Category Archives: how to mom

Final Learning Project Post

The day has finally come to wrap up my ‘how to’ mom learning experience… maybe. Who knows if I will continue to share my journey from time to time? I will say that I’m amazed at just how many new experiences came my way in such a short amount of time. Being a first-time mom I had no idea what to expect. I anticipated sleep regression and some milk increases but I hadn’t expected to be feeding my 5-month-old full meals of solids, taking him swimming and him loving it, and him growing at such an incredible rate.


Kolt’s sleep has improved incredibly. He went from fussing and taking short periods of sleep or naps to whining for a few minutes when he’s tired, accepting his soother, and then sleeping for 6 hours at a time at night. I can’t say that I did anything special to change this. I just held him if he was fussing to calm him down and then placed him down to see if he would fall asleep on his own. If he couldn’t, we had an assisted sleep and if he did, GREAT! Unfortunately, I can’t refer to any sites at this time because in the thick of it all, I just went with my ‘mommy gut’ and responded to what I thought he needed at the moment.

When researching for tips and information about sleep patterns, sleep training, and sleep regression I found a lot of useful sites. For the most part, they seemed to align with one another. What varied were the beliefs about what is appropriate and what is outdated and should be avoided. Of course, this is going to be common on any topic depending on parenting styles and how people were raised. Narrowing my searches from “sleep regression” to entries like “4-month sleep regression AND tips” or “3.5-month baby sleep regression AND signs” yielded far better results, obviously, but at least then the results were more consistent. Most inconsistencies on the topic of sleep were due to a 3 am mom-brain while feeding Kolt or pumping.


We have ventured out to the local swimming pool once again and this time my husband got to come with us! Once again we started in the warm lazy river water and made our way out to the deeper water. He loves to be bounced in and out of the water and he was even more comfortable being laid back into the water. He still shrugged his shoulders and became slightly tense when we laid him back in the water but after repeated attempts, he became more confident each time.

After 35 minutes in the water, we moved to the shallow end (which has warmer water) where we sat and he could stand. He did some splashing and jumping but quickly became tired. My husband laid him in the water and slowly drifted him back and forth and we could see his eyes starting to close and he was nearly falling asleep. The swim adventure had not only tired him out but it made my heart happy to see how happy and relaxed he was in the water. My entire goal of taking him swimming so early is to build his confidence in the water, have him be happy and calm in it, and eventually become a strong swimmer.

When searching for information about taking babies swimming the information was fairly generic but easy to find. A lot of results focused on swimming lessons but with more refined searches like “baby AND swimming first time” I was able to find the information I was looking for. I often wonder how moms felt prior to the internet when they were deciding what to do with their babies when it came to topics such as this. I’m aware that they never had anything like the internet to compare it to but I can only imagine that some must have felt some angst or apprehension.

I feel comfortable bringing him to the pool on my own now and I know he will grow to love the water more and more over time. I plan to take him to the pool a few more times in the next few weeks. I am hoping that by the end of July, the lake water will be warm enough to take him for some shallow water swims on weekends.


We’ve come a long way since my last food post with Kolter. We went from pureed avocado to now eating apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears, carrots, peas, bananas, and peaches. I love prepping the food for him and feeding him has become an event. He’s such a good eater and loves his food. I’ve started calling him meatball because when he grabs his feet he is so round I could roll him!

I did look for some guidance from Pinterest to see how much food is recommended per feeding but I quickly realized that the information I was finding was inaccurate largely due to the fact that solids are uncommon under the age of 6 months.

This is something I found very common when searching online. If the topic or event I was searching for was uncommon or not “widely recommended” then the results were minimal, varied, or incredibly inaccurate. For example, this site that I found seemed very well written but when I took notes and asked for clarification from the local feeding specialist, Naida Hawkins, she said it seemed as though that was a personal preference and not at all what medical experts or specialists would recommend. In fact, the recommendation from both the feeding specialist and the pediatrician was to feed Kolt until he lost interest or stopped asking for more (holding his mouth open) because stopping early can cause an association in the brain that food is scarce. This connection between being fed and food possibly being scarce can cause babies to become gluttonous and anxious while eating. This can also trigger indigestion and reflux in a baby.

When I was searching for what to feed Kolt the information was very consistent. It seems that no matter what the information remains relatively the same - avocado, banana, sweet potato, and apple. These seem to be the most common starter foods and I was relieved that the information was consistent because, as a nutritionist, food is something we take seriously in our household and we love ALL food. I was happy to start Kolt early on foods so that his likeliness of food aversions could be reduced. My plan is to continue introducing new foods to Kolt each week and hopes that he shows no signs of sensitivity or allergies! So far we haven’t had any issues, luckily. We also ensure we take him grocery shopping so he becomes interested and involved in the process and will grow to want to help and be interested in trying new foods.


For the Future

In the future, I’m going to use refined searches from the get-go to raise my chances of desired results. I also have collected a few sites that I prefer in comparison to others.


These sites were frequent with results and tend to be in agreeance and up to date on information.

I also found Instagram to be incredibly useful and will likely continue to search there for like-minded accounts. Twitter sometimes yielded a few results but it was sparse. It scores high for education but lower in specific parenting searches. Pinterest will always remain high on my list as I am a very visual person and I love that I can easily organize my saved content to refer to later on.

I hope that you all found my posts entertaining, if not informative, and I think you for all the input you offered and your kind words. Thank you Katia for your wisdom and #teacherhacks. I cannot wait to continue using what I have learned and guide my students to do the same.

Happy Learning

OMG, My Baby is a Fish

No, I did not birth a fish. Calm down.

This blows my mind. Infants swimming. 

Fun Fact: babies have gill-like structures when in the womb. How do I know this or find out about it? I was born with a small bump on my neck and my mother informed me that the doctors found it to be filled with cartilage and occurred from one of my gill-like structures not properly closing and relocating during development. As a child, I was completely embarrassed by it but now I never even notice or remember I have it.

Babies do not have functioning gills in the womb, but they do briefly form the same structures in their throat as fish do. In fish, those structures become gills. In humans, they become the bones of the jaw and ears.

Anyway, two days ago a friend text me and asked if I’d like to come with her and her son swimming at the pool. She knew I had been wanting to take Kolter but wasn’t sure about going alone my first time. I checked my schedule and replied that if I finished enough schoolwork the following day that we would definitely go. Needless to say, I spent half the next day doing work and the other half figuring out how to be prepared to take my 4.5-month-old swimming for the first time.

