Category - Babies

5 Best Things About Having a Diaper-Free Baby

The latest controversy sweeping parenting news — isn’t there always a controversy sweeping parenting news? — is mothers who let their babies, as young as just days old, go diaper-free. Parents say they choose the method for many reasons, including fostering better early communication with their children and reducing their environmental impact by getting rid of disposable diapers.

Living with the constant risk of having a kid crap all over the floor not for you?  Well, perhaps you haven’t thought about THESE benefits:

To diaper or not to diaper, that is the question.

5 Best Things About Having a Diaper-Free Baby

5.  Now you’ll REALLY get your money’s worth out of the dog’s new pooper scooper.

4.  Baby will have unique first word:  “COMMANDO.”

3.  When friend brags that baby is holding her head up, you can retort:  “How sweet.  Did I mention my FOUR-DAY-OLD is already potty training?”

2.  Newborn son pees all over swing instead of your face.

1.  “Diaper bag” becomes “Mom’s Wine Transportation Bag.”

How NOT to Handle Two Kids Two and Under

According to indisputable, statistically significant research, wherein I quickly thought about some of my friends and readers, an increasing number of people are having two children aged two and under — or, as obstetrics professionals say, “popping out dem babies back-to-back.”  Highly trained researchers in the field of made-up facts, including myself and the cats, attribute this trend to more women having kids later in life, making them eager to take advantage of their shrinking window of fertility, as well as their overriding desire to optimize the “Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays” option at IHOP.

I am one of those women who has popped out babies back-to-back.  Yes, in part because of the shrinking window of fertility, but mostly because of too many mai-tais.  Being the mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old and a 10-month-old, and a family columnist-slash-funmaker, some expectant readers have assumed I have wisdom to impart on the subject.  They are, no offense, out of their minds.

Mr. Candy and I were together for twelve years before we decided to have a baby.  Those twelve years of mental preparation totally paid off, helping me hit the ground running when I became a mom and giving me ample time to perfect my Quarters game.  Nothing, however, prepared me for the chaos of becoming the mom of two young kids.

As I previously shared, I cried in the shower for the first eight months of having two kids — a confession that scared the heck out of some of my readers about to be in the same position.  Oops.  “Please share some tips for juggling two kids!” they asked, seeking comforting advice from the very woman who frightened them in the first place.  I figured that coming up with a few tips was the least I could do in exchange for giving them nightmares, so I sat here in front of a blank computer monitor, reflecting.  Just like Skye on the potty:  I sat and I sat and I sat and I sat and I sat and…nothing.

“Do you have any tips?” I asked Mr. Candy.

“Let me think about it,” he said, brow furrowed.

That was two weeks ago.  (Explains that burning smell:  two whole weeks of Mr. Candy thinking!)

So, instead of pretending we have grand advice to share about effectively juggling two kids under two and/or two and under (just saying that is exhausting), perhaps it would be more helpful if I shared what I would have done differently.  To that end:  How NOT to handle two kids two and under…

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10 Things People Say to New Parents—and What They Really Mean

When we welcome a new addition into our lives, we also have no choice but to welcome a whole slew of comments from family, friends and perfect strangers. And, as I’ve learned after having two babies, what people say isn’t always what they mean exactly. So I thought it would be helpful for new parents to translate some of the more popular coded comments. Here are:

The Top 10 Things People Say When You’re a New Parent—and What They Really Mean

10. What they say: “Bluebell Apple… what a unique baby name!”
What they mean:Why would you torture your child with a name like that?

9. What they say: “Don’t worry. You’re going to lose that baby weight in no time!”
What they mean:Wow. You still look like you’re pregnant.

8. What they say: “You look tired.”
What they mean:You look terrible.

7. What they say: “What a cute… baby. What is its name?”
What they mean:I am politely trying to figure out if your baby is a boy or a girl.

