Discover more from Aether Candace | Poetry, Metaphysics, and Real Life
Parenting Messages + Must Haves and Never Minds: Babies - The First Four Months Edition
This isn't just for parents. This is also for those who love people who happen to be parents.
A little while ago I did a party for a woman who was turning 40. If you don’t know I provide spiritual services for people through my company Soul Trine. The services include readings and I am often hired for parties and gatherings. When I got to the party, she told me she had never had a reading before in her life and I gave her and her husband readings before most of the guests got there. It’s always a beautiful experience to be someone’s first but to be someone’s first at their 40th birthday party that they hired you for was wild. I was honored.
The people at the party seemed to be similar in age and were all connected to her through some facet of her life. They were all really cool and seemed like the kind of people I wouldn’t mind hanging out with. To be honest, I was ecstatic to hang out with adults I didn’t know. I had a fresh 2—month—old at home, was nursing, and hadn’t really been on any scene in a while. The birthday party was at my favorite type of establishment - a coffee shop in the day, a bar at night, on a back street, near a main street downtown. Exactly what a social butterfly coming out of a new cacoon needed.
When doing readings at events, themes start to arise. You will get a group of people who ask about love and then some who ask about money/work. This party had those themes, but a surprising theme came up and I was so grateful to support people in this way. People started asking about their children - born and unborn. They wanted to know about their futures, personalities, fertility, and most things child-related. The readings were refreshing. I don’t get many child questions in my practice and they also asked personal advice questions of me as a mom.
I never looked at myself as the type to give out mom advice. I always saw myself as more of a person who has plenty of precautionary tales on deck. But I suppose I’m an OG now because I now have four children, one just graduated high school and is legally an adult, while my 4th is only months old and I’m 41.
A Message on Healing
Of all the messages that came through, the biggest message was about healing. So many people come into parenting - whether intentionally or accidentally - with ideas about how things will go. Rapid advancements in technology greatly impacted the parents of Gen X - Alpha, but that impact is nothing compared to how their parents will affect them.
The firstborn child will get the brunt of your mistakes. You will likely feel good about doing better or having a different approach than your parents, but as they grow their development will trigger unhealed parts of yourself from times when you were their age. Get ahead of all that. Whether, you are planning for a child, expecting, have a child, or are just sexually active - get healed.
What does healing look like? Therapy is great, but please make sure you find the right therapist for you - a person who can relate to you and make you feel unjudged. You’ll know in your first appointment. As you grow, change, and heal, the type of therapist you need may evolve.
Looking for therapists can be a daunting task. Out of the variety of therapists I’ve had, I only had one that gave me a weird feeling. None of them looked like me, but their professional and/or personal experiences made me feel a resonance with them. To them, I am forever grateful.
By the time my oldest was five and still an only child, I had been through so much that pushed me toward deep levels of healing. Situations that came up with my child caused long-buried experiences to arise in my mind and they needed to be addressed. At this point, I took the spiritual/emotional route to heal. All the while things were happening in my present that caused me to go deeper into my healing methods and all in all, helped me in my journey to becoming a better person and parent.
Taking the spiritual/emotional route is a slippery slope. On the low end, it allows people to spiritually bypass their issues. On the high end, people can heal themselves, their lineage, and their lifetimes with a brave, head-on approach.
What is spiritual bypassing? “Spiritual bypassing is the avoidance and repression of one’s self” - I wrote an article on spiritual bypassing a while back. Take a read and tell me if you have witnessed spiritual bypassing. When I researched what it was, I realized I was raised by this type of person. This is probably one of the reasons why I go so hard into healing and facing myself from many different angles.
I personally use traditional therapy and spiritual/emotional healing methods. Being a good parent to my children means so much to me and I’m willing to go to therapy, walk on hot coals, purge, and travel to other dimensions to be what they need in this lifetime - I have done all of that plus more. No matter how much therapy and spiritual means you use to heal prior to the arrival of children, having children doesn't absolve you from experiences in which you will need to be healed. I wish!!!!! The lightning, lava, and sunshine of real-life carry on, and the need for healing continues.
Aether Candace | Poetry, Metaphysics, and Real Life is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Must Haves and Never Minds in Your Baby’s First Four Months
I’ve been kind of quiet lately because I’ve been tuned into protecting and nourishing my new baby inside and outside the womb. As a mother of four with 18+ years of experience, I just realized I’ve never written about my product observations. I usually share this information on a one-to-one basis through in-person visits, texts, and phone calls with friends and family.
If you are a parent, raising a child, attending a baby shower, or want to show support through the comfort of a product this is the article for you.