Swimming With A Baby

The first time I took Kolter swimming he was 11 weeks old and it was in our bathtub. I put my bathing suit on, filled the tub with warm water a third of the way and in we went! (I’ll spare you the photos) This was the first time I had him in water without a baby tub.

The Prep

We learned the hard way that babies don’t like room-temp or lukewarm water and baths shouldn’t be done in a random room in the house. I couldn’t lean over the tub after my cesarean so my husband and I decided to try to bathe Kolt on the peninsula in our kitchen. Cue the screaming. The next day my mom came over and showed my husband what to do since I couldn’t do it.

To take Kolter swimming in the tub I took similar steps. I ran hot water in the shower to steam and heat up the bathroom air. Then I filled the tub a third of the way with very warm water. I lowered myself in and then had my husband pass me Kolt swaddled in his usual bathing swaddling cloth. I slowly lowered him inch-by-inch into the warm water starting with his bum. We spent some time just relaxing in the water and getting him adjusted. I slowly cradled him less and less until he was just floating with my hands underneath his head and bum. He was smiling, yawning, and purely relaxed. When I noticed his relaxation I slowly started to unravel his cloth starting with just his legs. He gently moved them and then smiled while giving some bigger kicks. Eventually, he was floating and kicking with no cloth and both my hands just under his head and shoulders. He loved the water.

Tubs & Pools Are Different

Our new reusable swim diaper fits!

How do you translate the warm, calm tub water to the cooler, wavy water of the swimming pool? You don’t. I just did everything I could ahead of time. I don’t want him to be afraid of the water and I want him to be a strong swimmer. But how do you prepare yourself and your baby for the pool? There is so much to consider.

A lot of sites recommend starting at 10-minute intervals in pools because they’re colder but there was no way I was paying a full entry fee to the pool just to be in the water for 10 minutes. This was the primary reason why I started at home. I started thinking of how I could help Kolter preserve his heat while in the water and, of course, swim jumpsuits were the best option. I have a pricey one from Honeysuckle that is SPF +50 but since we’re indoors I bought a regular one from Walmart for under $15. This way I didn’t much care if the chlorine destroyed it.

Then I started thinking about whether or not babies wear a diaper in the water. Wouldn’t it just fill up with water? It’s designed to absorb, right? I text a few friends and they said some people do that but they recommended a reusable swim diaper under the one-piece suit. Thankfully, I had one gifted to Kolter so we were all set in that department.

What to Bring

This site had a good list of what to bring to the pool with your baby. From this list I made sure to pack a bottle so I was ready to feed him afterwards and a toque for when we left the pool. Not that the other items weren’t useful but my mom and mom-friends had some experiential suggestions:

  • 2 towels because you’ll take one out to the pool with you to wrap him in when you get out and that one will be soaked by the time you get to a changing room. The second one you can use to lay him on and dry him with after you shower.

  • Baby soap. I used one of the family change rooms that are a full bathroom plus has baby waiting chairs, benches, and a shower. The only thing I wish it had was a laying changing table. I stripped Kolt down and we showered in the warm water. I washed him the best I could that way and it was a great way to warm him back up. I could already see that he was getting sleepy and relaxing from the warm water.

  • A pee pad, 2 diapers, a pack of wipes, and diaper cream. I was not lugging around 2 bags (diaper and swim) to the pool plus my baby. Instead of packing changing pads and full-sized items of everything I grabbed one of the hospital pee pads we cover his changing pads with and mini versions of Sudocrem and wipes.

  • A sleeper onesie - there was no way I was going to fight to get him into a full outfit so I packed a simple onesie for him to wear after swimming.

The baby seats in the family change rooms at our swimming facility. Bring extra, extra towels to dry them.

Time To Swim

My friend suggested we start in the lazy river since there was a warm current in that part of the pool and it was the warmest location in the pool. I slowly waded into the water and when it was time for Kolt to go in I just slowly got him adjusted. The process took about 3-4 minutes but I knew he was comfortable with the feeling of water. We did a few laps around the lazy river and by this point, he was kicking and giggling. I was so relieved that he was loving it.

The pool has baby floating seats so we tried that next and I don’t think he could have enjoyed it more. I made sure we had some splashing and that he encountered a bit of water on his head and face. He seemed to handle it just fine and there were no tears. The only thing I couldn’t get him to do was float on his back like he does in the tub. My sense is that he doesn’t like the cooler temperature of the water enough to do it yet. But practice will bring us closer to success!

Finally, I want to mention that rinsing or washing your baby off after swimming is very important. Their skin is still so sensitive and the chemicals can really dry it out. Even after using the showers (which still have stronger chemicals than your home water) you should rinse or bathe your baby at home later on.

Next Time

The next time we go swimming I will likely buy water shoes. I forgot how much I HATE wet swimming pool floors and how much they gross me out. My skin was crawling just thinking about it when I entered. I’m also going to look for a long sleeve and long-leg swimsuit for Kolt. He seemed to do fine but I noticed his arms and legs that weren’t covered were a bit purple-red in comparison to the rest of his body. He wasn’t shivering at all but it was clear to me the suit worked and he was warmer where it covered him.

Until Next Time,

Happy Swimming

Spoiled Rotten

Can you spoil a baby? The jury’s out.

They napped like this almost daily for the first month

Multiple sites have been published to disprove the earlier beliefs that babies need to be cautiously cared for but not spoiled in order to prevent children from growing up to be coddled and spoiled rotten brats. Terms and practices like ‘cry it out’ have been in the process of being faded out due to research proving it can cause psychological issues of anxiety further down the road.

Parents and specialists are now turning to calming strategies and guided self-soothing to help develop skills in children from a young age. Instead of facing things alone we are coaching and guiding them to gain tools and strategies for self-regulation. Sound familiar teachers?

Old School

Traditional methods like Crying It Out (which was implemented with the idea of behaviourism as a method for childrearing versus using affection and love) are becoming increasingly unpopular due to their harsh approaches and lasting negative psychological effects on children and parents. The Cry it Out Method believes that children need to be taught to be independent but science and research have proven this to cause opposing effects of dependence and clinging to safety due to fear caused by anxiety and stress. Read Dr. Narvaez’s article for bullet-point facts on how and why the Cry it Out Method causes trauma.

