When They Grow…

Grow

This post is a bit different than my usual…

My little Jannah is growing. She has just officially outgrown all of her newborn clothing. She is blowing raspberries. She giggles and babbles. She plays with toys…

At my baby shower, I received 2 of the same sleeper; one in newborn size and one in 0-3 months size. The newborn one was her coming home outfit. I just now put her into the     0-3 months one and compared a picture of now and then… then started to tear up.

Babies grow up so fast. She’s no longer my tiny, little newborn. She’s now a “proper” baby that you can interact with and she’s constantly learning new skills. In a blink of an eye, she will be of school age. In a blink of an eye, she will be driving a car. In a blink of an eye, she will be getting married (In shaa Allah [God willing]).

I’m sitting here reminiscing on the time I was pregnant with her. On the time I went into labor and gave birth to her. On the time she had to go to the NICU. On the time that I spent struggling to transition her from formula to breastfeeding… Time goes by way too fast.

The point of this post is to stop you for a second. Whether you are perfectly happy, stressed to your wits end, depressed, ticked off… take a second to appreciate how small your baby is in this moment. With each blink they grow up a little bit more. They will never be this tiny again. Appreciate these moments. Appreciate all of their firsts as they grow up. Live in the moment and be present… because these very moments become memories when they grow.

 

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10 Ramadan Activities for Children

Activities

Ramadan is the best time of year for Muslims. Blessings galore. Fasting creates such a wonderful feeling of sympathy and joy once broken. As with most things, we must teach our children things. One of the best ways to get them to be more willing and excited about things is by making it fun! With that being said, here are 10 activities for children during Ramadan.

  1. Kindness advent calendar. Basically, every day there is a different random act of kindness/charity that the child must perform. In the process, you can use it to teach them about what they are doing and the reward behind these actions. After the act is completed, reward them with candy or a special treat.
  2. Make a storybook. Sit with your child and write a story related to Ramadan!
  3. Make “pillars of Islam” cylinders. Buy some wooden cylinders and paint them whichever colors desired. Then, write each of the 5 pillars on them! For a cheaper version, you can use toilet paper rolls.
  4. Ramadan game show. Make a little game show set up with buzzers (or something to represent buzzers) and quiz the kiddos on information related to Ramadan and Eid! Reward the winner with whatever you wish.
  5. Create a Ramadan journal. There are sooo many methods to doing so. Make on by hand, print out pre-made copies, or create your own online. Suggestions for what to include: prayer tracker (mark each prayer as it’s completed), markers for how long they fasted (partial, half, most, entire), space to write down thoughts, etc.

Ramadan is such a special time of year, so let’s teach our youth to love it as much as we do!

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Sleep

I’d like to start by apologizing for being absent last week. Jannah is currently going through a leap, has a cold, and has been absolutely miserable and a handful, so I took the week off to tend to her.

Isn’t it frustrating when your little bundle of joy wakes up throughout the night? We end up so exhausted and frustrated from having to take care of our babies. It’s just not fair. In desperation, mamas research ways to get their newborns or babies to sleep through the whole night. Here’s some ways that work like a charm!

Start by getting your brain fixed. Babies wake up because they need to eat. Their tummies are still tiny, so they need to eat around the clock. As a parent, you must sacrifice comfort and other things in order to take care of the child you brought into this world. I promise you they aren’t waking up to be an inconvenience. Nobody said parenting would be easy. If it helps, try bedsharing or cosleeping. If you’re going to research anything, research how to safely bedshare. I was exhausted until I started bedsharing with Jannah. We both get sleep and she gets the milk she needs. Your baby comes first before yourself. Trying to get a baby to sleep through the entire night is just absolutely ridiculous.

Stop trying to get that poor baby to sleep through the night mama. If people are trying to tell you that she should be by now or whatever, ignore them. If baby wakes up, feed her. And no… rice cereal and or formula will not help baby sleep longer. Babies aren’t meant to sleep the entire night. Just remember… it won’t last forever.

