Raspberry, Peach, Avocado & Banana Baby Food Recipe

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I’m seriously having too much fun making food for Naomi! Coming up with fun combinations and watching her chow down is a success in my book! Here’s my most recent creation:

Raspberry, Peach, Avocado & Banana : Stage 2 Purée
servings: makes 20-24

Here’s what you need:
+ Blender
+ Freezer mold – I absolutely love this mold otherwise you can use ice trays
+ Frozen Peaches – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ Frozen Raspberries – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ 2 medium bananas
+ 2 Avocados
+ 1 Peach Greek Yogurt
+ Almond Milk or water

Let’s get started!

Throw your  raspberries, peaches, bananas, pitted and peeled avocados and yogurt in the blender. You’ll need a little bit of almond milk to give them some traction in the blender, and depending on the thickness you want your purée to be, add more or less almond milk or water. I’m working on transitioning Naomi to people food, so I went ahead and made it a little thicker.

That’s all there is to it! Pour it into the molds and freeze it, and then I pop them into freezer ziploc bags and label them.

 

Independent Play : Basket Time

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Naomi is currently a teething, congested, drooly monster child. Last night we were up 3 or 4 times because someone was a basket case (pun intended). I’m definitely having a hard time not losing my sanity when I’m followed around the house by a whiny grumpus who constantly wants to be held. So I came up with an activity that keeps the grumpies at bay and keeps me sane. Hello Basket Time! It’s a modified version of blanket time or independent play time in the crib, for the younger babes. Naomi doesn’t understand what sit down means yet and definitely won’t stay in one place for long, so blanket time isn’t an option right now. I’m also not a fan of associating the crib with anything but sleep, so play time in the crib isn’t an option. However, whenever I’m folding laundry, Naomi loves to sit in the basket. So today I had the marvelous idea of putting her in a laundry basket with some toys (and dryer balls, of course), and seriously, this has been a life saver today. I never leave the room with her in the basket because she likes to practice standing up in it and could topple over. She also loves throwing the toys out of the basket so I just sit there with her and put the toys back in the basket over and over and over again, but doing that is way better than listening to whiny miss whiny pants whine.

What are some of your favorite activities to keep your cherub entertained?

Baby Painting Sensory Activity

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I’m always looking for new things to try with Naomi. I believe that sensory activities are beneficial to brain development and creativity. They also are fun for me! Since Naomi has an artist for a mama, I of course want to get her experimenting creatively right away. And with a degree in painting, I figured that’s a good place to start! Naomi loved squishing the paint and watching the colors blend and move, and afterwards you have a fun painting to hang on the fridge, make cards out of for grandparents, or add to the baby scrapbook. So here’s what you need for this super fun, easy activity:

+ acrylic paint
+ gallon ziploc bag
+ heavy cardstock paper
+ Tape (I used painters tape)

So first you want to squeeze some paint in little dots all over your paper. Carefully put it in the ziploc bag. Make sure all of the air is out of the bag and seal it tight. Tape down to the floor or highchair tray, and let baby squish away!

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When you’re all done you can either cut the bag to remove the painting, or very carefully slide it out so you don’t wreck the masterpiece! Be sure to remove it while it’s still wet. Let dry and hang on the fridge!

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The bag looks pretty cool all by itself too!

 

Strawberry, Banana, Peach and Spinach Baby Food Purée Recipe

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Here is another great recipe to mask those veggies you so desperately want your baby to eat! Let’s be honest, spinach has such a strong, distinct flavor and I knew before even trying that Naomi wasn’t going to like it by itself. So, mix it with some sweet fruit, and she doesn’t even know she’s eating vegetables! #momwin

Strawberry, Banana, Peach and Spinach : Stage 2 Purée
servings: makes 20-24

Here’s what you need:
+ Blender
+ Pot and Steamer
+ Freezer mold – I absolutely love this mold otherwise you can use ice trays
+ Frozen Peaches – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ Frozen Strawberries – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ a couple medium bananas
+ 1 bag of fresh Spinach
+ 1 Strawberry Greek Yogurt
+ Almond Milk or water

Let’s get started! Go ahead and fill your pot with some water and start steaming your Spinach. It doesn’t need to steam for very long, just long enough for it to get soft.

While your steaming, you can throw your  strawberries, peaches, bananas and yogurt in the blender. You’ll need a little bit of almond milk to give them some traction in the blender, and depending on the thickness you want your purée to be, add more or less almond milk or water. I’m working on transitioning Naomi to people food, so I went ahead and made it a little thicker.

