Nifty vs. Thrifty

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Getting a good nights sleep is essential for providing a happy, productive environment for you and your baby. During the first 3 months a baby needs food frequently (especially if you are breast feeding which a baby digests quicker than formula). It is almost impossible to get a full night's sleep at this point. Even if your baby is sleeping through the night early on, your doctor might suggest waking him or her up to feed. At this point if you’re lucky enough to be able to sleep when your baby sleeps (I never could!) than you definitely should do that! Taking naps during the day is a wonderful thing for moms with newborns. Try to take advantage of your ability to run errands while your newborn will sleep right through. Pretty soon you won’t be so lucky and you will see the need for putting your baby in their crib for nap time.

I have researched many ideas and theories on how to provide good sleeping habits for a baby. I feel that it is an integral piece to their health and well being. There are 2 books which are very helpful-‘The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer’ by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau and ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ by Marc-Weissbluth are both excellent resources on the subject. The baby whisperer also has a great website for seeing how much your baby should be sleeping at different ages and what different other babies schedules look like. I took bits and pieces from many different sources and made a routine that worked for me and my family.

Many people find it very helpful to keep a bedtime routine. This is something you can start very early. It can include bath, feeding, rocking, reading a book and singing. Starting to put the baby in her crib is also good for you and your significant other to get some alone time. Once the baby is down for the night, keep any feedings or diaper changes very quiet (no talking or playing) and keep the lights off with just enough light from a night light or hallway light for you to see what you’re doing. My baby really had her days and night mixed up and this helped a lot.

After around 3 months your baby can start getting A LITTLE bit of a routine. Remember every baby is different and what works for one family may not work for another. One thing all experts seem to have in common is that you should never wake a sleeping baby and never try to keep them awake or “wear them out”. At 3 months, I stayed home for a week straight to really figure out my daughters sleep habits. I learned her signs of tiredness and started putting her in her crib for naps. This really helped. Every 2 hours is a good baseline for most babies to start needing sleep. Once a baby gets overtired it can get really ugly for you and for the baby. When my daughter started getting better naps she started sleeping MUCH better at night and would only waking to eat-fabulous!

Remember, these are just ideas of what worked for me. It’s best to listen to what works for others but then create a system that works for you and your family. Also, don’t hesitate to call your doctor with any questions or concerns. I call my doctors office frequently. One time I called my doctor 3 times because my child was sleeping SO MUCH! The nurses were very understanding and never annoyed (at least they didn't seem to be!) Anyway, you pay them good money for your baby’s care they should be able to answer your questions!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Simply siena on facebook

There are many posts and articles that I update on simplysiena facebook page that I do not put on here! Be sure to add simply siena as your friend!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Feeling lonely while home with a newborn??

It's very normal to feel lonely, sad or even CRAZY during this huge time of transition! First of all, remember that your life just did a 360. As wonderful as the experience of having a child is, it is a huge time of transition for many things. Your body has changed. Your hormones are raging, your job status has changed (even if it's only for the interim), the relationship with your significant other is different, there are increased pressure on your finances, and you are getting to know your new role as a mommy!!
There are many, many women who have been in the same boat as you and it can feel very overwhelming!

Follow these helpful hints to get you through your times of difficulty...
1. Get outside! Sunlight has been proven to help with depression!
2. Exercise! I know it's the last thing you feel like doing but just a little walk or an exercise video can make a huge difference!
3. Talk to friends!
4. Join a playgroup! Even if it's your first child and your child won't get anything out of will!! You may be surprised at how many playgroups there are if you look. Search for playgroups in your county online or talk to other mommies in your neighborhood. If you don't find any that your like, make your own!! You can start a group for $35.00 and can access calendars, message boards and pictures of your group!
5. Try to eat healthy! I know it's hard when you are having cravings or are simply trying to throw down whatever is easiest at the time. But try to eat mostly fruits, veggies, and whole grains so you are putting good gas in your engine!!

REMEMBER....postpartum depression is VERY real and can strike during pregnancy or up to a year after childbirth. If you are having the blues for more than a week or 2 seek help from a professional!!
Paula Padget Counseling and Coaching Associates is an excellent place to go for life coach/therapist in Chester County, PA. She specializes in women and depression and offers great tools to get you through difficult time. See her website for more details

Tracking babies eating and sleeping

I know whats it's like....Days are turning into nights and through your blurry vision you can't keep track of when your baby is going to be due for food or a diaper change. Sometimes, you need to let your pediatrician know how many times your baby is doing something in particular but it's difficult to keep track of the endless stinky diapers that cross your baby's bottom.

One easy way to help keep track of these essential things are the handy trackers on
http://www.thebump/ website. These are great date sheets for moms tracking patterns of sleeping, eating and many other things. They are also handy for passing on information to your spouse or babysitter of what your babies day looks like.