Reflecting on Baby’s First Three Months

3 Months

Jannah has turned 3 months. We have survived the fourth trimester. I have spent the day just reflecting on the past 3 months and thought I’d share with you guys.

February 22, 2017… the day my princess was born into this world. My doctor and nurses went entirely opposite of my birth plan. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) the delivery still went well… just not how I wanted it to. She was taken to NICU for a breathing problem which was quickly resolved. She ended up staying there until the 25th because the stupid nurses forced her to take formula and wouldn’t let her leave until she finished a whole bottle. I was refused breastfeeding (Yes… still salty).

We spent the first 3 weeks trying to transition her to breastfeeding. Alhamdulillah we were successful. Other than that, life was pretty great. The house was getting a bit messy, but that was ok. So much cluster feeding happened. There were many sleepless nights.

Onto month 2. She started smiling and began to respond more. She became such a happy little girl. Her two bottom teeth developed as the teething process began at 6 weeks. She became a lot more fussy too. Again… there were many sleepless nights, but I definitely took more advantage of bed-sharing. She was also much more awake and alert… which meant more play time and talking to her! She had her first vaccines which was heartbreaking, but just another excuse for cuddles!

Month 3. Man. A lot happened. She’s become so vocal (even started to giggle a little). She plays with toys a bit. Her monkey is her favorite. She’s starting to get into size 0-3mo clothing. Her teeth are just about ready to cut which means this mama hasn’t been getting sleep. She’s been super clingy and needing to sleep in my arms (which I’m totally ok with… snuggles!). She’s developing such a personality and I love it. I’ve started on depression and anxiety pills.

These 3 months have passed in the blink of an eye. Just like that, her newborn days are over. The 4th trimester is over. Jannah is continuously growing. These are emotional times and I’m embracing every moment of it. This is just the beginning, darling.

Baby’s First Vaccines – Experience & Tips

Vaccine

The dreaded day has finally come. Jannah had her first shots. And let me tell you…. it. was. awful.

I nursed her while waiting for the doctor to come in so she wouldn’t already be miserable. Then the shots came, so she held my finger and I glued my lips to her precious head. Of course, she cried. A lot. After they were done, I had to get her dressed again. This was the worst part. She was literally shrieking… I have never heard her like that before, and it was absolutely heartbreaking. After rushing to dress her, I nursed her again and that made everything better. I then put her back in her baby wear carrier and she was out like a lightbulb.

We went home. And this is where everything fell apart. It was nurse, cry, nurse cry for the first few hours. She fought her sleep for most of the day. At about 6 PM she finally fell asleep, but kept waking up crying and going back to sleep. It is now 7:30 PM, and she has been steady sleeping. Thank. God. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God). So far, there’s no side effects really except being slightly warm.

I wanted to share the few things that did help to calm her down a little.

  1. The 5 S’s. This technique is shared in Dr. Harvey Karp’s book and movie The Happiest Baby on the Block. Swaddle, Side-stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking. I swaddled Jannah, gave her a binky, lied her on her belly on my lap with her head in my hand and rocked her back and forth while shushing her. This is what got her to a sleepy enough stage to be put down and put to sleep.
  2. Nursing. Well… this one is obvious, but it works!
  3. Baby swing. That’s what she is sleeping in right now. I put on some white noise and put the swing on the highest level.
  4. Blanket. You NEED to be careful with this one. Jannah will only sleep if she has a blanket in her face. I obviously make sure it’s not entirely on her face and she can breathe. Once she IS asleep, I move it away. But her blankets are such comfort objects to her.  I made a dome over her head with some of the blanket she’s wrapped in to block out the light, and she was out shortly after. If you do have to use blankets or your baby is the same way, MAKE SURE you are checking on her to ensure she is able to breathe and AS SOON as she is asleep, move the blanket!!! I also don’t really recommend this option, but this is just how she is… stubborn little one I tell you.

How was your little one’s first time? How did you manage and cope? What methods worked best for soothing your baby? I’d love to know for her future vaccinations (I REALLY need some advice haha)!