Add your steamed spinach and give it another whirl in the blender until it’s all mixed and delicious.

That’s all there is to it! Pour it into the molds and freeze it, and then I pop them into freezer ziploc bags and label them.

 

Babywise Scheduling

There’s so many blogs and articles out there about what to do and what not to do for your baby. Don’t give your baby a pacifier. Give your baby a pacifier. Don’t rock your baby to sleep. Rock and cuddle your baby as much as possible. Don’t give your baby purées. Only give your baby purées… blah blah blah. Sorting through all of that can be so overwhelming, especially to a new mom who’s already overwhelmed with caring for her new baby, not to mention the constant state of exhaustion from lack of sleep and the emotional rollercoaster from all of the hormone changes. And after you read all of those articles you start to feel like your a terrible mom and you aren’t doing nearly enough.

Dear mommy friend, listen to me very carefully. You are an AMAZING mommy! You are doing your best and you love your baby! So please don’t get caught up in all of the do’s and don’ts and lose sight of what really matters.

With that being said, I want to share with you something that has been a total life saver for me and Naomi. Please know that you can take it or leave it and I won’t judge you or think you’re a terrible mom if you don’t do this. You know your baby, you know yourself, and you know what works best for your family.


I knew even before I was pregnant that I wanted to follow the Babywise scheduling when I had kids. My sister-in-law and sister both did it, and as I watched them in the trenches of new mommy-hood, I watched them succeed and have babies that slept, and slept well.

So what the heck is Babywise? In a nutshell, the foundations of Babywise are full feeds, eat-wake-sleep (EWS) cycles, age-appropriate wake times, and independent sleep habits. These four elements work together to create predictable daily schedules to help meet all of your baby’s needs. The goal from beginning Babywise should be to offer full feeds and not feed to sleep. The appropriate wake times of the EWS cycles increases as baby gets older. For newborns, it is often just the feeding and diaper change (just avoid feeding baby to sleep – unless it’s a middle of the night feed), but the amount of wake time grows as baby can handle more. Appropriate wake time helps baby not be over- or under-tired so they can fall asleep independently and take a full nap. Wake time amounts include the feeding.

Waketime Recommendations

  • Birth-6 weeks : 45-60 minutes
  • 6-12 weeks : 1 hour
  • 3-4 months : 1.5 hours
  • 3.5-5 months : 1.5-2 hours
  • 6-12 months : 2.5-3.5 hours
  • After 12 months, waketime will continue to increase as baby transitions to one nap between 12 and 18 months.

Nap time Troubleshooting
+ If your baby wakes up early but happy from naps, increase waketime.
+ If your baby wakes up early but grumpy from naps, decrease waketime.
+ If your baby takes too long to fall asleep before nap, increase waketime.

Sample Schedules

Here are sample schedules for the first year. Naomi has been following these pretty consistently, although she tends to transition to the next schedule a little later than when the book recommends. Remember that every baby is different and may have higher or lower sleep or waketime needs. Choose a consistent daily wake time (DWT) to start each day so your daytime schedule is consistent. “Feed” refers to a liquid feed (nursing or bottle).

Newborns (0-8 Weeks)

Start on a 2.5- or 3- hour schedule with waketimes of no more than 45 minutes. If there are no health issues, most moms allow baby to wake themselves to eat overnight once baby is back to birthweight. Keep middle-of-the-night (MOTN) feedings full but boring.

I didn’t get Naomi going on a schedule until around 4 weeks or so. I was doing on-demand feeding since I was breast feeding and trying to build up my supply. Plus it was a little overwhelming adjusting to a baby, so I gave myself some time to adjust and then started her on a 2.5 hour schedule.

Naomi’s Schedule
7:00 DWT/feed
7:45-9:30 nap
9:30 feed
10:15-12 nap
12 feed
12:45-2:30 nap
2:30 feed
3:15-5 nap
5 feed
5:45-6:45 nap
Bedtime routine
7:00 feed and bedtime
10:00 dream feed (we did the dream feed until she was about 2.5 months old and then I found that it was actually disrupting her sleep -which happens as they get older- so we stopped doing it.)

3 Hour Schedule
7 DWT/feed
7:45-10 nap
10 feed
10:45-1 nap
1 feed
1:45-4 nap
4 feed
4:45-6:45 nap
Bedtime routine
7:00 feed and bedtime
10:00 dream feed (optional)

8-12 Weeks

Baby is on three-hour feeding cycles. Waketime is one hour at this age, often increasing to around 1.5 hours at 12 weeks.