Other methods receiving backlash are, but are not limited to, the Controlled Crying and Camping Out Methods because they involved little to no contact or affection.

Dr. Darcia F. Narvaez states in her article:

The 20th century was the time when “men of science” were assumed to know better than mothers, grandmothers, and families about how to raise a child. Too much kindness to a baby would result in a whiney, dependent, failed human being. Funny how “the experts” got away with this with no evidence to back it up!

New School


Due to the research stated above, parents are moving to soothing methods of regulation and sleep training. In fact, Websites and apps like Baby Center offer copious amounts of information and tips on how to gently care for your baby. Their website has over 10 reasons why your baby could be crying and HOW TO HOLD THEM for comfort and soothing. Their site even has a page on why others are choosing to move away from the Cry it Out Method and towards gentler techniques. They even list the techniques and pros and cons for each. I did not want to rely on one source of information for each technique so I will link the ones I preferred in addition to the original one I used as a springboard for the topic.

The techniques:

The Pick Up Put Down Method (similar to the Ferber Method)

The Chair Method

Scheduled Awakenings

He hates clothing anyway.

Besides app and website information, people are starting to follow sleep coaches like Little Winks Sleep, Sleep Baby Dr, and Taking Cara Babies on Instagram and Facebook for much-needed sleeping and regulation tips. All three of these women agree with modern research that YOU CAN’T HOLD YOUR BABY TOO MUCH and that the human touch is VITAL for development. In fact, the research is so clear that it is everywhere.

Why Do I Care?

I have been hearing everyone, left, right, and center tell me to “be careful” and not hold my baby too much or he’s going to be “hand spoiled” and never be able to do anything without me. My reply is usually something sarcastic like, “That’s my plan. I’m going to love him so much no woman will ever be good enough for him.” People roll their eyes and give up or try to give me ‘facts’ about spoiling him. This is where I unleash my FACTS and quote research. That typically ends the conversation OR they actually act like mature adults and either compliment the new information or ask more about it. The latter is minimal.

When you have a lash appointment but baby bear also wants to nap. No Problem! 

Maybe my response sounds immature and petty but I’m sick of being told “how to mom” when people spew outdated information or have no basis for their theories. I’ll admit that I am NOT the ‘book-reading’ mom and I’m winging it but when I encounter something new with Kolt or I have wonderings, I search for facts online. FACTS - not myths. Just because I didn’t read all of the parenting books doesn’t mean I don’t do the reading now. I’m a “take it as it comes” kinda lady and I don’t want preconceived notions about my kid due to what a book told me may or may not happen to or with my child. Humanity seemed to have survived, and multiplied, without the books before so I feel like we’re going to be okay.

What Method Do I Use?

Currently, I have no method.


My husband and I are using our instincts and communicating about childrearing on the fly! I know… risky move, right? When we first came home from the hospital we had Kolter sleeping in his own bassinet in his own room while we had the monitor on. We would rock him to sleep and he slept 3-4 hours on his own just fine. He’d wake, we’d change and feed him, rock him, and place him back in his bassinet to sleep. When he got his immunizations we moved his bassinet to our room in case he fussed and needed consoling. We did this to make it easier on us, not him. I didn’t want to run across the hall every time he might fuss if he was uncomfortable fromhis shots. Turns out he slept 8 hours straight so it wasn’t an issue.

He was so tiny.

During the day, he typically falls asleep wherever he is (floor, couch, nest). He plays on his own or with us until he’s tired, fusses a bit and falls asleep. I would say that 80% of the time he falls asleep on his own and the other 20% is in contact with one of us. If I want to hold my son and snuggle him while he’s sleeping, I’m going to. These days are going to last forever and before I know it I’ll be at work and I’ll be missing everything. I have NO IDEA how you women in the United States do it - we have a year off in Canada and it seems to fly by.

My husband and I try to keep a balance between holding him and letting him fall asleep on his own. After May long weekend we recognized that a lot of our friends had held him all weekend and that we should maybe do a little bit less holding so that he falls back into a routine. He was back into routine within 24 hours. Yes, we’re lucky and we know that not everyone experiences the same success but we do. We want to hold our baby. We’re going to hold our baby. If he wants us, we hold him. If we want him, we hold him. If he’s fussing and crying and whining, we hold him. We want him to know that we’re there for anything he needs but that if we’re not holding him we’re holding his hands, cradling his cheeks, and rubbing his back to show we’re not far away. Sometimes just holding my finger is all he needs to fall asleep- to know I'm there.

This is how we choose to parent our son- with support and comfort. If he turns out to be a total jerk then this post can stand as a ‘what not to do’ in future research on childrearing.

What’s Next?

We’re still navigating the balance between the late lake sleep schedule and the at-home sleep schedule. We did not set a schedule for him because babies tend to do it themselves. At the lake, there is more stimulation and he tends to fall asleep later and this has been a tough road to navigate for us sleepy parents. We think we have discovered a way to overcome it using the Fading Method. As I said, Kolt has a strong self-schedule set to his circadian rhythm and we’re a fan of it. Wake at 6 and feed, then again at 9 am, noon, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm and sleep. He typically wakes between 3 and 4 am for a feed but lately, that has been happening less and he’s sleeping from approximately 9:30 pm until 6 am. WOO! After a weekend at the lake this all back up about an hour to 90 minutes but the Fading methods typically brings it back within a day or so.

Happy Cuddles

Future Posts

Want to see how our first time swimming went? Stay tuned!

Tummy Time Take 2

Well here we are again - the dreaded tummy time.

Kolt has started to hate tummy time SLIGHTLY less. By slightly I mean by a fraction. We’re splitting hairs here. He has gained some strength after we used some of the techniques from our previous tummy time post and I’m excited to share it with you!

Where We Were

Last time Kolt was just spending occasional time on his tummy and we were encouraging him to lift his head. I had admitted to not spending enough time focusing on tummy time development. We did daily exercises to strengthen his abdominal shelf to try to reduce reflux and spit up and this led to a strong core and legs which led him to just wanting to stand up.

New Goals

I ended that week hoping to focus on Kolt increasing his tolerable tummy time duration and to start reaching for items with one of his hands. I also wanted to start helping him develop the ability to sit independently. I also realized that crawling was not a realistic goal yet. Jumpin’ the gun a bit.

