Croup, Bronchiolitis, viral yuckiness – How To Avoid

Croup, Bronchiolitis, viral yuckiness – How To Avoid

I thought my 13 month old baby girl had been through it all until she got CROUP. This horrible viral infection that sounds like a barking cough which is supposed to be harmless, yet she ended up in the hospital with a nebulizer one night, because she couldn’t breathe.

It started out as a normal cough, got a little worse, then got better, then got terrible. I took her to the urgent care because our pediatrician’s office was closed (it was at night) and the urgent care facility decided to call an ambulance and take her to the ER due to her difficulty breathing, which put me in full anxiety/panic mode. When doctors freak out, you pretty much freak out.

Some back story about my LO: Born naturally and super healthy, never in any daycares (I work remotely), almost never around any other kids, pets, or anyone really other than her mom, dad, and maybe both grandparents. Was breast fed until her 1st birthday, has never eaten any processed foods and has never been on any medication, only eats home cooked meals or organic food pouches and drinks tons of water.

How something can go from “normal” to horrifying. I can’t stress the importance of washing your LO’s hands all the time. I mean, you can’t wash them enough. I can’t stress the importance of carrying hand sanitizer wherever you go.

I was more relaxed about things until you experience what your baby can go through. It was one of the scariest moments in my life to see her with a nebulizer around her face, steaming her with steroids. A very, very traumatic experience for her.

Pediatricians, doctors and experienced moms will tell you how normal it is for your baby to get sick the first year. They’re putting their mouths on everything, they’re touching everything and putting their hands in their mouths, they’re around all these floating germs for the first time while you enter the gym, grocery store, mall, airport, etc. But I can’t wrap my head around it being that bad. There’s a huge difference between a little cold and being hospitalized.

I have seen a noticeable difference in her health from just washing her hands all the time. I used to have the dumbest thoughts about how someone in my family may get offended if I ask them to wash their hands, or put hand sanitizer on my LO right after her touching all things in their house. I used to care about offending people but all that goes out the window when you experience what I did.
I used to think, well a little germ will acclimate her, it’ll get her immune system stronger. That’s a joke. Even if the viral infections aren’t as bad as hospitalization, its still not something your baby should have to go through.

I used to think it was tough to wash her hands, it is tough! Trying to hold her while getting soap and water one-handed by yourself is not an easy task but screw it and do it. It makes the world of difference. I’ve tried babyganics hand wipes, even baby wipes I use to clean her after dirty diapers — it isn’t the same. Washing your LO’s hands or putting hand sanitizer and waving them around until they air dry is the most effective and now that I’ve learned this I won’t ever stop.

There’s so many things I used to think I wouldn’t do, I wouldn’t act like, I wouldn’t be like but nothing is worse than having a scare with your LO’s health.

Now my LO thinks it’s a fun game to get her hands washed. She does this cute, but perfect plank, and puts her hands out and waves hi to the water as I wash them. She laughs when I put hand sanitizer on her hands and wave them around, she thinks we’re playing.

I pray at night for God to keep her healthy. Babies are so pure and just our world’s little angels and we have to keep them safe.

Whatever age your LO is now, it doesn’t matter. Take them to wash their hands regularly, especially when in contact with a lot of things/people, or keep hand sanitizer with you everywhere you go.

The only spaghetti squash recipe you’ll ever need

The only spaghetti squash recipe you’ll ever need

Spaghetti squash is by far one of my favorite healthy meals to make. I’ve talked to plenty of my friends who just don’t like it and I’m convinced it’s because they don’t make it the right way…. and I don’t blame them. Most of the step x step how to recipes you find online are all very similar and I do it totally different.

I cut my spaghetti squash right down the middle width-wise, not length wise, which is different from all the other recipes I’ve seen. Two reasons for this: 1) you get much longer strands, and 2) it’s way easier!

I season the inside with a little bit of olive oil spray, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can opt to take out the seeds before or after you roast it. I find it’s easier taking them out after roasting it in the oven.

Then I grab an oven safe glass/bakeware dish, put the spaghetti squash in there, flat side up (noodles side up), and put it in the middle rack of the oven. Once it’s in the oven, I turn it on to 460 degrees (which is higher than any other recipe that I’ve seen) and it works perfectly every time. No pre-heating necessary.

I cook it for 40-50 minutes. If you have a smaller squash, you may want to check on it after 30 min.

After 40-50 min, I take it out, let it sit to cool. It comes out sweet from the natural sugars in the squash that caramelize and it’s beautifully roasted, never too watery.

Then I typically buy my favorite Trader Joe’s clean marinara, add everything but the bagel seasoning to it and let it cook in a pot until warm and serve the spaghetti squash with that. I also use my favorite pesto from Costco sometimes too!

Let me know if you try this and how it comes out!

Baby’s first steps, teeth and everything else

Baby’s first steps, teeth and everything else

I think back to when my LO was around 4 months old, I was googling anything and everything.  Trying to find out when she’d grow hair, when she’d get her first tooth, when she’d start crawling, when she’s start walking even.

