say what we’ve all thought or have been thinking- and say it out loud. THINKING ABOUT SEX AFTER HAVING A BABY CAN BE SCARY!

Post birth, while you KNOW your body is amazing, you also don’t really KNOW your body anymore. Not only does it feel different and look different, there’s that fear that anything ‘down there’ is reeeeally going to HURT! Let’s be honest, we’re still a little traumatized from the first bowel movement fears after birth, let alone thinking about letting anything in! And for those who experienced tearing and stitches, the anxiety about sex pains can be further heightened. Ladies – we hear you! All of you.

The truth is, it may well feel a little awkward and uncomfortable at first – one of the reasons is your estrogen levels drop right down after birth and remain low while nursing – this can lead to vaginal dryness. So first’s things first, don’t go in expecting perfection – ideally go in after a small glass of wine, loaded with giggles and lots of lubrication! Tell your partner about your fears– let him know that you are worried about discomfort, so that you can set the right pace for you.

Of course all of the above assumes that you are both ready and raring to give it a go. Many take longer to get to this point and that’s ok too. Did you know that the oxytocin that is released when you are nursing suppresses your libido? There’s that, and then there is the lack of sleep, the diapers, the nursing, the stretchmarks you are so paranoid about…. it can all culminate to a very unsexy cocktail called ‘Not tonight Sweetheart!’! This cocktail far from puts you in the mood.

If this is how you feel right now, then big hugs from us. Please believe us, this too shall pass. Just like you feel you may never sleep again, be able to 100% focus again, or get in to those old jeans again – eventually you do! You WILL have good sex again – it just takes time, patience and honesty with your partner. Keep him emotionally and physically updated to ensure he doesn’t just feel plain old rejected.  You WIILL find your confidence again. In fact, to end on a high, many moms actually say that they enjoy sex MORE after kids. Perhaps they feel more empowered by their bodies. Perhaps birth awakened something in their bodies. Perhaps it’s all the fun quickies that you have to weave in to your parenting routine, (because you have to take the moments when you can, and if it’s 1:20 in the afternoon, then so be it!). Whatever it is, know that post birth you will be desirable, you will be desired and you WILL feel your own desires return. Be patient with yourself, and most of all, be kind to yourself!