How To Deal With Mouthing: Uh oh, Is Baby Putting Stuff In His Mouth?

A few months after your baby is born, his curiosity will have him exploring the world around him. He will start reaching out for objects that catch his attention. However, since babies’ hand movements are not developed enough until about seven months, they can only manage to grasp objects but not fully explore them with their hands. To satisfy their curiosity, they put objects in their mouths as they are able to control their lips and tongues better than their hands. This is referred to as “mouthing”.

Claire Lerner, an LCSW with American Baby, elaborates this further in an article on www.parents.com:

“While your baby is learning to master his hand movements — reaching, grabbing, and swatting — he’s not yet so adept at using his fingers. So when a baby grasps what he desires and wants to investigate further (“Is it soft or hard? Can I eat it? Does it make a sound?”), this often means putting it in his mouth. Mouthing helps babies learn all about different shapes and textures. They also learn what feels good and tastes good, and what doesn’t — so your child will only mouth a wool blanket once.”

Besides being a means of exploration, there is another reason behind mouthing in babies, and that its teething. When babies’ teeth start coming in, they like gnawing object to soothe their gums. You can easily distinguish teething from regular mouthing when your baby drools while putting things in his mouth. Rest assured though that whatever the reason may be, mouthing is a completely normal and is a great way for babies to begin sensory development.

In this post I’ll be focusing more on mouthing, but you might find some information applicable to teething, too.

Caught red-handed.
Caught red-handed.
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How I Kept My Sanity During My Last Pregnancy

Pregnancy – for some it’s such a breeze while it drives others insane. Hormones are to blame, I tell yah. One minute you’re a peace-loving puppy-hugging hippie, and the next thing you know you’re channeling Linda Blair’s character in The Exorcist. You might be here because you’re a soon-to-be mom (congratulations!) looking for helpful tips. If you are, I hope you find my experience useful and informative. But if you’re already a mom, join me as I recall my hormone crazy preggy days and how I kept my sanity, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate in one way or another.

Remember this movie? Two characters with completely opposite pregnancies! Image from Google
1. I gave in to my cravings. Seriously, ladies. If you don’t then you’re gonna have a bad time. You’ll get cranky – extremely cranky – and it’s going to ruin your day. Some women have the most outrageous cravings though, take my mother for instance. When she was pregnant with me, she craved for apples. Not just any ordinary apple, though. She craved for apples that we’re almost rotten. So whenever she’d tell others about it, she’d say, “Pinaglihi ko siya na bulok na mansanas!”. Bizarre, right?! My cravings with Ethan were reasonable though – pancakes. I was lucky because my office back then was surrounded by fast food stores that sold pancakes for breakfast, and I always ordered some before coming in to work. It may be difficult at first, but food cravings normally end during the 2nd trimester. Hang in there!

My favorite fast food pancakes!

 

2. I always carried snacks with me. This is a must. You have to realize that you’re eating for two and your body will increase it’s demand for food, which means more frequent hunger pangs. When I was pregnant with Ethan, I swear my stomach was like a bottomless pit. No cracker could keep it from rumbling. I remember coming across a tip about eating small frequent meals, so I decided to try it and it worked well for me. Keep your snacks as healthy as possible and choose those that are more filling. I loved snacking on wheat bread sandwiches, Century Tuna Lite and hard boiled eggs, trail mix and apples. Always bring snacks with you whenever you go out, you’ll never know when you might need to munch on something.

image from Google
3. I drank a lot of water. I was always thirsty especially in my third trimester,  so thirsty that I could finish a liter of water in one go. Water also helped me with hunger pangs, kept me refreshed and made me feel energized. Having a small water bottle in your everyday bag is an idea you might want to consider, that way you can take a sip anytime, anywhere.

image from Google
4. I warned people about my mood swings. I set expectations with people around me by explaining how I sometimes preferred to be alone, especially when my “suplada” side was rearing it’s ugly head. This way people will know what to expect and will understand how to deal with you on bad days.
5. I always had a Chinese menthol stick in my bag. They may not be for everyone, but these little white sticks work wonders for headaches and dizziness. I frequently used them during my 1st trimester, not only because of constant dizziness, but because I had a very sensitive sense of smell then. There were places wherein I felt like throwing up just because of the smell, back then I especially hated the smell of deep fried food.

image from Google

 

6. I also kept a handful of candies. I needed these for when I’d throw up due to morning sickness. Only after my pregnancy did I come across tips suggesting ginger as an effective remedy. Try ginger candies and ginger ale!7. I gave our dog Chicken hugs.