Recommended schedule:

7:00 DWT/feed
8:00-10:00 nap
10:00 feed
11-1 nap
1:00 feed
2-4 nap
4:00 feed
5-6:15 nap
Waketime then bedtime routine
7:00 feed and bedtime

Naomi had a hard time with naps starting out. She was the queen of the 45-minute intruder (where she woke up after 45 minutes of sleeping) so instead of 2 hour naps in the schedule I opted for shorter naps, and did a little longer wake times to try to get her to nap longer.

10-16 Weeks

Baby is on a three-hour schedule with 1.5-hour waketimes. Naomi followed this schedule pretty much to a T.

3 hour schedule
7 DWT/feed
8:30-10 nap
10 feed
11:30-1 nap
1 feed
2:30-4 nap
4 feed
5-6 catnap
Waketime then bedtime routine
7/7:30 feed and bedtime

3-6 Months

This age has the largest range of “normal.” Some babies stay on a 3-hour schedule with 1.5-hour waketimes for a while. Some extend to a 3.5-hour schedule with 1.5-hour waketimes and 2-hour naps or 2-hour waketimes and 1.5-hour naps. At some point in this range, babies will move to a 4-hour schedule with 2-hour waketimes. Watch your baby’s cues to see what is appropriate for him.

Naomi stayed on the 3-hour schedule for a while, and we did the 3.5-hour schedule for maybe a week and a half and then she was ready for the 4-hour schedule.

3.5-hour schedule:
7 DWT/feed
8:30-10:30 nap
10:30 feed
12-2 nap
2 feed
3:30-5 nap
5 feed
7 feed/bedtime

4-hour schedule:

7 DWT/feed
9-11 nap
11 feed
1-3 nap
3 feed
4:30-5:15 catnap
7/7:30 feed/bedtime

6-12 Months

Around 6-7 months, most babies need to drop to two naps for a total of 3-3.5 hours daytime sleep. We start naming schedules by their waketimes at this age (2.5-3-3.5, 3-3-3, and 2-3-4); different waketime combinations work better for different kids, though the 2.5-3-3.5 is a good place to start because it distributes waketime well without disturbing feeding cycles too much. “Feed” still refers to liquid feedings, though most children have started solids at/by this age. The great news is that you’ll probably keep this schedule until your child moves to one nap!

2.5-3-3.5:

7 DWT/feed
9:30-11 nap
11 feed
2-3:30 nap
3:30 feed
7 feed/bedtime

3-3-3:

7 DWT/feed
10-11:30 nap
11:30 feed
2:30-4 nap
4 feed
7 feed/bedtime

2-3-4:

7 DWT/feed
9-10:30 nap
10:30 or 11 feed
1:30-3 nap
3 feed
7 feed/bedtime

Baby’s usually are starting solids around this time, so where do you put those feedings into the schedule? They usually recommend that you give baby solids at least 30-45 minutes after a bottle. That way they are still getting their nutrients from the milk. Here is Naomi’s schedule with baby food added in:

7 DWT/nurse
8:30 solids
9:30-11 nap
11 bottle
12:30 solids
2-4 nap
4 bottle
5:30 solids
7 nurse/bedtime

There are things in the book that we have yet to implement, like not rocking to sleep for naps… spoiled baby. Naomi falls asleep on her own for bedtime, I’m just too scared to try it for naps, plus we need to get some snuggles in there somewhere! She also still goes down, with what the book would consider sleep props, the pacifier and her zipadee zip. We’ve limited the pacifier to sleep time only though, so it makes it easier to get rid of, hopefully in the near feature. We also don’t do cry-it-out ((CIO) where you let the baby cry to learn how to self soothe when they wake up in the middle of a nap or are going down for their nap) for very long. I just can’t listen to her cry and I’ve tried letting her cry and she just gets more worked up. So we’ve figured out that if she doesn’t calm down in 5 minutes then we go in and offer her her binkie, or rock her some more.
What I’m trying to say is, we aren’t perfect! We still do some things that the book would consider not the best things to do. So play with it and see what works best for you and your baby. No judgement from this mama if things don’t go exactly how the book recommends!

This Mom’s Secret Weapon Against Dry Skin


This little cherub can get some pretty dry skin. When I was pregnant with her I got tons of different baby lotions at showers and didn’t think much of it. So of course when she was born we lathered her up after baths with the lotions, but her skin just kept getting more dry! And I wasn’t a huge fan of putting all of these chemicals on her delicate baby skin. So during one of our doctor visits I asked the doctor about it and she shared with me the trick to beating dry skin in the butt! Are you ready for it? Hold onto your seats for this one!