The term “colic” will come up often. What is it? “Colic is when a healthy baby cries for a very long time, for no obvious reason.” - John Hopkins Medicine
Colic and Gas
These two are the enemies of a baby’s peace. Out of my four children, 3 of them had Colic. Our pediatrician recently told me Colic is the #1 concern for one-month appointments.
Gerber Cereal for Baby Power Blend - MUST HAVE
OMG, my first baby had the worst colic. The colic kept me so stressed, plus she was in the hospital for 10 days and at least five of those days, no one was allowed to touch her - including me - so our initial bonding time was not too great. At the time was in a small town in GA and her doctor told me to add cereal to her bottle to help with the colic. Her sibling's doctors from bigger cities have raised their eyebrows at that advice, but that small-town doctor was much more senior and what he said worked. So, cereal has always been something I introduced early, but I made sure their doctors knew in case some new information about came out that was detrimental. With baby #4 I found a new cereal that included probiotics and tried it with him. Even though baby #4’s doctor didn’t agree with the cereal advice of the doctor of baby #1, she did like the idea of the baby receiving probiotics without me having to spend $15 - $40+ on probiotics drops for infants. It helped and now it’s the only cereal I buy, even though he is now beyond his colic phase.
Mylicon - NEVERMIND
As far as an over-the-counter medicine, Mylicon drops were a staple in my new baby must-haves collection, but a few things annoyed me about Mylicon drops.
They don’t always work
It is difficult to get all of the product out of the bottle. It is a very thick liquid and you would get better use out of the product if it came in a tube, but the design leaves a lot of product to be thrown away. Also, when your baby is screaming, who has time to wait for it to slide out of the bottle?
Boiron ColicComfort - MUST HAVE
I recently found a new product that has really helped. It is only good for babies who are one month old and older. The product is a thin clear liquid that comes in single-use packaging, so it eliminates the issue of getting all the product out of the bottle, and the results were immediate. Within a few minutes of giving my little man the drops, gas is expelled, and he calms down.
Breastfeeding and Nursing
This is my 4th time nursing, and the length of time differed for each child. The reasons for the timing were all different, but they aren’t important for this article. People often talk about the beauty and benefits of nursing, and they aren’t wrong or exaggerating. It’s everything your baby needs and more. The reality is that it hurts. The first three weeks are excruciating because your new precious baby is learning to latch while your nipples are getting used to the intense sensation of being a food source. Let’s not forget about lactation concerns like mastitis or clogged ducts - WHEW more pain!!!
Most hospitals will give you lanolin to comfort your nipples. I never had a problem with lanolin. It provided a small level of comfort but didn’t give me full relief from having nipples that couldn’t stand to feel a breeze of air. What is lanolin? Lanolin is a waxy sheep skin secretion. This wax substance comes out of glands in their skin. I reluctantly used this for all four children because I got it free from the hospital and I probably bought it once when I ran out.
With baby #4 I knew there had to be a better way. I didn’t wait until I ran out of lanolin and searched the reviews of various brands for what made sense and that’s how I found Nipple Crack.
Nipple Crack is plant-based and makes my nipples feel better. I could tolerate my nipples being in the air around me and they felt soothed. I didn’t even have to use the whole container before I stopped. The baby didn’t cringe at the taste of the product. I would happily add this to a baby shower gift basket.
Whether I get it for free or buy it myself, I always end up with the Pump and Style version of the time for the Medela breast pumps. I saw no flaw in every version of this breast pump. They are efficient and always seem to change over time to correct any issues related to convenience. However, even if you purchased the special bra separately, it wasn’t truly hands-free. That is why I didn’t purchase the bra they sell for baby #4, because I still ended up holding everything up to my boobs while being unable to use my hands. I feel like too much milk gets wasted in the stopping process and every drop counts. It is a great breast pump for traditional breast pumps, just don’t buy the bra thinking you will have a hands-free experience.
MomMed Double Wearable Breast Pump - Never Mind
For baby #4 I really wanted to try a hands-free breast pump so I scoured the internet for an idea of which would be the best one without me spending $500. I ended up with the MomMed Double Wearable Breast Pump.
I’ve returned this product twice. The first time one of the breast pumps stopped working and turned on/off by itself. When I brought it to the return center the cashier looked at me strangely because it was just doing it’s thing in the box. Amazon sent me a new one. It seemed like my first rodeo with this breast pump was just one bad apple, but after a week, one of the pumps just made noise but had no suction. I tried switching breasts for the pumps multiple times and using this pump started to take way longer because I had to always have one pump do all the work. I opted to stop breastfeeding altogether after this because my lifestyle was taking a change and I could not afford the extra time to breastfeed, I was just over nursing altogether at this point. However, for the brief times that it worked, it felt good to just express the milk while being at my desk, cleaning up, or cuddling the kids.