As we mentioned before, the ITZbeen baby care timer is a great device for timing your babies sleeping, eating, and anything else you need to track. See the earlier post for more information.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My New Body

My body is not what it used to be. Will it ever be? I’m not sure. I secretly really enjoy wearing the comfy maternity clothes that now make me feel skinny! My wardrobe is only one of the many crazy changes in my life right now but having a baby and being a mommy is the most wonderful thing I could imagine.

Before having my daughter, I used to do karate, push ups, run, lift name it. Suddenly these things have changed. I can now do most of these things but it's taken a while. I had to have some patience to allow my body to get back to what it used to be able to do.
Having a baby has taught me to SLOW down. It wasn’t until I had my daughter Siena that I was able to focus my mind enough to do yoga or walk down the street and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells out what was around me. Last year at this time, I would have sped right by the beautiful sights with my ipod blaring and pedometer clicking. I would have been wearing the latest work out outfits (and looked damn good too!) I walk with my baby tucked in her baby bjorn, all I think about is how blessed I am and how beautiful life can be. If I pass a neighbor I might wonder, does my outfit even match?!

Don’t get me wrong…I will be on the mats again and pounding the pavement with my running shoes. But if I never have six pack abs will all be worth it for the amazing miracle that I can call my daughter.
I went to a fitness center in my area right after I was cleared to work out again. They offer a ongoing special 60 days for $60 (not including childcare) The only requirement is a doctors note (which my doctor easily filled out the paperwork and faxed it the day I asked for it). I took advantage of this when I was cleared to exercise (6 weeks after my daughter was born) and it was a great chance for me to get out of the house and have some me time…plus I lost weight and felt better about myself!! Get your body moving and you will start to feel like yourself again!

How to stay balanced and be productive

Trying to be your own boss and keep a productive schedule is nearly impossible these days!

A day in my life sometime goes like this...
The baby is down for a nap and I QUICKLY run to the computer to check my emails and next thing I know the baby is awake, crying and I didn’t get A THING done!! What happened to the time?? Between facebook, email, and my "to do" list I am easily over my head and feeling pulled in a million directions. DEEEEEP breath. Why do I put stress onto myself??

I always knew I had a tendency to be a little ADD. Then I started martial arts and quickly learned that structure and discipline was my best friend. Having a plan and sticking to it helps me feel safe and productive.

There are 2 things help me immensely when I feel pulled in a million directions. First, I have a goal sheet that is hanging in my office and on my refridgerator. The goals are very general (ie.-eating healthy, being a good mom, being a good wife) but they help me to focus on what’s important. I revise this list every 6 months and make sure that what I’m doing on a daily basis matches what I am working toward in my life. Secondly, I keep a "to do" list for the week and one for just today. I try to map out a schedule of the day and stick to it. I do allow myself time for updating my status on facebook or chatting when I need some adult interaction (and God knows we need a break sometimes!) Although this works for me, I realize that different things help different people.

I received my black belt in karate 2 years ago from Mr. Stuarts Martial Arts. Not only did I learn to defend myself and get in excellent shape but I learned the art of self discipline, focus and structure. These skills are priceless in a culture full of playgroups, cell phones, media, and distraction. We all have out gifts and talents but being pulled in a million directions prevents us from being successful in anything. Learning to focus is a great tool that can help us accomplish anything we set our mind to do.

Whatever works for you, write it down and stick to it! Take one step at a time to accomplish the things you want and make it happen!!

For more info. on the martial arts program go to:
or call 610-888-8212

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The best things in life are free..

My husband and I started to plan our weekend. Summer is here and this summer we have a little baby to tend to. Things are a little different. Last summer we would go out for a run, go to a Phillies game or sit out and have drinks outside a restaurant in West Chester.
This year we have a baby in tow. We couldn’t decide on what to do. Sesame place? Nah…she won’t get any enjoyment out of it. Phillies game? Nah…too much work for an infant (and again…she won’t get any enjoyment out of it!) Some of my friends were heading to the park with the COOL jungle gym-nah-she’s too little. The beach? Nah…Too much sun and again…she won’t enjoy it! So…what do we do? We decided to make our on fun and for once…make people come to us. Bar-b-que at our house it is!

We had some friends and family over, enjoyed each others company and the great weather. So, the lesson I learned from Baby Sienna this week is to enjoy the simple things. She doesn’t need a $50.00 ticket to the Phillies or a trip to the beach. Sienna simply needs a place to sleep and a little rattle to make her laugh. A walk around the neighborhood, food, and lots of love.

As I did some work around the house, and had a slow dance with my husband, I remembered to be present and enjoy the little things in life-and guess what…the best things in life really are free.