What We Did - Day 1

I began the next week by just increasing the frequency we practiced tummy time. Within just 4 days Kolter had increased his tolerance by a minute thirty seconds. Imagine if we had been focusing on this all along! He was actually enjoying some of the interactive tummy time before whining for relief from his tummy position.

Days 5-8

By day five I started placing his soother and other toys by his face to gain his attention. I would slowly move them around and teach him to focus on them. By days 6 and 7, I was actively holding and moving the soother or toys while he tracked them and moved his head from side to side. It took a few days for this movement to gain fluidity and show strength development in his neck muscles. Eventually, he was able to do this so well that I could start tummy time with this movement and then place the soother or toy next to him for him to attempt to reach.

Days 8+

After he had some successful days attempting to reach for the items we also started incorporating more standing time and independent sitting with assistance. We are still doing his assisted sit-ups too. While I was searching for some videos I came across this WEBSITE that caught my eye. I recall my baba telling me that she would always practice “falling” with her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren (she’s 95 this year, lives on her own, and has a HUGE family).

We have started to add in ‘falling’ with Kolter. So far we help him with an assisted sit-up, stand-up, and sit back down and then we let him fall back. He giggles and smiles and we are relieved! We don’t want him to be afraid to fall so that it scares him and deters him from continuing to try. We have seen this happen with some of our friends’ children. I’m not saying we have all the answers but we’re doing what we can to be know-it-alls, ya know?

Finally, since he loves standing so much we are increasing that time too. He has gained quite a bit of stability in the last week and we’re seriously impressed. He reminds us of a gopher or a meerkat just constantly standing there and staring at everything around him with eyes wide.

What’s Next

Next, we are going to work on more independent sitting even though we are 6 weeks away from that even being an early milestone. I don’t care - he wants to sit so badly so we’re doing it. If you haven’t heard of Lovevery, they are a company that specializes in baby development and they also have a baby toy mailing system that sends you developmentally appropriate toys for your baby to increase their levels of growth in all areas. You may see their ads on Instagram or Facebook often. They’re great but as an educator, I know where to look that stuff up so I refuse to pay for it. Just being honest. I have friends who subscribe and swear by it but when we compare what we do with our babies we’re essentially doing the exact same things but they have to wait for the next toy to begin the next phase.

ANYWAY, they have some great information about stages of development and I loved this breakdown of the stages of sitting.

Kolter is currently on stage 3, which is about 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule so if he decides not to pick up on it quickly - who cares. We have time. If he falls behind. Who cares. We do not.

Stay Tuned

I’m so proud of our little guy but at the same time, he’s growing way too fast for my liking. I am soaking up all the cuddles and praying he doesn’t grow any faster than I’m prepared for. This brings me to my next post. I know I have previously discussed ‘hand-spoiling’ and mental health but this is still a learning process for me and that’s what this blog is about, right? I have become increasingly interested in the concept of what counts as ‘spoiling’ your baby and what is just appropriate consoling and affection. So get ready for THAT can of worms.

Happy sitting.

Burps & Farts

Yup, I said it. Burps and farts. We all do it. Although when I taught grade one I liked to tell my students that I didn’t fart and that everything evaporated through my skin (then I proceeded to explain evaporation)… their reactions were hilarious. This is what we are currently working through with Kolter, burps and farts.

Whitkow Hotel and Bar

Kolt has always been a gassy baby so we have been working his legs and burping him extra since day one but things seemed to have increased since we started going to the lake. As I’ve mentioned before, we camp at Meeting Lake Regional Park and, unfortunately, there are no roads that are paved all the way to the lake. In fact, the highway (HWY 378) is one of the worst highways in the province and has since been turned up to be gravelled because the asphalt is impossible to upkeep. Despite it also being rated one of the most beautiful routes in the province, we don’t travel that way because of the horrid road conditions. The photos with the church and red elevator are from a town called Whitkow which my family established when they moved here from Ukraine in 1907. There are actually 11 residents left and all are my family. The bar and hotel they name was built by my great grandfather and was my mother’s house growing up and where I also spent my summers and school holidays.

Back to Kolter.

None of the roads leading to the lake are favourable so I leave earlier than usual and drive leisurely as if ‘driving Miss Daisy’. I don’t mind. Kolt sleeps the majority of the time and I love the scenery. It is my happy place and feels like home. What DOES bother me is the fussing and discomfort my son is in for nearly 24 hours after arriving at our destination, whether it be the lake or home after a weekend at the lake. Kolt is an incredibly happy baby and rarely fusses. The last two weekends we have done immense amounts of reading and consoling for his discomfort and have learned some things.

New Learnings

Upset tummy = lethargic baby

Not everything is “textbook”. In fact, there is no actual evidence that car rides can cause upset stomachs in babies, especially when the child seems fine throughout the ride - ruling out motion sickness. Kolter starts fussing the next time he eats after a long, bumpy car ride. He will fuss off and on for quite some time, sometimes for an entire day or two, until it just stops and he reverts back to his giggly, happy self. After the first weekend of camping, we thought, perhaps, Kolter had gotten sick and wasn’t feeling well but then it happened the next weekend. I discussed it with our public health nurse during his immunizations and she suggested it could be due to rough road conditions. We were going to the lake again in a few days and decided to monitor his behaviour. Sure enough, after the journey he was upset. Luckily, the nurse had given us some tips and tricks to soothe his tummy if this were the case:

I call Kolt my baby bear - seemed fitting
  • 1) When you arrive at your destination and he is fussy or not himself simply sit him on your lap and burp him. He likely has air pockets stirred up throughout his abdomen.

    • BOY did he burp! It seemed to cut down on his fussing time for sure and he was far happier.

  • 2) Give him some anti-colic fluids before or after the journey. We didn’t try this one because the burping worked so well but we have been using a fluid to help with his gassiness I will discuss this later in the post.

  • 3) Massage his tummy and work his legs to release gas. We have done many of these exercises since his birth but some were new.

    • bicycle legs - useful - we have used this since birth.

    • Knee to Belly - useful - we have used this since birth and every day just to quickly release gas.

    • “I Love You” massage - VERY useful - learned this more recently and LOVE it! It helps with both gas and constipation. You can feel the blockages and although it sometimes causes Kolt to be unhappy for a few seconds it almost instantly relieves him once we’re done. (It is important to note that there are many TikTok videos of this massage and doing it backwards or starting the “I” on the baby’s right side can have the opposite effect. Our bowels drain on our left side and you should first massage to remove the blockages at the end BEFORE pushing more blockages toward that area to prevent pain and a worse blockage).