 

8. I watched my weight. I kept tabs on my weight during every doctor’s appointment and made sure I was gaining at a normal pace. My OB said I should only gain about 20 lbs, but I ended up gaining 30 lbs. Ten pounds is a big difference but my doctor said it was just fine. I was totally fine with it too because, compared to my 1st pregnancy, I gained 50 lbs. So how did watching my weight keep me sane? During pregnancy, a lot of women are easily alarmed by weight gain. I myself have self-esteem issues because of my weight, even now. When I was pregnant though I realized that I had to make a conscious effort to make sure my weight gain did not go out of control. Keeping track of my weight gain gave me the control I needed, it helped me understand that being pregnant is not an excuse to eat anything and everything to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content. I gave in to my cravings, but still ate everything else in moderation. Because of my efforts, I didn’t blow up so easily like I did with my first pregnancy, and I worried less about becoming ginormous again. No “OMG I’ve become so fat” moments to bring me down! Downloading a pregnancy app on my phone helped me a lot with monitoring my weight. You might want to check out these Google Play Pregnancy Apps if you’re using an Android phone.
image from Google Play
9. I ditched random loose clothing for proper maternity wear. During my first pregnancy, I always wore cheap dreadful denim colored leggings that were trying to pass themselves off as jeans, loose cardigans and P99 tops that looked liked drapes. You can imagine how awful I looked, I always had my head down because I was ashamed of how silly my ensemble was. I was like “It’s okay as long as my tummy fits and my arms don’t show” (I have huge arms. LOL). You couldn’t blame me though, because I wanted to save as much as I could for the baby back then. When I was pregnant with Ethan though, I realized that I should still be able to enjoy wearing nice clothes even with my growing tummy. I was lucky enough to have an awesome friend who lent me some of her old maternity wear, and I also invested in a few pieces for myself. I’m glad I did, because was finally able to say goodbye to my frumpy outfits and I ended up feeling confident about myself. I guess the key to get more bang for your buck is to buy something that you can still use after giving birth, like a nice classy blouse or dress. Take a look at this cute top from Buntis at Zalora!
If you still want to wear jeans but can’t afford to buy a new pair, you can try what I did – go DIY! Pinterest has amazing tutorials for DIY maternity jeans. If you have a pair you’re willing to sacrifice, go ahead and try it out. I tried doing the one with an elastic band in the front, and another with the band on the sides. The one on the sides worked best for me. Seriously, you can’t wear leggings for nine months.
10. I cried when I had to. There were times went I felt sad for no reason during my pregnancy, and there were also instances when I would get extremely upset over little things. They tell you not to cry because it will affect the baby’s well-being, but I think that bottling up such feelings can lead to more stress. I’d cry alone, let it all out and just be done with it. I’d always feel a lot better after.
11. I followed a TV series. It helped keep my mind off stressful things – a distraction. Whenever I’d feel overwhelmed by my pregnancy and my husband wasn’t around to talk about it, I’d load my favorite series on the computer and watch til I was tired.

image from Google

12. I made time for friends and family. I even commuted to Bulacan for a swimming trip with my in-laws while I was eight months pregnant! Chatting and catching up with people you love will never fail to make you feel awesome.

13. I spent quality time with my husband. We always went out on dates – we love movies and trying out restaurants. Just being with him, knowing he was there for me, kept me sane on most days.

14. I prayed. Prayers always got me through the worst days. It never mattered if my prayers were short or long, as long as I spent a few minutes to thank Him for the little miracle he blessed me with. I always asked Him for guidance, for patience and for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

How about you, mommies? How did you get through all the crazy during your pregnancy?
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Family Fanatics