6. What they say: “I have never seen a baby spit up so much.”
What they mean:You must be over-feeding that child.

5. What they say: “It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you have a baby, huh?”
What they mean:Your house is a mess.

4. What they say: “He’s really got a set of lungs on him!”
What they mean:I’m so glad I don’t have to listen to that wailing all the time.

3. What they say: “It’s great you’ve been able to find the time to post so many pictures on Facebook!”
What they mean:Stop clogging my newsfeed.

2. What they say:Our son started sleeping through the night when he was just six weeks old!”
What they mean:We are the BEST PARENTS EVER. You, on the other hand…

1. What they say: “Would you like me to watch the baby while you take a shower or something?”
What they mean:You smell.

Originally written for Disney’s BabyZone.com

The Real Guide to Getting Your Baby to Sleep

Yup. That’s my boy.

Sleep, or lack thereof, is a very popular topic among new parents—right up there with poop and feeding habits—so it is no wonder there is a whole empire built around the business of getting babies to sleep. There are, however, some tips that you probably won’t find in any books or DVDs; if you happen to be at the end of your rope, here are some situations in which my children would almost always fall asleep.

The Jumperoo

It’s fun! It’s bouncy! It promotes alertness and exercise! It’s the least comfortable place in the world in which to sleep! So, naturally, my son would always fall asleep in it.  Every. Single. Time.

The Car Ride

It is no secret that the hum of the car is supposed to lull babies to sleep—but this is a twist on the classic trick. Ever notice that when you hope the baby will nap during a long car ride, that he will wait until you are just a minute away from your destination to actually fall asleep, so you will have to risk waking him up when taking him out of the car? My kids would do that without fail, to the point that I knew they were just messing me. My advice: Tell your baby “We’re almost there!” just a few seconds into your drive. You may think he can’t understand yet, but I guarantee the little guy will fall asleep immediately.

The Dad Hand-Off

After complaining to my husband that my daughter hadn’t slept for me all day or night—and happily handing her off to him, hoping he would finally get to feel my pain—she would once again mess with me by taking a three-hour nap for him the second I left the room. Invariably. Hmpf.

So just hand the kid to Dad! And when all else fails, there is always C-SPAN. The perfect sleep aid for people of all ages, really.

This was originally written for Disney’s BabyZone.com

The Attack of the Haze’s Haze

You might remember my post from six months ago describing the haze of exhaustion clouding my life, a haze caused by a certain baby boy who refused to sleep at night.  I won’t name names, but his name rhymes with Drew.

Whoops.  I’m too tired to think of anything that rhymes with his name.  Besides, not much does rhyme with Drew except words starting with almost every letter of the alphabet.

You might also think that, because I haven’t followed up with any additional posts about The Haze, that my son has started sleeping through the night as so many wonderful, nearly one-year-old children do.  Well, no offense, but if you think that then you are OUT OF YOUR MIND because my son still wakes up two-to-three times at night.  I haven’t written about his nighttime stinker-ness (totally a word, more typically found in dictionaries for moms who have run out of words to describe their stinker-ish kids) because what else is there to say, really, except that I am at my wits’ end and beyond tired.

Just how tired ARE you, Candy?

Thank you for asking!

  1. I am SO tired that I handed the pacifier to one of the cats yesterday.
  2. I am SO tired that I brushed my teeth with facial cream.  (My teeth have never looked more taut.)
  3. I am SO tired that I searched the entire kitchen, including the contents of the trash can, for the lid that goes on Skye’s apple juice,  (It was on the kitchen counter.)
  4. I am SO tired that I haven’t had the energy to do my own laundry in months.  So I just buy new underwear every time we go to Target.
  5. I am SO tired even my haze has its own haze at this point.

The theme of this post is subtle, I know, so I’ll make it more clear:  I’m tired.