  • 4) Finally, keep the baby upright for 20-30 minutes to help him pass his gas up or downward with ease. Laying him down will trap it.

Other Useful Information

I wanted to add a list of some other useful information I made note of during this time:

  • 1) There are a large number of anti-colic medications to help with gas, reflux (which Kolt has), hiccups, and spitting up. Try one or try them all but none are better than others and you will find what works best for you. We have 3 that we rotate through.

    • Ovol - this is a lifesaver but hard to find. Usually found at small-town convenience or grocery stores. This breaks up the gas bubbles so they aren’t as painful and can be more easily passed. This works best for Kolt and we put it right in his bottle or if he’s been crying and fussing longer than 30 minutes and it seems to be due to abdominal pain. It almost instantly makes him pass gas and feel better. It contains mint and soothes his tummy. Relatively inexpensive and lasts quite a while since you can use just small amounts.

    • Cocyntal - This. is. WONDERFUL because it is pre-portioned. THAT’S RIGHT! No measuring or spilling. Babies love the taste. it is dye free and it stops hiccups and upset tummies ASAP for Kolter. A friend gave me one for Kolter to try when we had a play date - CHANGED MA LIFE! They’re NOT cheap but we keep them on hand for traveling convenience. This brand also makes cold/flu and teething pre-portioned meds.

    • Kolik Gripe Water - the tried and true gripe water - beloved by all, hated by me… because it is SO STICKY AND HARD TO SERVE TO BABY! But it works. In a pinch, I will use this because it’s cheaper and it works but I loathe its messiness. I started using one of the extra syringes from a second bottle of Tylenol that we opened (I labelled it for Kolik) and that has helped but it is still VERY sticky.


So far we are having much success with the extra burping and massages/exercises but the Ovol has changed everything! We add a few drops into 2 of his daily feeds and it seems to help him keep his gas flowing without obstruction or discomfort.


We are still working on balancing the self-soothing and holding battle so stay tuned for more information we have gained and grown opinions on about that.

Kolter and I have also been working on developing his tummy time strength too and have practiced a few moves from our research in our post last week. More to come on that too!

Happy tooting!

Terrible Tummy Time

What is it that babies hate about tummy time? That it’s hard? Does it feel anything like when I try to do a situp or pull-ups because if that’s the case then I get it! I’m going to be honest, my husband and I have not been diligent on tummy time in recent weeks as he’s been seeding and I have been spending all my extra time working on schoolwork. My mom and dad have been watching our son 2-3 days a week since school started and both my mom and I have been sharing resources for how to help Kolter physically develop toward crawling. I mean, do I want him to be mobile so that I have more to worry about and watch for throughout the day? I have mixed feelings about it but I know it’s necessary.

Over the last few months we have spent some time placing Kolt on his tummy and would wait to see how he reponded. We immediately knew we were screwed and that our kid was way too smart for us. He’d attempt to lift his head, realize it was hard, and just lay down, close his eyes and sleep. Well played buddy, well played. As time progressed he became obsessed with seeing EVERYTHING and couldn’t tolerate it when he couldn’t. When we placed him on his tummy he would try to lift his head until he would yell at us out of frustration.

Again, if it feels anything like doing 10 burpees in a row WITH a full push-up at the bottom… I feel ya, bro. As time went on he became stronger and hated it a BIT less but I wouldn’t say he’s grown an admiration for it. He eventually learned to occasionally roll over onto his back again to avoid the tummy time. He still cannot do this consistently but if he’s cranky enough he figures it out. After this development, we decided to try to strengthen his abdominals and back to give him more support but that quickly advanced him to standing so now we’re searching for other ideas!

When Katia first mentioned this project I immediately thought of learning how to introduce solid foods to Kolter and how to teach him to crawl. Will he do it by the time I’m finished this course, unlikely, but it’s the journey that matters, here. This week, finding a bit more time now that I’ve gotten a few assignments out of the way, I started following new Instagram accounts and looking up new videos and blogs for tummy time advice and recommendations.

According to this site, Kolt needs some more tummy practice as he cannot yet push himself up onto his own elbow (probably due to my lack of tummy time scheduling). On the other hand, he has been pushing himself up to stand for an entire month (he’s 4 months plus 5 days). So I dug further to find specific milestones and found this page which has a plethora of milestones, how to train for them, and what to do next. I selected the How to Teach Your Baby to Crawl (obviously) aaannndd realized crawling doesn’t usually happen until 6-7 months but why not work our way there. Soooo, I retracted back to the original post I discovered and went from there.

In addition to a few points I’ve noted below from the original post I also started following Laney Soodsma on Instagram (website link here) and love her reels that demonstrate tips for both physical and feeding development. Talk about a win-win.

I noted a few important points from this article:

— start at 3 minutes a day and work up to 20 minutes.

— use sound and sight tools and techniques for sensory stimulation to get the baby’s attention.

— use tummy time toys for practicing reaching and head-turning.

Some things I’ve learned this week:

— babies do not crawl at 4-5 months, normally.

— my son is stronger than he should be in many ways.

— I’m afraid of how intelligent my child is and how he already gets out of what he doesn’t want to do.

— Small bits of practicing go a long way.

Happy Crawling!

New Mama Mental Health

I was hospitalized for sepsis after one of our miscarriages - day 4 of 10 in the hospital.

This is when I realized that taking care of me was the only way I could ever have a family and that it needed to be a priority.

Mental health is becoming increasingly discussed by the general public, as it should be. This is a topic that should never be taboo! Through the years of infertility and loss, my husband and I learned a lot about ourselves and one another and how to take of ourselves and one another. We realized what mattered to us, what didn’t, what we wanted and what is meaningful in our lives. We, without realizing it, began taking better care of our mental health.

Having to navigate the ups and downs of infertility and 5 miscarriages took an incredible toll on our lives. Not to mention the PTSD and separation anxiety we experienced once we were pregnant and made it further and further each week. Some friends became disinterested and left, some stood strong for us when we couldn’t, and others stayed around to be nosey. We didn’t care who did what, what mattered was that we were okay and we loved those who were genuinely there by our sides (you can tell the difference between the ones in it for the info and the ones in it for you). I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t happy a lot of the time. I had 5 years of no babies, I had gained 50 pounds, and I had no answers as to why - I was angry. Until one day, I just wasn’t. I decided that there is absolutely nothing I can control and that no doctor was purposely hiding results, no nurse was betting against me, and those that loved us couldn’t help with answers - there was a bigger plan and I had to trust it. And just like that, I did… after 3 straight days of crying.