Medela Safe & Dry Disposable Nursing Pads - Must Have
This is another product I’ve used for the past three children. They are thin, they work, and they are convenient. The price for these is always right. I’m actually about to order more now.
Of all of the four children, I’ve always been the one to choose the bottles, until #4. My bottle strategy has always been centered around reducing instances of colic and my strategies worked until #4. I spent so much money on buying bottles that he didn’t like. It was his daycare center that told me which one’s breastfed babies prefer, but my first three never cared about the bottle or nipple. They just wanted their milk when they wanted it. #4 is very specific and I’ve had to change up my whole bottling process with him. I’m going to show you what worked for all the children, not just #4.
Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle - Must-Have
Because baby #1 had colic, I kept these bottles around and I even used them for baby #2 as well. They were great nipples, angled in the middle and had a lovely air system to remove air for colic babies. They were great bottles with soft flexible nipples. I should have tried this with baby #4 but I tried to go the same route as baby #3 and forgot.
MAM East Start Anti-Colic Bottle - Must-Have
With baby #3 I started using MAM bottles. They were great. I had zero complaints about this bottle. There are six parts to wash, but it’s all worth it if it reduces colic. Baby #4 is even okay with this bottle system. I keep his first one in his diaper bag.
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottles - Must Have
I brought baby #4 to daycare on the first day with his Mam and Nuby bottles. At the end of the day, they said he gave them a hard time with both. At home he was mostly direct to breast so I assumed his issue with bottle usage had to do with a breast preference. The daycare told me about Tommee Tippee bottles and how they are the preferred bottle for breastfed babies. I want my babies to be happy and comfortable so I overnighted the bottles and had them ready for daycare. He loved them. Bottle feeding was a great experience for him with everyone and I recently purchased the larger-sized bottles because he is beyond the 5oz bottles at this point.
He will tolerate a MAM bottle, but he prefers his Tommee Tippee bottle. When he drank from Tommee Tippee bottles it truly mirrored the way he looked while on the breast.
I stumbled upon the Kiinde system with baby #3 and I was amazed by the efficiency of the system from birth to baby food stages. I was really irritated at myself for forgetting about this system for baby #4, but I will likely pick it up for the baby food stage for sure.
The Kiinde bottle system is so cool and efficient that I had to show more pictures. You can nurse directly into their bags, store your bags on the shelves, and add the bag to a bottle. There is even another kit that comes with the bottle warmer. I can’t speak highly enough about this system. However, if you are using a hands-free breast pump, you won’t be able to pump directly into the bags, but storage bags are storage bags.
Kiinde Foodii Baby Food Maker System - Must-Have
Because I loved the Kiinde Feeding System with baby #3, it only made sense to keep the party going with the Baby Food Maker System. I already had plenty of pouches and what was the point of letting them go to waste? For baby #4 I will be going back to Kiinde for the Foodii system. It was perfect for making food, dispensing, and feeding your baby during their feeding stages if you are the type of parent who likes to make your own baby food.
I would love to have the time to be the Mother Earth Goddess that I am on the inside all the time and say I will make all of baby #4s food, but who knows if time will allow. In the event that I will have time, I want to be prepared for storage and preparation, and for the price, the Kiinde Foodii Baby Food Maker System is worth it.
Nuby Infant Feeding Bottles - Depends
So, I have loved the Nuby sippy cups for my toddlers since baby #1. This time around, I found out they had infant bottles and grabbed them. Baby #4 hated them!! The reason why I like the Nuby sippy cups so much is because they created a natural progression from bottle to sippy cup. I was even able to transition babies #2 and #3 away from bottles sooner because of these great sippy cups. Based on the texture of the bottle nipple, it feels like they reshaped the sippy cup spout into a bottle nipple. They have a similar density.
The reason why I didn’t say Never Mind or Must Have is because the Nuby bottle nipple might work for a baby who has never breastfed or a baby who is not so picky. I would be open to trying the Nuby infant bottle again when baby #4 is older, but I might as well wait until he is on the verge of sippy cup age just to go for what I know.
Aether Candace | Poetry, Metaphysics, and Real Life is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Let Me Know
I have many other product recommendations related to little people who are under four months, but the most important part of the first four months is perfecting their diet to avoid colic and other issues that keep you and the baby from resting.
Answer the following questions in the comments:
What helped you manage being a parent in the first four months?
What have you done to work on processing your traumas from childhood and adulthood?