How to… baby fashion

If you are obsessed with baby fashion you might like what I am about to share. I am often asked where I dress our daughter. I try to share the brands as much as I can on my instagram account @choux.nco but not everyone is on it and it is dispatched here and there.

If you want a little head’s up on French baby fashion, I was asked by another mama blogger to write a post about the basics:  

http://www.beiaandluna.com/single-post/2016/07/06/FRENCH-BABYS-FASHION

I don’t dress Elizabeth as a classic French baby though. I am more eclectic. My favorite brands are from all over the world. Read More »

No cuddles from your baby | How to accept

She is everything we asked for. We wanted a beautiful independent silly baby. We got her: the most beautiful independent silly girl. Playful, easygoing, a delight when it comes to eat, never had to get up at night, smiling, social…

You get it…mama bear’s speaking of her baby girl!

 

During my pregnancy I was over informed about baby bonding, skin to skin contact and tons of other techniques that help connecting with baby, which is good.

Except that I was not prepared to face such an independent baby. All the bondings techniques may have alleviated our connection (that is beautiful and unique) but it has nothing to do with the cuddles like I thought it would. Read More »

Soft like a French baby’s bottom | make your own liniment lotion

I have been using regular baby wipes until my daughter had a bad diaper rash and yeast infection that no diaper rash cream would help ease. She was prescribed Lotrimin for it and she is on cortisone cream for her (light) eczema for 2 months now. Neither of them have been conclusive and I started feeling uncomfortable applying such creams on her daily.

As I follow french moms groups, I often hear about liniment lotion. It is a popular natural preparation a lot of French mothers use on their babies’ skin. Even Though it is sold as wipes and lotion in France, many like to make their own.

 

Uses for baby

  • Cleansing lotion for babies’ diaper area,
  • No need additional water or rinsing,
  • Helps fighting against acidic urine,
  • Cleans baby’s face. Use it like any other wipes,
  • Moisturizing lotion,
  • Massage lotion,
  • Helps reduce cradle cap (apply liniment on the desired area 10-15mn before shampoo your baby’s hair),
  • Helps reducing eczema,

Read More »

When mother means superhero

And here we are ladies, Mothers.

Mothers of one. Mothers of two..three…four, boys, girls…

Before we got pregnant, we had no idea what mother meant, what it takes of course, and what they are. Mothers are not like any other human being.

From the day we give birth and the following months, we have this need to share and express what we feel and what we go through. Like if we were the very first woman on this planet to experience motherhood. Reason why there are so many moms communities.

Why?

A “new us” emerged when giving birth to our babies.

This is what makes us so special, so unique.

This “new us” is the same version of ourself but stronger and reckless. Strength makes us do things we never thought capable of doing.

Becoming a Mother is a regeneration

Read More »

How we prepare our daughter to be strong

The day of our wedding, my dad gave a very powerful speech. The kind that, as a bride, daughter, wife and mom, I will never forget. Each and every one of his words went under my skin, spreading chills.

Part of it was about the woman I had become, from his point of view. “Yesterday the rebel kid, you have today developed into a determined woman, who carefully completes everything she undertakes. You impress me when I see the perfectionism you implement to meet your ambitions

[goosebumps…tears…goosebumps].

I had the happiest childhood surrounded by my parents and two siblings. My father is a businessman and my mother quit her career to take care of us. Only when you become a mother yourself you understand what it takes and what it means. I feel kind of ashamed not to have realized before. Because she has done and does so much for us.

My sister, brother and myself have been raised with authority. Of course with tons of love and a touch of craziness. Add to that an intense and long ballet training amongst the best ballet schools in Paris. I can pretty much admit I am comfortable with strictness.

In a society where authority over children is far from being popular, weakness/fragility/easiness have become a trend.

Read More »

Sleep deprived? How to teach baby to sleep through the night

When will my baby sleep through the night? How many times have you asked yourself this question?

At 8 weeks old our daughter was sleeping from 11pm – 9 am straight and at 4 months old 8pm to 8pm. Yes she is an amazing sleeper but not only.