See, my husband and I were quarantined after exposure to COVID only a short while after we had experienced another loss. Against my better judgement, and the recommendations of everyone else, I refused to take a leave. I didn’t want to sit in my home and be alone, with no babies, and be reminded that I wasn’t going to have a baby. I didn’t want to get “quarantine depression”. Going to work at a school every day kept children in my life and kept me busy - I hadn’t grieved properly. So when I got the call that I had to quarantine, I was terrified.

I woke up the first day and cried… All. Day. Long. Then I did it again the second, and by the third, my lips broke out in fever blisters, my right eye had swollen shut and was red, and I my psoriasis had flared all over my body. I was physically purging my grief. On the fourth day, I awoke and felt like I had no tears left to cry. I finally left my bedroom and focused on my husband. I think a lot of people forget that he lost babies too, not just me. We pulled together and focused on ourselves, together.

It was the fourth day that I decided that I had no control and that I needed to just keep going and trust the plan whether I liked it or not. My life changed at that point. I started to do things for me and for my husband and I didn’t worry about what others thought, what they’d comment, or if they thought it was okay. I was living life for me. I applied to the Masters Program for Education at the University of Regina, we started doing more renovations on our home, and we went about life as we pleased. We even applied to have a billet live with us to bring life into our home and to help support the community.

Three weeks into my first grad class I found out I was pregnant and we now have a perfect little boy.

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Life, as all you parents know, has only become busier but we still take time for mental health (HERE are some great lines if you’re needing options for mental health or new parenting assistance). It is more important than ever. For birthday gifts we as one another what would be relaxing or helpful. We take time to close the blinds and just watch TV and cuddle our baby. We go to the lake and do what we want to do rather than feeling obligated to do what others think we should do. We also let our friends and family help us. We tossed our pride aside and we ask for help. This is the biggest piece of advice that I can give any new parent.



Other people can hold your baby, watch your baby, feed your baby, and put your baby to sleep. It is okay to ask for help and probably best for your mental health.


To complete my graduate studies I need my parents. They watch my son 2-3 days a week so that I can dedicate uninterrupted time to finishing school work and getting ahead as best I can so that I can spend weekends and some evenings with my family and take care of them and my own mental health. I could not do this without them or my husband dedicating his Saturdays to daddying full-time while I’m in class.

What do I do for my mental health?

  • I asked for help with my son so that I can complete schoolwork and run errands

  • I NEED a clean home to not feel anxious so I take time to clean or clean when my son is with his grandparents.

  • I go for walks

  • I do not spend all of my time with my son. This is a hard one. I know it is healthy to have mommy time away from him and I know it teaches him that there are other people that love him and that he can trust. He’s well-socialized and well-exposed to germs now that he is older than a few months of age.

  • I eat healthily. I planned to meal prep while I was still pregnant. In fact, I prepped a bunch of freezer meals so that I could continue to eat healthily and not feel bogged down with cooking once I had my baby - especially in those first 4 weeks when you cry over everything and feel like a crazy person (yes, that’s real). It was the greatest thing I could have done for myself. I also ate EVERYTHING while I was pregnant so that my fetus was exposed to all foods and I could eat nearly anything I wanted once he was born and he could tolerate it in my milk. It has been a lifesaver (EAT SPICY MEXICAN AND INDIAN FOOD WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT).

  • I decided NOT to exclusively breastfeed. I pump and feed my son so that I can have a drink or spend a night away from him and whomever he’s staying with can still feed him with a bottle.

  • I don’t let myself have mom guilt. I know that I am doing everything in my power to be an incredible mama to my little boy and nobody is going to make me feel bad about the choices I’m making because I know that I’m making them for my son and my family.

  • Finally, we take our son everywhere. We don’t listen to when people say, “you can’t do that with a kid”. Absolutely we can! There are people that hike mountains and travel the world with babies, we can do stuff too! Find ways to make your children a part of your routine. Share your passions with them. Let them sleep in the carseat, on your chest (don’t listen to people saying you’re hand spoiling them, research has disproved it - IT IS NOT TRUE), or under a table at a wedding. They’ll be fine.

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So when it comes to mental health it can take many forms and I do what works for me and my family. I choose to be a powerful mama who will show my son that a person can do anything they put their mind to if they just trust the plan and work hard. It took us 5 years to have this wonderful blessing of a baby boy and if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be around to take care of him.

This is a GREAT read for those who want to read more about taking care of yourself as a new parent.

Tips for new dads

A healthy, happy mama (and dad) means a healthier, happier baby.

Take care of yourself.

The Jist of the Jolly Jumper

Invented by a Canadian Indigenous woman by the name of Olivia Poole, the Jolly Jumper has been around since the early 1900s. Its design came from women needing a way to take care of and entertain their children while also being productive. I could thank this woman daily for her ingenuity and brilliance.

Like other toys and baby mechanisms, the Jolly Jumper has age limits and recommended-use guidelines. Until Kolter was 10 weeks old I had not done any reading about our Jolly Jumper and had yet to open the box. I did notice, however, that my son was beginning to sit with his head up for as long as he wished and even began standing up when we would do our pull-to-sit exercises with him. He was becoming restless by 11 weeks and so I started looking into using our Jolly Jumper. The age recommendation states that babies should be 3 months old AND can hold their heads up independently with full neck support. See more FAQs here. Kolter fulfilled both these requirements and so, the following weekend, we decided to give the jumper a try.

Some kids take time to get used to being suspended or being able to see things upright. Some don’t enjoy the jumper and even cry while in it due to discomfort (this is rare) or not liking to jump. Kolter was neither of these.

We placed him in the jumper and sat back to see his reaction. We want him to explore the world at his own pace and try not to influence his thoughts or decisions - yes, you can tell if you’re influencing them or not at a few months old. We didn’t want to make the bouncing motion, we wanted to see if he would initiate it on his own. He did and within literal seconds of being in it.