I was given the opportunity to participate in the Family Fanatics initiative by sharing how sports have brought my family together. Fanatics is the leading online retailer for anything and everything sports – from NBA jerseys to World Soccer gear.
My husband was bitten by the biking bug sometime last year and he managed to get a good deal on a mountain bike online. I remember him pushing me to get my own bike too so we could ride together, but at the time, Ethan was still a few months old and with my hands full I couldn’t find the time to squeeze in a sport. With so many mommy duties on my plate, taking up a sport was the last thing on my mind.
My husband’s bike
I have never been the sporty type of person, and I blame it on my asthma. Back in high school some teachers tried to get me to take up a sport but I was always discouraged when I was held back by an asthma attack. I remember this one teacher who asked me to try out for the track team, and no matter how fast I ran I was always two laps behind. I realized then that sports weren’t for me.
My husband, however, is the type of person who likes to stay active. When he got the bike he would ride from Pasay all the way here to Cavite (we were staying in between homes at the time). He absolutely enjoyed it, and to be honest I envied him and before I knew it, I found myself pedaling too.
You guessed it right. I finally got a bike earlier this year.
I just love being on a bike. Compared to most sports, riding a bike does not require you to be on your feet, so you don’t have to support your body weight. Since I currently have medication to manage my asthma, I don’t get asthma attacks when I ride. Though it is a physical activity, I really find it relaxing especially when I ride through a nice scenery.  I guess that’s what I love about biking. What makes it all special though is the time I get to spend with my husband. I absolutely enjoy biking with him because he always looks out for me and he always cheers me on when I need to pedal harder, especially when we ride uphill! We normally bike along Daang Hari and if you’re familiar with the road you might have noticed that there is this steep uphill going to Evia from Molino. I always used to stop half way because I always felt like my chest was going to explode, and I’d feel embarrassed when other bikers and cyclists would pass me and give me funny looks. My husband, however, would keep with my pace and encourage me to make it to the top and I somehow, I’d always find a teeny tiny ounce of strength to get me through.
My husband and I after a long bike ride.
We get along with most things but we never enjoyed a sport together until we started biking. Weekend bike rides have definitely given us the chance to bond more, especially when we had to live separately (I was staying at my moms and he was staying at our old apartment until the lease was over. Long story!). Biking together always gave us something to look forward to after a week of not seeing each other. It definitely is a good break from the usual dates at the mall, and it keeps us active! I’m really happy that my husband convinced me to start biking and I seriously wouldn’t be able to pedal 35 kilometers without all his encouragement. I can’t wait for Ethan to grow up so he can join our weekend bike rides! That would be an amazing way for us to bond as a family!
Our little boy is off to a good start!
Have you checked out the Fanatics website? I was surprised to find that they carry infant and toddler clothes too! They’ve got tons of cool stuff from apparel to collectibles, something for each member of the family.
Do you and your family bond over sports, mommies? Feel free to comment and share how sports bring your family together!
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My All-Natural Cleaning Day

It’s Saturday! Happy weekend everyone!
Last Thursday was my rest day from work, so I decided to do some major cleaning around the house. Before doing so I was regularly searching for all-natural cleaning tips because I wanted to avoid using too many chemicals, especially on the floor. So let me share how I managed to clean my house with next to no chemicals.
When Typhoon Glenda decided to visit we stayed at my mom’s house for a week because, well for one there was no electricity (and it took seven days for the power to come back), and second was because I was dead scared of being alone with my son during a blackout while my husband was at work.
So anyway, when we came back I noticed how messy the house was but could not find time to clean in between taking care of my son and working at night, so after putting Ethan to sleep last Thursday evening, I thought to myself:
“There’s no better time than now”.
Armed with a mop, broom, several rugs and a good Spotify playlist, I decided to get to it.(Though I did clean at night, I took these pictures the next morning, I figured you’d appreciate bright pictures)

Goodness! Pardon the dirty phone! I’m not a fan of pop music, but the Mood Booster playlist has got a lot of good tunes.

 

I decided to start with the living room, where Ethan spends most of his time. The first thing on my agenda was to clear out my son’s crib and put it away for good. He doesn’t sleep nor play in it anymore and we turned it into a temporary toy box which has now become an eyesore. I bought this big plastic basket at Ace Hardware for P149 to replace the bulky crib. This will make it easier for me to pick up his toys since I can carry the basket anywhere in the house. With the crib gone we have so much more room in the house, but then it made me realize how fast my son is growing up! *tears*

 

