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I love breastfeeding. It just worked out so darn well for us! People acted like it had to be a battle, maybe you'd have the "gift" of milk, maybe not, so I was all ready to go to war. I took a breastfeeding class, had the number for lactation saved to my phone, joined the big breastfeeding community on livejournal to early-learn troubleshooting tips. All that stuff is a great idea, but I didn't need to be so worried, we had no issues.
Jo was a born nurser. The class I took helped a bit, because we'd watched videos of what a good latch looked like, so I remembered my teacher saying "Just make sure that baby opens her mouth open wide first! Open open open... now shove that nipple in, make sure she gets lots of it! If it's not right, use your finger to break the suction, latch off and try again. You make that baby relatch ten times if that's what it takes to get it right!"
The online communities were good too. I was afraid to post at first, because I felt sort of intimidated by all the moms who were, like, 14 months into nursing their third kid. Looking back that was silly, because breastfeeding communities love newborn questions, they're some of the most important ones we get because everyone knows those first few days and weeks can be intimidating.
Most of the moms I knew who armed themselves with a bit of knowledge first were able to breastfeed just fine. There were a few exceptions, sure... I had one friend whose baby was born very early, she struggled, I felt for her. I had another friend who saw four lactation consultants and no one could ever figure out how to get her supply up... I feel for her too! But those were the rare exceptions.
The important things to remember are just to resist supplementing with formula, nurse like crazy in the early days. And be patient after childbirth. It takes a few days for milk to come in, and that's fine because you're making colostrum and a newborn's marble-sized tummy can only a few drops of anything anyway.
Breastfeeding means you'll never be up in the middle of the night washing and fixing bottles. You'll never have to worry about what brand or type of formula your baby might be allergic too. Breastmilk is always the right temperature. You don't have to worry about overfeeding. And the best part is the nursing relationship you get with your baby. These days Jo's a crazy busy nine month old, crawling around everywhere, pulling up on the furniture, knocking down towers of blocks and cruising in laps around our coffee table. The only time she relaxes is when she's nursing... she goes from "must explore the WHOLE WORLD NOW" to "baby with my mommy" and it's just beautiful. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Sonic, I like the way you described the sound a letter makes.
I asked a few early elementary school teachers I know this same question and wanted to share a bit of what they had to say.
They recommended starting with consonant-vowel-consonant words (CVC) with short vowel sounds, and focus on rhyming families (i.e. bat, cat, fat) and even including first consonant changes that don't make real words, like 'gat'. Then later introduce CVC with last letter changes (i.e. bad, bar, bat). They said we could try sight words at the same time and told me to do a search for the Fry sight word list.
After those CVC words aren't a problem, it was suggested to start adding an 'e' at the end of CVC words to change the vowel sound, an the meaning of the words, so introducing long vowels (i.e. cap->cape). Then after all that, we can start adding two consonants together and two vowels together. From there maybe come up with homonyms together, which can be a great way to introduce silent letters (i.e. new, knew).
I would say its very important, because what you learn shapes and molds yours views that make you who you are.
Aum, my partner and I were just discussing this. He was surprised by my taking the hard line that stopping BC or poking holes in condoms or something like that is rape, making the woman a rapist. Which should result in jail time, so she should lose custody, which should go to the father and now he has the choice of keeping the baby or putting them up for adoption.
It's unfortunate that you can't prove such a thing, but hopefully if it was actually taken seriously women would be less likely to do it because it would at least be explicitly called rape.
I understand how the justice system and the family courts would look at it. They see it as the man's sperm made it to the egg so somehow he wasn't protecting himself, he made the choice, yada yada. There's no way to prove that the woman was manipulative, withdrew BC, or "poked holes in the condom" (I think that's unheard of, but anyway).
I topped baby off tonight. He straight up drank 7 ounces of formula after his prunes. If he's an infiltrator, he's eating well for it.
I am still dealing with the fact that your 11 year old is an actual 11 year old.
My father-in-law spends a lot of time with the kid, mostly by choice. I sometimes wish we had more of a schedule, because at the moment, naps and bedtime are the only semi-guaranteed breaks for anyone. My spouse and father-in-law both work from home free-lance, so they don't actually have a schedule for when they need to be left alone, but at least my father-in-law has more warning with jobs scheduled out in advance.
I'm sorry for your loss. Ectopic pregnancies are scary, and I would like to go punch that first doctor in the face for you.
PPD is awful too.
You can continue discussing with him the difference of a boy and a girl. Have him socialize too with the same gender. There's nothing wrong if you have go with opposite sex as long as he understands what/who he is.
So do you feel hanging out with the opposite gender at a young age can confuse a person's gender identity?
If a boy who has a penis asks if he's a boy and you don't just say yes, then that's straight up lunacy.
What he decides to do with that boyhood or how he dresses is up to him. But if you're born with a penis you're a boy.
Making it airy fairy when, statistically, scientifically, less than 1% of 1% of children born have true gender dysphoria, is immoral and wrong. It's also a sign of our troubled times.
This is just my anecdotal experience but...
I have experienced bullying based on simply engaging in normal children's play with girls. Insults were attacks on both me and the girls. But I NEVER questioned my gender as a male. So if a child asks me if he's a boy and was identified biologically as one, I am going to question what influences are on the child before I answer.