The secret weapon? Coconut Oil!

Seriously! That’s all there is to it. We went to the store, picked up a jar of coconut oil and haven’t needed any other kind of special lotion since! Plus it’s all natural and I don’t have to be concerned about all of the different chemicals going on her skin. Here’s what you need to do:

After a bath, don’t dry your baby all the way. Just pat them dry and then let them air dry the rest of the way. Lather them all up with coconut oil and let that soak into their delicate baby skin, and you’re good to go!

Diaper rash? make sure their tush is nice and dry then put on some coconut oil. If it’s a really bad rash I put a little Boudreaux Butt Paste on first and then top it with some coconut oil to keep out any unwanted moisture, and the rash is gone within 24 hours.

Stinky neck rolls and leg rolls? This was a new one for me. Her neck trapped moisture. All of that drool coming off her little chin got stuck in those super cute neck rolls and made some pretty nasty stink in there. So we wiped it all down and dried it super good and then put some coconut oil in those rolls to keep out the moisture. Worked like a charm! No more stink and now we can enjoy all of those rolls instead of getting annoyed with them!

I’m sure there are other uses for this magic tropical sauce but these have been our favorites! So if you’re struggling to find something to beat that nasty winter dry skin, go to your local grocery store, pick up a jar of coconut oil and start latherin’! My husband and I even use it now for dry hands in the winter!

Blueberry, Strawberry & Spinach Baby Food Recipe

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Here is another great recipe to mask those veggies you so desperately want your baby to eat! Let’s be honest, spinach has such a strong, distinct flavor and I knew before even trying that Naomi wasn’t going to like it by itself. So, mix it with some sweet fruit, and she doesn’t even know she’s eating vegetables! #momwin

Blueberry, Strawberry & Spinach : Stage 2 Purée
servings: makes 20-24

Here’s what you need:
+ Blender
+ Pot and Steamer
+ Freezer mold – I absolutely love this mold otherwise you can use ice trays
+ Frozen Blueberries – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ Frozen Strawberries – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ 1 bag of fresh Spinach
+ 1 Blueberry or Strawberry Greek Yogurt
+ Water

Let’s get started! Go ahead and fill your pot with some water and start steaming your Spinach. It doesn’t need to steam for very long, just long enough for it to get soft.

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While your steaming, you can throw your blueberries, strawberries and yogurt in the blender. You’ll need a little bit of water to give them some traction in the blender, and depending on the thickness you want your purée to be, add more or less water. I’m working on transitioning Naomi to people food, so I went ahead and made it a little thicker.

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Add your steamed spinach and give it another whirl in the blender until it’s all mixed and delicious.

That’s all there is to it! Pour it into the molds and freeze it, and then I pop them into freezer ziploc bags and label them.

 

Peach, Mango & Kale Baby Food Recipe

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I’ve been really enjoying making food for Naomi. When I first thought about making her food I was a little anxious and worried it was going to be hard and take a ton of time. While it does take a little bit of time, it’s certainly not hard, and it’s cheaper and way better for Naomi! She’s definitely her mother’s daughter and likes all things fruity and sweet. Her favorites are sweet potato, squash, applesauce, pears, and recently she’s really loved shredded meat, string cheese, yogurt, and mac and cheese. What can I say. She loves her dairy, carbs, meat and fruit. So I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate more green into her diet, and the only way that she’d go near anything green, is if it was disguised with fruit. So I came up with this recipe that she absolutely loves! (Yes, I did a little happy dance when she was chirping for more.)

Peach, Mango & Kale : Stage 2 Purée
servings: makes 18-20

Here’s what you need:
+ Blender
+ Pot and Steamer
+ Freezer mold – I absolutely love this mold otherwise you can use ice trays
+ Frozen Peaches – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ Frozen mangos – 16 oz. bag, thawed
+ 1 bunch of fresh Kale
+ 1 Peach or Mango Greek Yogurt
+ Water

Let’s get started! Go ahead and fill your pot with some water and start steaming your Kale. It doesn’t need to steam for very long, just long enough for it to get soft.

While your steaming, you can throw your peaches, mangos and yogurt in the blender. You’ll need a little bit of water to give them some traction in the blender, and depending on the thickness you want your purée to be, add more or less water. I’m working on transitioning Naomi to people food, so I went ahead and made it a little thicker.

Add your steamed Kale and give it another whirl in the blender until it’s all nice and green and delicious. (seriously, my husband even served himself up a bowl of this stuff)

That’s all there is to it! Pour it into the molds and freeze it, and then I pop them into freezer ziploc bags and label them.