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How a Mexican Jumping Bean Got Me to Breastfeed

Few things get women more impassioned than the breastfeeding versus formula discussion — except, perhaps, the equally important “Summer Neon Trend: Yay or Nay?” debate raging on a number of style sites right now.  Although The Laughing Stork is generally not a place where mothers come for advice on such meaningful matters (but rather a place with pictures of expressive penis cakes), with all of the craziness in the media right now, I thought I owed it to readers to finally take a stand and share a page from my experience.  I cannot overstate just how much I mean this:

Have fun with neon!  Pair it with a subtle piece and you will rock it.

As far as the other topic goes, well, I am still not here to tell you what to do.  Nobody should be — even though many will try to be.  When I was pregnant with Skye somebody actually asked me, with this very phrasing, if I was “pro-breastfeeding or pro-formula.”  “Pro-feeding my child,” I huffed, growling at the divisive wording of his question.  I was planning on feeding formula to my baby at that point and had no desire to encourage people’s opinions about my choice.  My choice.  I had done all of the research, knew what I was and wasn’t comfortable with, and had my husband’s support of whatever I wanted to do.  That was all I needed.  End of story.  Done deal.

I ended up nursing my daughter until she was 18 months old.

I’d like to relate my experience for those pregnant women who are on the fence about breastfeeding, women who may be confused by the extreme images and stories being portrayed in the media right nowIf I nurse my baby boy, will he end up on my teat through college? they may be wondering.  (Answer:  No.  It’s other girls’ teats you’ll need to worry about at that point.)  Or they may be fretting:  If I give formula to my child, will she end up overweight, slow, sickly and just really weird?  (Answer:  No.  I was formula-fed and look at — okay, bad example.)  I had, and continue to have, an interesting journey when it comes to nursing, so here it is for those pregnant women out there in need of a breastfeeding story without an agenda.  Without any pictures of a kid nursing from a step-stool (you know, as kids always do…*AHEM*).  Without any upsetting surveys about the acceptability of neon.

Just my experience.  For whatever it’s worth.

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The Attack of The Haze

You know how that dirt-prone boy from the Peanuts cartoon strip, Pig-Pen, lives in a cloud of his own filth?  That’s how I envision myself these days.  Only instead of dirt, I live in a haze of exhaustion.

Okay, yes, dirt too.  (Thank you for pointing that out.)

I naively thought I would perk up when I finally put the baby in daycare for a few hours a day.  Now, am I more balanced?  Sure.  Happier?  I must admit:  yes.  But more well-rested…?  Ha.  If anything, the exhaustion has gotten worse.  Imagine my surprise when The Haze started showing up in pictures:

Just look at my poor children!   Obviously terrified of The Haze.

And it’s no wonder.  The Haze is responsible for making their mother act strangely.  Yes, even more so than usual.  (Again, thank you for pointing that out.)  It is not uncommon for me to be half-way to daycare when I suddenly turn around in my seat, heart pounding through my chest, because OMIGOD, DID I REMEMBER TO PUT THE BABY IN THE CAR?

Thank goodness the answer has always been YES.  So far.  But my biggest fear is leaving Drew sitting in the garage and screaming, “CURSE YOU, HAAAAAAZE!”

I also can’t tell you how many times I have been standing in line at Starbucks when I’m struck with this thought:  Uh, I should probably look down and make sure I put my boobs away after the baby’s last breastfeeding session.

I wish I could say the answer has always been YES.

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Top 10 Ways Babies Resemble Drunk College Students

(Not that I know anything about being a drunk college student.  *Ahem*)

10.  They have no problem passing out in strange places.

9.  Bulk up by indulging in frequent late-night feedings.

8.  Embarrassing lack of coordination.

7.  Often regurgitate/spit up all over you if they drink too much.

6.   Takes little-to-no encouragement to get them to lift up their shirts.

5.  Have problems focusing their eyes.

4.  Able to chug without taking a breath for impressive amount of time.

3.  Responsive to people talking to them like a baby.

2.  Woeful bladder control.

1.  Blissfully unaware of people posting pictures of them looking drunk on the Internet.