After a minute or two he was smiling, bouncing away, and even letting out a giggle or two. Our hearts fluttered seeing him so happy. We took a quick video and shared it with some friends and family. My husband’s phone rang and we were immediately met with backlash that he’s too long, he’s going to be sore, we better not leave him in there too long, don’t leave him unattended, he’s going to hurt himself being that young in there. Our hearts were crushed. I knew he was fine. I knew my baby better than anyone and he was happy and safe. There is no way we were going to leave him alone in it or let anything hurt him - we’re not stupid. I was initially upset but soon told my husband I didn’t care what others were saying because I knew he was fine and I knew I was a good mama.

My parents were so excited to see him in the jumper and asked for pictures almost daily. In fact, they even went out and bought one so they could see him in one when he stayed at their place. I was relieved. My parents were also believers in doing what you know is best and not letting others dictate your decisions. This is likely why I strongly advocate raising my son the same way.

After just a few weeks, and me telling others they were outright wrong about my son being too young for the Jolly Jumper, things calmed down and everyone could see how much he loved it and how strong he was getting from using it. One thought was crossing my mind though… how long is too long to be in the Jolly Jumper?

Different manufacturers hold different opinions on safe time limits in the jumper. Some say 20 minutes, twice and day while others say 15 minutes. But why so short? Kolter could sometimes jump for up to 45-50 minutes and yell at you if you tried to take him out earlier. Turns out, hip dysplasia is a condition that can be caused by babies being placed into carriers, exersaucers, and Jolly Jumpers for too long, causing their hips to be misshaped. It is also said to impede on the natural development of crawling and walking. Honestly, my mother said I lived in my Jolly Jumper and I’m completely fine. I know that someone has to be the statistic and I believe in doing your research, but I also believe that if someone falls into a pond because they’re playing Pokemon Go it should not be ban from the world because of one person’s stupidity or lack of awareness. So I consulted a friend who is a physiotherapist, we’ll call him Dan. Dan said that there are cases where babies develop hip issues due to being in these types of devices for long periods of time but, from his understanding and research, these long periods of time are 4+ hours a day, every day because parents use it as a parenting tool or leave children unattended and let them sleep in them. I plan to do none of the above. Dan suggests letting your child tell you when they’re finished but that 45-60 minutes at a time, no more than twice a day is fine and that he has never encountered such issues on that type of timeline. He also says that manufacturers need to “cover their butts” so they will always print the minimum time. I’m going with this recommendation.


We let Kolt jump to his satisfaction which typically lasts around 40-50 minutes and his times are usually once in the early afternoon and once in the late evening before his final feed and then sleep. He tells us if he wants to get out and sometimes it is as short at 10 minutes. We never leave him unattended and his last check-up (this week) the pediatrician said he looked to be very strong and that nothing was out of place or functioning improperly. We’re pleased to announce we’re not horrible parents.

Stay tuned for more jumping and other adventures.

Camping With a Baby

Well, we survived! Camping with a baby turned out to be far less treacherous than I had anticipated. In fact, it went better than I could have imagined. I think my anxiety crept up because of all the unknowns and I felt that I hadn’t really prepared for the weekend in the midst of all the busy-ness we have going on in our lives right now, seeding, university, a newborn, etc. In the end, we are thankful it was an overcast weekend - wow, how your camping wishes change when you have kids.

The Drive

One downfall to our weekends is an aspect that I used to actually love - the long drives. There is nothing I love more than a Friday after-work drive in the countryside with my husband. It is peaceful, beautiful, and there are no distractions, unlike a long day of teaching. However, this time of year warrants large tractors, air seeders, and semis on the gravel roads and it causes them to become washboard-like or bare of actual gravel and replaced with boulders and potholes. These types of road conditions are less than desirable for anyone let alone a newborn’s tummy - cue the colic. We had discovered that Kolter became colicky from long car sides when he was just a month old.

Our little guy already struggles with some reflux (minor symptoms listed on this site) and colic issues. Kolt’s reaction is minor in comparison to what I’ve heard others experience - he just whimpers and fusses and needs to be sat upright and burped or needs to toot. Bumpy roads do not add anything valuable to those issues. Luckily, he sleeps when we are in motion whether it be in a vehicle, stroller, or grocery cart.

Setting Up

Once we arrived at the lake, and Kolter awoke, we had not anticipated what to do with him while we unpacked both vehicles (the initial camping trip of the season usually demands a haul that includes both our vehicles). We had been quite successful so far in our first few months with him when it came to being organized and on time for things. We agreed early on that we would both make a conscious effort to prepare for outings earlier so we weren’t the people who were always “late because of our kids” (we both despise being late). We knew that it wouldn’t always work but we were going to make the effort to try our hardest. Friday was one of those situations you just can’t predict and it ended up taking us 3 hours to get the camper set up, unpacked, and organized in comparison to previous years’ 1 hour. Kolt wasn’t fussy during that time but we had to make room for his travel bassinet, changing supplies, clothing, towels, cloths, hats, bottle station, etc. We also had to feed him during that time, change him, and there were moments he needed some settling. Thankfully, we had friends wanting some Kolter snuggles while we unpacked and organized. In fact, I purged a lot of unneeded items from our camper and completely reorganized our items to create a better functioning system for camping with a baby. I love efficiency and organization.

The Fire Ban Scenario

That first afternoon and evening included all the organizing, saying hello to our lake family, and making sure we had what we needed for our first night with Kolter at the lake. Unfortunately, there was a fire ban but thankfully we had our propane firepit. Of course, numerous people end up with “fire envy” and feel the need to stop and scold you for having a fire and being inconsiderate during a fire ban - the look on their faces when you inform them of the actual fire status is enough to bring you satisfaction that you don’t need to humiliate them further. It happens every year and those that don’t have the courage to stop and tell us we’re horrible people just call the park office and “report us”, by which point, due to repeated experience, we have already called ahead to let them know our site number and that we, in fact, know there is a fire ban and are having a propane fire and they are welcome to inspect it if they please.

A Surprise

We knew our first night would not be a late one, in contrast to previous years. We had become used to going to bed at 9 pm and we wanted to be prepared for anything Kolt was going to throw at us in the middle of the night in a new place. To our surprise, all the fresh air caused Kolter to sleep 9 straight hours the first night at the lake. I put him to bed at his typical 9:30 pm and he did not wake until 6:20 am. At first, I thought perhaps my husband had gotten up to feed him a bottle at his usual 3:30 am feeding time but it was clear my husband had not moved from his place of slumber, nor were there any dirty bottles or signs that a bottle had been prepped for consumption. We were in disbelief and also WELL rested. No complaints here!