I also decided to clean the toys so that they would be nice and clean the next morning for my son’s playtime. For plastic toys without batteries, I simply took a basin and filled it with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid and left them to soak for a few minutes. I always use Human Nature’s Dishwashing Liquid on all of my son’s things, from his plates and spoon to his bottles.. and now his toys! After giving them a good soak I rinsed them all and left them on a towel to dry. As for his plastic toys with batteries, I simply wiped them with a clean rag dipped in a mixture of water and vinegar, avoiding the mechanisms. Vinegar is a staple in most natural cleanser recipes as it disinfects and deodorizes. If you’re skeptic because of it’s smell, don’t worry because the sour smell dissipates as it dries! I promise!
Next, I worked on cleaning tables and shelves in the living room. I’d normally use Pledge to wipe surfaces but this time I used this natural Homemade Pledge recipe I found online.. where else but Pinterest! This recipe worked well and smelled clean and fresh because of the lemon juice (yes, you can use it in place of the lemon oil, but I’d recommend not to store it for a long time).
(I didn’t get to take a picture of my DIY Pledge, but you can check out Pinterest for tons of recipes with pictures. The one I used was this one)
 After rearranging some furniture and displays, I moved on to the kitchen and dining area where Ethan also likes to hang out (they’re connected to the living room). I always keep the kitchen clean, so I didn’t have to do much here. I simply arranged some of the plasticware and cleaned the greasy stove with some baking soda and dishwashing liquid. And as for the dining area, I decided to get rid of some clutter and store them properly in the cabinets. I also used the Homemade Pledge on the dining table.

Greasy no more! Apply a mixture of baking soda and dishwashing liquid, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe with a damp clean cloth!
After I was done with the kitchen and dining area, I was already feeling tired so I decided to end my cleaning day by sweeping and mopping the floor. I used to mop the floor with a mixture of water and bleach, but I’ve grown to hate the smell. Then I came across this recipe on Pinterest (again) and decided to try it out since I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.Click here for the recipe.

Most of these type of recipes require distilled vinegar, but I am yet to come across it in our local supermarkets. I find that common vinegar brands work fine.

Stash these in your kitchen the next time your floors need a good clean! Baking soda, dishwashing liquid and vinegar!

 

I found this mixture to be very effective in removing dirt and it did not leave any strong smell. The smell of the vinegar was evident at first but as it dried only the scent of the dishwashing liquid remained. I will definitely use this again!
Though it was tiring I was glad that the few hours I spent were productive and the house looks much better! I’m planning to tackle the bedroom on my next rest day, especially the cabinets! I’ve come across a few awesome organization tips and I’ll be sure to share them once I try them out!
Have you tried green, natural recipes to clean your home? How did it go?
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My Thoughts on the New Kidnapping Modus Rumors

I recently chanced upon this article which narrates a seemingly attempted kidnap modus here in the South. Now I’m sure you’ve come across kidnapping stories and various modus warnings shared on Facebook, ones that take place in malls, but the chilling twist to this story is that this modus uses children to lure their little victims.
Although this is not 100% confirmed to be a kidnapping attempt given that it was not successful (thank God!), this incident should still remind us to be vigilant.
When my husband came home from work I told him about this since we regularly go to the mall mentioned. We agreed that this new modus could be true and we reminded ourselves to be alert at all times when we’d go out with Ethan. While I was washing the dishes I suddenly remembered a news feature about kidnapped kids that I saw on TV some years ago and I just cringed at the thought of someone kidnapping my son. My husband suddenly said, “That would be hard, right? Not knowing where your child is, you’d start to worry he might be hungry…”. I teared up at what he said! It would just crush me, and I’m sure any parent would feel the same way.

“…I just cringed at the thought of someone kidnapping my son.”
Despite how I resent the people involved in such operations, we can’t neglect the fact that they are using children to do the dirty work. This is indeed alarming, and the first question we may ask ourselves is “Where are the kid’s parents?”. A number of answers come to mind, but one that disturbs me the most is the possibility of the parents’ involvement, and this is not unheard of. What would happen to the little girl if she didn’t successfully bait a child? Will she be beaten up? Would they let her starve? The mere thought is heartbreaking.
I sincerely hope the authorities are  taking action  to avoid these kidnappings, not only for the sake of our children but for the children involved as well. As for us parents, we play a huge role in ensuring our child’s safety. Let’s not let our children run around unaccompanied, whether they’re going to the toilet or to play a few feet away. It would be best to reiterate how they should not talk to nor follow strangers. We must also be careful when other children approach our child, let’s always check to see if they have an adult with them and take note of any suspicious behavior, just like the mommy who shared this story.
What do you think about this modus?
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