There’s all these websites about “hitting milestones” and it makes you have thoughts about whether your baby is below average, average or above average in hitting them.

Throw all that out the window.

I have learned through multiple parents that none of these websites that explain milestones matter.  Some baby get their first tooth at 14 months, some babies start their first few steps at 15 months… it’s all relative.

Wherever your baby is in life is just fine.  The only thing you need to be conscious of, is that your baby is a happy and healthy baby and so are you mama!

My daughter started sitting up completely on her own at 4 months.  Everyone was like wow, that’s so early!  She said her first mama around 4.5 months and everyone was like wow that’s so advanced!

Well guess what?  She started crawling late into her 9 months, really about 10 months. Even then, she was doing a worm type of crawl. Around 10.5 months, her first tooth popped out and it’s still not completely showing.  She just now (at 11 months) started pulling herself up and sitting back down, walking on her walker by herself and drinking out of her sippy cup when she feels like it.  So I’m like whatever right, when it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen!

Your baby is perfect and unique just the way he/she is.  Parents who stress too much about milestones are just causing unnecessary stress for themselves and you don’t want that energy around your little one.  I have parents telling me that they are holding note cards up with numbers and the alphabet for their babies starting at 6 months.  Lol!

I know that I for one, can definitely wait a couple of months before I have to start chasing my daughter everywhere because she’s so mobile.  Everytime I take her to the pediatrician, he tells me she’s super healthy and that’s the most important thing I can ask for.

Your baby is learning from all their surroundings.  Taking them outside, them seeing dogs play at the dog park, them going to the grocery store, the mall, being around other kids and/or your family.  They learn by just playing with your bedrooms spring door stop.

Unless your pediatrician tells you something specific about your baby, I’ve learned to let all these milestones go.  My daughter wasn’t sipping a sippy cup or showing any teeth by 6 months, she wasn’t crawling at 7 months, she’s almost 12 months and not close to walking by herself… and I’m as happy as I can be.  She’s got a full head of hair that stands straight up and a toothless smile and she is my everything !<3

Weaning my LO off breast milk

Weaning my LO off breast milk

My baby girl is almost 11 months old, my milk supply is dwindiling and I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on what milk to give her next.  For my own personal reasons, I’ve never wanted to give her formula so I am extremely thankful and grateful that I’ve been able to produce my own milk for her this long.

I’ve read time and time again about all the different milks.  Oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, goats milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, flax milk, etc.  The biggest thing for me is that I don’t want to make my own milk.  I want to be able to buy something clean for me to just give her, but not create it from scratch.

I’ve been cows-milk-free for nearly 9 years.  I still eat cheese from time to time (usually just feta and goat) but not really.  I myself drink coconut milk and almond milk and I make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar, I make sure it doesn’t say “natural flavors” on the ingredients list (yuck to beaver secretions) and definitley, definitley make sure it’s carrageenan-free.

My mom used to make me my own almond milk (and bone broth) throughout my entire pregnancy.  She would blend measured overnight-soaked almonds, water, sea salt, vanilla extract and dates.  It was the most delicious almond milk I ever tasted but I know you aren’t supposed to be giving babies almond milk prior to 12 months (and it spoils extremely fast.)

Recently, I gave my daughter some coconut milk (in her chia seed pudding) and she loved it. Right away, she loved it.  So I had to compare my favorite brands which are Trader Joe’s, Vita Coco and Califia Farms.

These are the ingredients from Vita Coco:  Coconut Water from Concentrate (Water, Coconut Water Concentrate), Water, Coconut Cream. Contains less than 2% of Stabilizers (Cellulose Gel and Cellulose Gum). Fortified Vitamins and Minerals: Tricalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin A, Zinc Sulphate

These are the ingredients from Califia Farms:  Coconut Milk (Water, Coconut Cream), Coconut Water, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum

These are the ingrediends from Trader Joes: Organic Coconut Base (Water, Organic Coconut Cream), Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Guar Gum,  Xanthan Gum, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D2, L-Selenomethionine (Selenium), Zinc Oxide, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.

At first glance it may look like Califia Farms is the winner, but it has 2 types of gums without telling you how much, they add salt to their milk and it has Potassium Citrate which isn’t great for you at all.

Trader Joe’s brand has one ingredient I can’t even pronounce, it has guar gum and xanthan gum and folic acid?

Vita coco is the one I went with. It explains it has less than 2% of the gel/gum and everything else is pretty healthy for us.

I’m leaning towards coconut milk because she loves it already! I am not looking at this to be a source of calcium, protein, or Vitamin D, for her… more of just a treat because she’ll still be missing a creamy milk.  So far, I’ve been mixing one date per 12 oz of Vita Coco coconut milk and she’s been guzzling down 1 bottle every day for about 4 days now.