Kolter watching Moana in the camper for the first of MANY times.

As we guessed, getting up and going in the morning took a bit longer with Kolt. On the other hand, life without a child meant we normally never woke up before 9 am or surfaced from our camper until 10 am and we now had a headstart with our 7 am wake-up call from the bassinet. We realize that we are very fortunate to have a child that is content and calm. I attempted to have an incredibly calm pregnancy because I had heard and read (many Eastern cultures believe this) that those hormone levels could be transferred to the fetus. Whether or not this is true is up for debate but, in my case, it seems to have worked. We usually begin the day with one of us changing him and then bringing him to bed with us for some morning cuddles and then we all get up for the day together. My husband is a HUGE Moana fan (he’s a 5-year-old trapped in a 35-year-old’s body) so he put it on the TV in the living room of the camper for Kolter while we washed up, got dressed, and organized ourselves for the day ahead. Kolt also seems to love Moana (thankfully because the DVD is stuck in our player in the camper).

Jump for Success

Each day and night proceeded in the same way as the initial one. We are proud to announce that our little baby bear loves camping as much as we do so far. I took notes from some of the articles I shared in my previous camping post and packed some of Kolt’s favourite items. We knew we needed to bring the Jolly Jumper and were so thankful that we did. (I will have another post about the Jolly Jumper later this week when I have time for a bit more research).

Kolt loved being outside with so much to see and all the new sounds! We went for walks and explored everything we could, though he slept most of the time because a stroller in motion means he was asleep.

In the coming weekends, we will be building stairs and a deck for our site to make things safer and easier with a child. We cannot wait until the weather is warm enough to take him for swims and beach days!

Stay tuned for more adventures and lessons with Kolt!

It’s an Avocado… Thaaanksss

This week started with my first official Mother’s Day as a mama. It began with brunch with all the women I’m closest to in my family (and my son- who dressed up for the occasion), followed by drinks and snacks on the patio at my house, and then a feast for all of us, cooked by my wonderful husband. The sun was shining, there was no wind (I have a loathing for wind) and we enjoyed one another’s company.

This was the day we also decided to have Kolter begin solid foods. If you haven’t seen the “An Avocado” Youtube video then you’re missing out on the humour of my title so I’ll link it for you HERE. The back story is that Jimmy Fallon challenged parents to give their children random home items for Christmas and film their reactions. This child was nothing but thankful for his avocado.

Back to our avocado! As my last post indicates, I have been consulting medical professionals and lactation specialists for weeks prior to this introduction of solid foods. I scoured the International Breastfeeding Centre website that was sent to me by Naida Hawkins, our province’s leading breastfeeding specialist and researcher, and found that some babies need solids even as early as three months if their hunger or nutrients is not satiated by their milk intake. If you’re not familiar with why we are considering solids earlier than 6 months you can read those details here. I have no desire to stop feeding my baby my milk but we have discovered he needs supplementation.


During all of this, I learned a lot of interesting facts about breastfeeding your child including:

1) Your milk will adjust to your child’s needs. If you are directly contact-feeding your baby OR you wipe their saliva onto your nipples then your body will read their saliva and adjust your milk to their dietary and immune needs, this is called salivary amylase. This can adjust when your baby has a growth spurt, is sick, has been exposed to toxins, etc.

2) Power pumping. I tried this. It slightly increased my milk supply but not enough to keep up with my baby’s needs. Because Kolter was showing hunger signs more frequently we assumed that he was perhaps cluster-feeding and so I attempted to power pump and direct-contact feed him to satiate him. This did help but not completely.

3) Follow your “mommy gut”. I could see that Kolter would watch us prepare food, drool when we were eating, stare at us while we ate, and even tried to reach for our items at times. I started looking up whether there were actual signs to watch for and, sure enough, those were the signs.


Now for the food introduction.

My husband bought this brand new baby bullet (STILL IN THE PACKAGING) at a garage sale last week! SCORE!

We consulted a few sites and our specialist about what to introduce first as we had heard that pablum (ground baby cereal) was a great place to start. She recommended that if Kolter was ready to eat solids that giving babies actual food is far better, nutrients-wise, than pablum. As a nutritionist, I loved that. Foods that are nutrient-dense, sweeter, and high in natural fats and sugars were recommended to start with; avocado, bananas, and sweet potato. Each of these is also of a smooth consistency that can easily be pureed and mashed to avoid choking hazards.

Guess which one we chose?

I placed the avocado into the baby bullet and added some breast milk to loosen the consistency. I had read this during one of my 3 am pumping occasions and pinned it to recall it when my brain was too tired to retrieve the information from the back of my “mom-brain”.

My husband and I sat down with Kolter and fed him the first bite…

He was confused and unsure of what to do.

After 2 or 3 seconds and moving the mush around in his mouth he stopped completely and looked at me. I could see he was processing.

He began to enjoy it.

He ate approximately 1/4 of a cup of avocado without any issues, minimal spitting out, and made yummy grumbling noises the entire time.

He would reach forward for the spoon and devour what was on it each time I gave him a tiny bit more.

I was relieved that our instincts were right and that he was ready for this next step.


  • Follow your instincts

  • Consult multiple resources as there is so much information and much of it conflicts.

  • Start slow and don’t stress about it.

  • Our son, unlike his father, LOVES avocado.


There is research stating that babies should stick to one type of food for 2-3 days without the introduction of any others to ensure you can accurately monitor their response to each one. I stored the remaining pureed avocado in the Baby Bullet (linked is the updated version of ours) storage containers so that we could use the rest over the remainder of this week.

Next, we hope to try sweet potato as it offers many nutritional benefits such as vitamin C for immunity boosting, vitamin A for eye and skin development, iron, complex carbohydrates, and a sweet taste to increase the likelihood of success!

Finally, I have begun researching babies and being picky eaters. It seems that the more that is safely, and repeatedly introduced between the ages of 4 months and 1 year the more likely the child is to not be a picky eater. I am not yet comfortable linking information on this yet as I haven’t found sources I feel are credible and/or consistent yet but that is yet to come!


  • 4 MONTH IMMUNIZATIONS (what I’ve learned from the 2-month ones)