The most common comment I received after “you are so lucky” is probably “you have such an easy baby”.

TRUE and FALSE. She was such an easy going newborn in so many ways. Although, sleeping through the night is also a matter of process and method. It does not come by magic. 

WHERE DOES THE NEWBORN SLEEP?Read More »

Breastfeeding: France’s apathy , USA’s pressure and UNICEF’s misleading data

Formula vs breast milk. I have decided to write about it as soon as I witnessed the stress women were facing with today’s society view on breastfeeding.

I was a breastfed baby, and always heard positive talks about it from my mother. This pretty much summarizes my knowledge on the subject. Besides my mother, none of the mothers in my family breastfed. By choice. Because in France, we are not ashamed nor pressured to say “I do not want to breastfeed my baby”. No judgement whatsoever. On the other hand: the USA. The country is well known for having a strong opinion about it. It is a public opinion often broadcast on TV-shows and movies.

Personally, I felt like giving it a try. I educated myself on the subject towards the end of my pregnancy. I didn’t want to pressure myself by reading tons of potentially scary stories. I wanted it to come naturally.  And it did. I loved it.

But, the more I nursed my daughter, the more pressure I felt from the outside (among Americans). For personal/medical reasons, I had to feed my baby half breast milk/half formula.  I sometimes felt embarrassed talking about it. I would here: “do you still give her formula?”. Well, you know… my baby has to eat at some point so…Yes I still feed her with formula. I felt like I had to justify myself for it.

Long story short. It was clear to me that the two countries were not on the same page. Pamela Druckerman (author of Bringing up bébé) confirmed my first impression: “French mothers barely breastfeed. About 63 percent of French mothers do some breastfeeding. A bit more than half are still nursing when they leave the maternity hospital, and most abandon it altogether soon after that. Long-term nursing is extremely rare. In the United States, 74 percent of mothers do at least some breastfeeding, and a third are still nursing exclusively at four months.”

She is an American in Paris, I am a French in Boston. We had the same feeling.

Until I decided to do some research to understand what was really happening. And here are the numbers from governmental sources:Read More »

Dad’s struggle is real. Easy ways to help him be a father.

Carrying and having a baby is quite an adventure. The challenge is physical, emotional and nervous. We know it.

But let’s pause and go back where you were before baby arrived. You had the idyll life as a couple, and it may be your motivation to go a step forward. Or it may not but, you had it going for you anyway.

Baby’s arrival disrupts the couple balance.

No matter how arduous this is, mothers have prepared (consciously and unconsciously) for it, pretty much all their life.  Nobody can deny women are (at least physically) intended to give birth. We’ve prepared for years and bonded 9 months to be ready to meet baby.

Dads do not possess the ability to build-up the same mental and emotional strength. This must be brutal for them. They are way behind us and need to catch-up very fast, what we’ve built for all this time.

Read More »

USA / Europe: A realistic perspective on pregnancy and birth

You’ve probably heard it, this is a massive subject in the USA: the profusion of medical care around childbirth. I actually feel lucky that I had my baby here rather than in France.

In 2013, 32.7% of births were operated via c-section in the United States.    [1] The same year, the rate was 20.3% in France.

While pregnant, I looked at documentaries I could find about natural/medical births: The Business of Being Born, plus the 4 other episodes they made afterwards (all available on Netflix). 40 Weeks. And The Mama Sherpas. I also read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Hypnobirthing from Marie Mongan.

I needed to educate myself. I started my pregnancy with what I’ve always heard and what I’ve always been told. Like everyone. except I am in a country with a medical culture that is not the one I grew up with.

I would not have searched any of that in France, because people are assisted in every way, so was I. 

I liked all of the movies and books but one. I was surprised how 40 Weeks was so negative. It’s like they wanted to tell the “truth” about all the cons of being pregnant. Without bringing all the other good things up.

This is so trendy to say “No one told me”, those days. How many blog posts are untitled like so. Well…, it’s not true. Read More »