She still drinks about 24oz of breast milk, 9oz of water and other foods daily. She has a super clean, super nutritious diet consisting of sweet potatoes, pineapple, beets, blueberries, A LOT of brocolli, leeks, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, mango, peaches, A LOT of spinach, pears, peas, apples, oats, rice cakes, dates, blackberries, strawberries, A LOT of avocados, prunes, zucchini, and chickpeas.

With that said, I’m not really worried about her lacking any nutrients. I just want to transition her easily from breast milk to another milk (as a treat) and plenty of water (which I’ve successfully done.)

How did you wean your baby?  What age were they?  What milk did you change to?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Vaccines for your baby

Vaccines for your baby

Today I read an article about a 5 month old baby getting measels in Chicco, CA and it got me thinking about vaccines.  In the past I have had mixed feelings about vaccines because there has been a lot of talk about how vaccines could cause autism and how we truly don’t know what goes into them.

Something like the flu shot, caused me to become hesitant with shots because the only times I personally got the flu were the years I got the flu shot.  I haven’t gotten the flu shot in about 5 or 6 years and I haven’t gotten the common cold or flu in 5 or 6 years.
Or how many people have gotten the HPV shot, yet 79 million Americans are still affected by HPV.  I made a choice to not get the HPV shot and I test negative for HPV everytime.  These situations could be mental, but they’re also true.

Obviously HPV or the flu is nowhere near as serious or severe as other illnesses. I would consider myself pretty hollistic, very into health and wellness and always seeking a natural alternative solution to a man-made one.  So topics like this are conflicting for me but I always keep an open mind to what makes the most sense.

After reading the most recent story about the baby boy with measels it got me thinking differently now that I have a daughter.  I, like most parents, would do anything to protect my daughter.  I would never forgive myself if she were to contract something that could have been avoided had I allowed her a proper vaccine.  I saw pictures of the 5 month old and it broke my heart.  You can’t give a vaccine for measels at 5 months old, the baby is too young.  Knowing a mother has to go through seeing her baby suffer at any age, is so terrible, let alone a newborn and something that severe.  She was quoted saying something along the lines that it’s up to us in our community to vaccinate ourselves to be able to protect the ones who are too young to get those kind of vaccines from contracting a certain illness.

I wish we were more educated about vaccines.  Sure, we can Google the 6 different types of vaccines that are given to our babies at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, etc.. but it would be nice to have every Pediatrician/Doctor give you a brief of how long the vaccination has been around, how they were able to create it, statistics of those vaccinated v non-vaccinated along with other appeasing and knowledgeable information.

At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping our babies as healthy as possible.

This blog post was just a free thinking post to put my thoughts out there. Have you had any thoughts like these?

Late to the party..

Late to the party..

So.. I just got hip to chia seed pudding.  I’ve heard about it, but never enough to really give it much thought.

Recently, my friend in LA was telling me she makes it in the morning and it keeps her satiated until the afternoon.  I decided to try it.

After trying it and liking it, I started thinking how easy it is to make as a go to snack while you’re traveling/staying in hotels.  You just pick up coconut milk, chia seeds and maple syrup.  Every airbnb and hotel has cups/glasses and a fridge.  If you’re always hungry like me, it’s nice to have a little option like that.
I made the pudding a few times I was in Miami for the Miami Open.

I put 3/4c – 1c coconut milk, 2-3 tblsp chia seeds, some cinnamon and I add maple syrup until it’s just sweet enough for me.

Online, it says let it sit 3+ hours but I find it tastes much better when left over night, so I just make sure to prep 2 at a time and keep the cycle going.

While the pudding doesn’t keep me full too too long, it’s delcious and full of fiber, omegas, fat and protein.

People like to add raw cacao podwer, oats, berries, different kinds of milk, you should add whatever you want!!

What’s your favorite chia seed recipe?  Comment and let me know!

Top three baby foods

Top three baby foods

Why I love Peter Rabbit Organics, Ella’s Kitchen Organics and Plum Organics, and use no other baby brand foods (yet, anyways).

Peter Rabbit, Ella’s and Plum have super clean organic non-GMO ingredients with nothing else.

While other baby food companies such as Happy Family Organics, Gerber, Wellsley Farms Organics, Go & Grow OptiGrow Organics and Earth’s Best have ingredients such as:
-Citric Acid
– d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate
-Ascorbic Acid
-Corn
-Oil

So even if they’re organic and/or non-GMO as most of these brands are, you want to be mindful of the ingredients and ask yourself if your baby really needs certain ingredients added into their food while you have other options.

While other companies such as Peter Rabbit, Plum and Ella’s kitchen have the fruit and/or the vegetable in the pouch as their only ingredients along with lemon juice. *BTW* Plum Organics has a Just Prune stage 1 food avail, which can help a backed up baby! — See my article on babies with constipation.

I’ve also read and heard great things about Once Upon a Farm and Sprout Organics, but have yet to try them.

Have you tried them? What are your favorite baby foods? Do you make your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts!